Research Seminars









2nd, March

15:30 hours


Invited Research Seminar

Geraint A. Wiggins Creativity, deep symbolic learning, and the information dynamics of thinking


I present a hypothetical theory of cognition which is based on the principle that mind/brains are information processors and compressors, that are sensitive to certain measures of information content, as defined by Shannon (1948). The model is intended to help explicate processes of anticipatory and creative reasoning in humans and other higher animals. The model is motivated by the evolutionary value of prediction in information processing in an information-overloaded world.

The Information Dynamics of Thinking (IDyOT) model brings together symbolic and non-symbolic cognitive architectures, by combining sequential modelling with hierarchical symbolic memory, in which symbols are grounded by reference to their perceptual correlates. This is achieved by a process of chunking, based on boundary entropy, in which each segment of an input signal is broken into chunks, each of which corresponds with a single symbol in a higher level model. Each chunk corresponds with a temporal trajectory in the complex Hilbert space given by a spectral transformation of its signal; each symbol above each chunk corresponds with a point in a higher space which is in turn a spectral representation of the lower space. Norms in the spaces admit measures of similarity, which allow grouping of categories of symbol, so that similar chunks are associated with the same symbol. This chunking process recurses “up” IDyOT’s memory, so that representations become more and more abstract.

It is possible to construct a Markov Model along a layer of this model, or up or down between layers. Thus, predictions may be made from any part of the structure, more or less abstract, and it is in this capacity that IDyOT is claimed to model creativity, at multiple levels, from the construction of sentences in everyday speech to the improvisation of musical melodies.

IDyOT’s learning process is a kind of deep learning, but it differs from the more familiar neural network formulation because it includes symbols that are explicitly grounded in the learned input, and its answers will therefore be explicable in these terms.

In this talk, I will explain and motivate the design of IDyOT with reference to various different aspects of music, language and speech processing, and to animal behaviour.

Short Bio >>

Computational Creativity Lab
Queen Mary University of London

Xavier Serra


3rd, March

12:30 hours


PhD Research Seminar Roberto Montagna SpectralEdge: from science to startup.


Spectral Edge is both the name of a theorem and the name of a UK-based startup company. This talk will give a brief overview of the Spectral Edge core technology, which revolves around the theorem, and then will try to give an account of the challenges that Spectral Edge (the company) has faced and is facing in growing out of the academic environment.

Short Bio >>

Roberto Montagna is Principal R&D Engineer for Spectral Edge Ltd. He studied computer science in Verona (Italy), where he was awarded a MSc degree in 2007, and went on to enrol in a doctorate programme at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) under the supervision of Prof Graham Finlayson. During this time he worked on various aspects of colour image processing. He was awarded a PhD degree in 2011, and started working for Spectral Edge Ltd immediately after.

Javier Vazquez Corral

9th, March

15:30 hours


PhD Research Seminar Xavier Serra Tech transfer in the context of Open Science.


Discussion about the new roles that technology transfer at universities is creating in the context of Open Science, and of specific initiatives driven by the MTG group, such as Essentia (technology licensing), Music Muni (Spin-off) and the Freesound API (Saas)

Short Bio >>

Xavier Serra. Music Technology Group and Scientific Director of the MdM Strategic Research Program.

Aurelio RuiZ

20th April


Room 52.s29

Invited Research Seminar Daniel Schachter Models for composition including instruments, and live electronics. Unity and understanding of musical discourse beyond the rupture of the time axis


Musical discourse has always been more or less strictly related to the diachronic temporal axis that defines the sequence of events in a clear and definite line with very small alterations as a result of interpretation and rarely to the temporal ordering of the elements involved. In this way, the time axis has become a central and distinctive element of Musical Language, which has not happened for example with the Plastic Arts where the concept of Time is completely different, so that a painting or sculpture exposed to the public will have no other time than the one decided by the observer.

This research project will work around alternative ways of expression in the field of mixed instrumental-electroacoustic music, around the idea that it is possible to completely alter the diachronic temporal axis of musical discourse, considering multiple approaches in both the instrumental and the electroacoustic parts but always maintaining the perception of unity of the musical composition which makes us possible to recognize it as such.

Short Bio >>

Composer and researcher, born in Buenos Aires in 1953. Professor at the National University of Lanús (UNLa, Argentina) where he is also director of the UNLa’s Research Centre for Sonic and Audiovisual Arts (CEPSA). He taught electroacoustic composition at the Julian Aguirre Conservatory in Buenos Aires for almost 20 years and established the conservatory’s Electroacoustic Studio. He is a founder and Board Member of the RedASLA (Network for Latinamerican Sonic Arts) created in Santiago, Chile (2005). 

Andres Lewin


Research Seminars Archives >>

If you are interested in giving a Research Seminar or you would like to invite a speaker please fill in the following form RSDetails Form >>