Staff

Samantha Wood Goddess, Chief Financial Officer, received a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University in 1995 and joined Sensimetrics in 1996. Ms. Goddess is responsible for the company’s financial strategy and its execution, the negotiation of license agreements and subcontracts, and sales and marketing of Sensimetrics’ products. In addition, she oversees all aspects of grants and contracts administration, including compliance with FAR/DFARS regulations, DCAA audits, and negotiation of indirect cost rates with both DHHS and DoD.

 

Derrick B. Henry, Front End Developer / UX Designer, graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Music Technology and Multimedia Studies. Since joining Sensimetrics in 2011, Derrick has performed a wide variety of tasks for the company, including video production, web development, and industrial design and fabrication.

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Jens Jorgensen, Art Director / Designer, received his diploma from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has been working in the field of multimedia and design since 1993 when he first worked on projects for Microsoft and SAP. At Sensimetrics, Mr. Jorgensen is responsible for sound and video content for the company’s software packages, interface design, navigational structures, animation, electronic and printed design for marketing, package design, and industrial design. Jens also acts as the company’s webmaster and system administrator.

 

Michel T.T. Jackson, PhD, Principal Research Scientist / Programmer, received a B.A. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; and Linguistics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from UCLA. Since then, he has held a number of academic and/or industrial positions at Yale University, the Ohio State University, Emerson College, Articulate Systems, Lernout & Hauspie, Dictaphone, Nuance, Mediwatch USA, and Sensimetrics. His publications include the multimedia course Speech Production and Perception I, published through Sensimetrics, and “Analyses of vocal tract cross-distance to area mapping: An investigation of a set of vowel images”, with Drs. Richard S. McGowan & Michael A. Berger, in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (January 2012).

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Wendelin L. Sachtler, PhD, Principal Research Scientist / Programmer, received a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California, Irvine and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Columbia University, where he investigated visual processing of color and motion information. His postdoctoral work at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on visual and tactile perception in Virtual Environments, during which time he also developed computerized tests for sensory and motor deficiencies, obtaining patents for online color vision testing. As President of Corpora Systems, Inc., Dr. Sachtler leads projects for development of assistive devices for the blind as well as physiological measurement systems for medical and basic research, for which he has received grants from NIH, NSF, and NIDRR. Dr. Sachtler consults with Sensimetrics staff on software development, sensor and actuator interfaces, and plastic part design and construction.

 

Thomas E. v. Wiegand, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, an A.B. in Physics from Franklin & Marshall College, and M.A., M.Phil., & Ph.D. degrees in Experimental Psychology from Columbia Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. His work there included research in visual and auditory psychophysics and computational models of light adaptation. Dr. Wiegand was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Research Laboratory of Electronics, where he conducted research on applications of Virtual Environment technology. After his post-doc he continued working at MIT as a Research Scientist where his projects included experiments in psychophysics, virtual environments, and wide ranging work in engineering design. In his current position as Principal Research Scientist at Sensimetrics Corporation, he is engaged in research related to the development of novel technology for hearing enhancement and navigational aids for the visually impaired, and is PI or key personnel on various projects at Sensimetrics Corporation and Corpora Systems Inc. Dr. Wiegand is also involved in a number of ventures in the areas of engineering services, medical device development, and educational evaluation, and has served on editorial boards of scientific journals. He has authored or co-authored papers published in collections as well as in the journals Vision Research, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, and PRESENCE. He holds granted and pending patents in electronic design through his work at MIT and Sensimetrics Corporation. Dr. Wiegand is a member of Sigma Xi, New York Academy of Sciences, IEEE, and other professional organizations.

