The MdM program has a specific program to increase the impact of tech and knowledge transfer activities at the Department in general, and of the María de Maeztu projects in particular.

Collider - Mobile World Capital Award at PhD Workshop 2017 and PhD workshop 2018 for technology transfer perspectives

Development of the Rocket platform for collaborative clinical studies
The Rocket platform is a web-based platform that was originally designed for the visualization and processing of multi-modal imaging and meta-data of cardiac patients to allow the exploration of common data by clinicians and engineers, as part of an European project (VP2HF)..[+]

Scientific Text Mining and Summarization Services
Nowadays, researchers, publishers, funding institutions, as well as any other interested actor, are overwhelmed by the amount of scientific contents available online..[+]

Sustainable Freesound
The goal of the project is to make Freesound..[+]

Sustainable Open Science Integrated Learning Design Environment - ILDE
Developed iteratively over the past 8 years and tested by over 8 educational communities (educational centers, training units, transversal initiatives), involving over 1000 participants, this technological infrastructure enables the modelling and sharing of learning designs with the aim of fostering communities of educators collaborating through learning designs to improve the quality of education..[+]

Technology, industry and society Technology, industry and society


In order to support this program, a number of specific talks are organised, bringing diverse stakeholders active in the innovation ecosystem. Check also the closely related talks about Reproducibility and the ongoing Industrial PhD projects.

May 24th 15;30h. How to do good experiments online / Good practices for online experiments. PhD Seminars. Room 55.309. Slides


User experiments can be crucial for researchers who need to evaluate methods involving humans, or gather human-generated data. The Web has created an alternative to expensive lab experiments: online and crowdsourcing experiments are valuable resources for research which can bring many advantages. However, online experiments introduce different challenges which need to be addressed carefully in order to be accurately performed. This seminar aims at sharing good practices when performing online-based experiments as well as crowdsourcing research. First this talk will give an overview of the ways in which online experiments can be used. Then, the following researchers from the department will present their work and share valuable advices:

  • Xavier Favory will present Freesound Datasets, a collaborative platform for the creation of open audio datasets.
  • Maria Rauschenberger will draw your attention to  possible pitfalls and lessons learned from conducting a online experiment for children at the age of 7 till 12 for different languages with a web-game.
  • Davinia Hernández-Leo will present the Integrated Learning Design Environment 2 (ILDE2), a community platform for learning design.

Background material

Making better use of the crowd. NIPS 2016, ACL 2017, and KDD 2017

Instructor: Jenn Wortman Vaughan  

Software Licencing and Open Source tooling workshops

Malcolm Bain, idLaw partners

April 5th, 2018 15:30h - 17:30h introduction to software licensing (room 52.219, Roc Boronat 138, open seminar - no registration required). Slides.

When using and developing open source software, there are a number of considerations to take into account that go beyond the pure technical aspects. Malcolm Bain will introduce and review the legal aspects of using and developing open source software, with a focus on licensing, license choice and license compliance obligations with distributing products that are or embed open source components. 

Malcolm Bain is an English solicitor and Spanish lawyer, specialising in Information Technology and Intellectual Property law, and co-founder of id law partners (now part of BGMA, a Barcelona based law firm). He has a wide experience representing clients on both sides of IT transactions, and advises on licensing, software contracts, technology transfer, copyright, privacy and trademark issues. He has participated in various R+D projects and written and lectured on many aspects of IT law, e-commerce and internet regulation.

April 17th, 2018 Open Source compliance for engineers (room 54.007, registration per invitation, contact us if interested)


Matins maker: Co-creating the district and the productive city, Barcelona City Council

March 15th, 2018, 10h - 13h. Details



Music Technology for STEAM Education

Dr. Aggelos Gkiokas, Postdoctoral Research Associate & Kosmas Kritsis, Research Associate.Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP), Athena Research and Innovation Center

