Gumerov and Duraiswami Receive Funding from Facebook Reality Labs

Gumerov and Duraiswami Receive Funding from Facebook Reality Labs

A team of spatial audio experts in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) were recently awarded $270K in research funding from Facebook Reality Labs—the social media giant’s research and development division focused on virtual and augmented reality software and hardware.

Senior research scientist Nail Gumerov and professor of computer science Ramani Duraiswami will use the funding to better model and troubleshoot 2D and 3D audio technologies.

Their efforts will be focused on improving mathematical models to calculate the Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF), a computational tool used to simulate the human perception of auditory signals.

These simulations are a vital component to understanding how a user perceives the location of sound while immersed in a virtual reality headset, say the researchers. The HRTF can be calculated by applying the boundary element method (BEM) on the geometry of a listener’s head and ear.

However, simulations of HRTFs are unreliable because they can contain many numerical errors depending on how they’ve been implemented. Currently, there is no systematic or rigorous way to study these errors.

Gumerov and Duraiswami will combine their previous HRTF research with fast computational methods to solve the partial differential equations of acoustic scattering.

“We are rigorously evaluating and suggesting improvements to computational acoustic algorithms,” Duraiswami says.

The combination of these modeling and algorithmic techniques enables the computation of HRTFs in seconds, in contrast to the hours of time required by conventional techniques, say the researchers.

The UMIACS researchers have prior experience working on audio solutions with Facebook Reality Labs, which is the new name of Oculus, the pioneering VR startup that was bought by Facebook in 2014.

VisiSonics, a UMD-based startup founded by Duraiswami, licensed its 3D audio technology to Oculus in 2014, allowing for a truly immersive audio and visual experience.

Original story written by Maria Herd

May 12, 2021

Prev   Next

Current Headlines

University of Maryland Research Enterprise Ranked Among Top 10 Publics in NSF Higher Education R&D Survey

QTC-MITRE Collaboration Receives Best Paper Award at EDFAS 2020

University of Maryland Awarded $2M SBA Grant for Veterans Business Outreach Center

Triple Galaxy Merger Sends Mixed Signals

In Black Radical Artists, Professor Finds Methods to the ‘Madness’

University of Maryland Announces Updated Guidance for Conducting Research

UMD Takes Second in VFS Design-Build-Vertical-Flight Competition

Barbershops to Cut Through Vaccine Hesitancy

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts


social iconstwitterlinkedinrssYouTube
Division of Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541
© Copyright 2021 University of Maryland

Did You Know

UMD is ranked No. 19 among public universities by the U.S. News & World Report and No. 7 among all universities by The Princeton Review's “Top Schools for Entrepreneurship Programs.”