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Patrick M. Zurek, PhD, President, Company Director, received his doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology from Arizona State University in 1976. From that time until 1981 he was a Research Associate at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, where his principal work was on otoacoustic emissions from human and animal ears. In 1981, he joined the Communications Biophysics Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Principal Research Scientist. His work there focused on the behavioral study of hearing impairment and its rehabilitation through hearing aid signal processing. Dr. Zurek has published numerous papers and book chapters on these and other topics in psychoacoustics (CV) and has been a reviewer of manuscripts and grants in his field. He is a member of the Auditory Society of America and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. In 1999 Dr. Zurek succeeded Robert Berkovitz as President of Sensimetrics where he has been engaged in a variety of research projects relating principally to the development of novel technology for hearing. The subjects of these development projects have included:  a headset-style assistive listening device; a hand-held digital instrument for infant hearing screening; an audiometric spatial-hearing test system; interactive courseware for instruction in Hearing Science; advanced hearing protectors; MRI-compatible earphones; and hearing loss simulations for audiology.

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Consulting Scientists

Joseph G. Desloge, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, received his B.S degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and his S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his research involved the development of improved background-noise cancellation systems for hearing aid use.  After completing his Ph.D., he served as a Research Scientist on the staff of M.I.T. implementing and evaluating directional hearing aid systems and developing novel acoustic surveillance/environmental awareness systems for the military.  Since 1999 he has been a Research Scientist at Sensimetrics Corporation where his work includes (1) the design, real-time implementation, and evaluation of improved hearing protection systems that use array processing and automatic gain control techniques to combine hearing protection with acoustic environment awareness and (2) the design, real-time implementation and evaluation of hearing loss simulation systems that allow normal-hearing wearers to experience, in real-time, the comprehension limitations and sense of isolation experienced by hearing impaired people.  He has authored and co-authored papers appearing in IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing and the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

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Raymond L. Goldsworthy, PhD, Research Scientist, received his B.Sc. degree in Physics from the University of Kentucky in 1997.  He received his Ph.D. degree in Speech and Hearing Bio-Sciences and Technology through a joint program between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His doctoral thesis focused on noise-reduction algorithms and performance metrics for improving speech reception in noise for cochlear implant (CI) users.  Ray is a CI user himself and personally aware of the hearing difficulties that CI users have in the presence of background noise.  At Sensimetrics, he has led a project to develop a real-time noise-reduction prototype to improve speech reception in noise for CI users.  Ray is also interested in psycho-acoustic modeling of the perceptual differences between CI users and normal hearing listeners.  He developed a psycho-acoustic model for his thesis that accurately predicts performance for CI users in a variety of conditions, including non-linear operations such as noise-reduction strategies.

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Nathaniel I. Durlach, PhD, Consulting Scientist, Company Director, is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Initially trained as a mathematician, he was employed by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1954 to 1963 to help develop improved radar air defense systems. Subsequently, he became interested in the study of living systems. His research on living systems has been very broad, ranging from the study of echolocation systems in bats and necrophoric behavior in ants to topics in the social sciences; however, his main focus has been the sensorimotor performance of humans and, in particular, auditory and tactile psychophysics.

Mr Durlach is Co-Director of the Sensory Communications Group in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, and a Visiting Scientist in the Biomedical Engineering Department of Boston University. He is the author (or co-author) of numerous book chapters and of roughly 100 refereed articles in such journals as Perception and Psychophysics and the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. He has been awarded the Silver Medal of the Acoustical Society of America for his contributions to psychoacoustics. He is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the MIT Press journal PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, and served as Chair of the Committee of the National Academy of Sciences charged with establishing a national research agenda for research and development of teleoperators and virtual environments.

 

Charlotte M. Reed, Ph.D., Consulting Scientist, is a Senior Research Scientist in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. She received a B.S. in Education from Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University), Pittsburgh, PA in 1969 with a specialization in speech therapy and completed a Ph.D. in Bioacoustics with Robert Bilger at the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. She came to the Communication Biophysics Group as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in 1975 to work with Nat Durlach and Lou Braida on hearing-aid research and has been a member of the group ever since. Dr. Reed’s research is in the area of auditory and tactile psychophysics and in the development of aids for persons with hearing impairment and deafness. She has been involved in her group’s research on the use of residual hearing in listeners with sensorinueral loss, focusing on the use of frequency lowering for persons with high-frequency hearing loss. Her work in audition also includes attempts to understand the role of audibility in the difficulties encountered by hearing-impaired listeners in various types of background noise. This research has made use of simulations of hearing impairment in normal-hearing listeners to evaluate the role of audibility in the performance of hearing-impaired listeners on a variety of speech-reception and psychoacoustic tasks. In the tactile area, she has conducted research on natural methods of tactual communication used within the deaf-blind community as well as working on the development and evaluation of a broad variety of tactile aids for communication of speech and environmental sounds. Many of her projects have been concerned with multi-sensory integration, including studies of the role of visual speechreading cues in conjunction with tactile aids and more recent work on auditory-tactile integration of low-frequency signals presented simultaneously to both sensory systems. She has collaborated with the Sensimetrics staff on various projects, including the development of their product “Seeing and Hearing Speech,” and on their SBIR concerned with the development and evaluation of an infant tactile aid.

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Jayaganesh Swaminathan, PhD, Consulting Scientist, received his B.S degree in Electrical Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University and his M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer engineering from the University of Rhode Island. His Master’s research involved developing signal processing algorithms inspired by the auditory periphery for automatic speech recognition systems. He received his Ph.D. degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Purdue University. After completing his Ph.D., he underwent postdoctoral training at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His subsequent work, at MIT and Sensimetrics, focused on developing signal processing strategies to improve the design of cochlear implants. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor at Boston University where his work is focused on developing psychoacoustic experiments and neural modeling related to binaural hearing. Dr. Swaminathan works with Sensimetrics staff on issues related to auditory models and signal processing.

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History

Sensimetrics Corporation originated in 1985 as The Audiometer Development Group of Belmont, Massachusetts, established to develop instruments for hearing measurement.  The company was incorporated under its present name and opened offices near MIT in Cambridge in 1987.  The principal founders were Bob Berkovitz, a long-time researcher in the audio industry, and Ken Stevens, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and a world-renowned expert on speech communication. They were soon joined by Nat Durlach, another distinguished MIT Research Scientist, with expertise in hearing. Berkovitz served as President of Sensimetrics until 1999. He was succeeded as President by Patrick Zurek, another MIT hearing researcher, who continues in the position today. Over the years, many students, post-docs, and researchers from the speech and hearing labs at MIT and other area universities have made important contributions to the work done at Sensimetrics.

Since its founding, Sensimetrics has conducted basic research in speech and hearing science and developed related biomedical instrumentation and educational materials.  Research support has come from grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and from industry clients. Projects have ranged from speech synthesis, to computer-based lipreading instruction, to hearing assistance, measurement, and simulation systems. Descriptions of current projects, and a few past projects, can be found here.

In addition to its research activity, Sensimetrics has provided consulting services for many government, legal, and corporate clients. Again, the range of this activity is broad, from speech analysis and voice identification, to verification of the speaker of Winston Churchill’s recorded speeches, to expert testimony on the sounds of buoys bells. Much of our current consulting work is focused on supporting the research efforts of academic and clinical partners.

Sensimetrics has always aimed at converting its research efforts into useful products. The company’s first product, Speech Station, was one of the earliest speech analysis programs, and was highly-regarded for the clarity of the spectrograms it produced. Subsequent licensed technology and products were developed in otoacoustic emission measurement, speech synthesis, and computer-based teaching tools, among others. Sensimetrics’ current products focus on tools for audiology, hearing assistance, and auditory research.

Today, Sensimetrics comprises an energetic and multi-talented staff of scientists, engineers, and media designers. They, the Sensimetrics 27 years on from its founding, continue to strive for excellence and innovation in research, consulting, and product development in human communication.