March 12th 2018,15:30h, Room 55.410

The educational movement of STEAM is about bringing Arts at the heart of the academic curriculum in order to cultivate creative skills of young people, alongside with the knowledge and skills they acquire in STEM fields (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). As a STEAM-oriented solution, the iMuSciCA project (Interactive Music Science Collaborative Activities) presents an interdisciplinary pedagogy framework that connects different disciplines with each other on an inquiry and collaborative manner. It directly addresses the current requirements in education and learning for new pedagogical methodologies and innovative educational technology tools by supporting active, discovery-based, personalized and more engaging learning, while providing students and teachers with opportunities for collaboration, co-creation and collective knowledge building. iMuSciCA offers a suite of software tools and services mostly related to music which are built on top of new enabling technologies, and are integrated on a web-based platform that delivers interactive music activities to secondary school students with the aim to support mastery of core academic content on STEM subjects (Physics, Geometry, Mathematics, and Technology). Enabling technologies, including interactive pen on touchpad, 3D object design and printing, as well as new multimodal interfaces that combine advanced music generation and processing, are deployed in order to implement a web-based workbench aiming at STEAM learning. The contribution of the Institute for Language and Speech Processing in the iMuSciCA project involves the development of methods for interacting with virtual music instruments using camera sensors, the development of advanced real-time visualization tools for music analysis, the deployment of algorithmic composition methods for enhancing music creativity as well as applying conventional Music Information Retrieval techniques in the context of a STEAM education platform.


The power of ordinary people in the Web - Studying quality and inequalities in User Generated Content

Diego Sáez-Trumper. Wikimedia Foundation

March 8th 2018, 15:30h. Room 55.410

Internet utopia came with the promise of democratize the access to knowledge, and allows to create, share and receive free information. But after 26 years of the releasing of the first Web Browser, how is people producing, receiving, and propagating information in the Internet? In this talk, I will introduce my work on the usage of massive data processing (a.k.a Data Science) for studying digital prints of human behavior, as well as discuss how Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can be used to empower people on the digital era, specially in  the context of a free knowledge community, where we want to use those techniques not to replace, but to support human judgment.

Diego Sáez-Trumper is a Research Scientist at Wikimedia Foundation. Before, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Yahoo! Labs (Barcelona) and Research Scientist at Eurecat , Data Scientist at NTENT, and part time lecturer at UPF. He holds a diploma on Acoustic Engineering (Universidad Austral de Chile, 2006) and  obtained his Phd in Information Technology from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2013) under the supervision of Dr. Ricardo Baeza-Yates. During his PhD he interned at Qatar Computing Research Institute, University of Cambridge  and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil.


Extending Minds and Machines

Karina Vold (Cambridge)
March 7th 2018, 15:30h, Room 55.410

Traditional cognitive science subscribes to the computational theory of mind, which says that our thoughts are realized by neural computations, or symbol manipulations, carried out by our brains. Philosophers Clark and Chalmers (1998) roughly accept the computational theory of mind but argue that when we use tools, such as smartphones and tablets, they can become seamlessly integrated into our cognitive processes such that computations in the tools are just as essential to our cognition as computations in our brain: smartphones extend our cognition. The ‘extended mind thesis’ is an increasingly popular view in philosophy of mind and cognition. It maintains not only that technologies can compensate for biological deficiencies, but also that technologies can augment our minds and enhance our biologically bound cognitive capacities, making us smarter and more capable agents (e.g. Sutton 2007; Menary 2007).

Given our cognitive reliance on technology, recent advancements in artificial intelligence may be cause for concern. The outcomes of algorithms can have adverse effects on human-decision making: take the case of biased risk-assessment algorithms used to predict recidivism rates and inform judges in parole decisions. Furthermore, machines now have goals, or desired outcomes, of their own and depending on what these goals are, humans might be a good means to achieve those outcomes. The more we build machines to have human-like general intelligence the more likely it seems that machines may move beyond their intended, or original, hardware base to make use of tools to complete their tasks, just as we have. This might not be a bad thing, but one concern is whether us humans will be their tools of choice. Thus, we might need to protect humans from being used, nudged, or manipulated by machines.


Karina Vold is a Research Associate at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and Research Fellow in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge where she works on the Agency and Personhood Project. She specializes in philosophy of mind and cognitive science and is currently interested in cognitive extension, machine agency, and consciousness.


Adapting research capabilities to industry

Aleix Ruiz de Villa

February 8th 2018, 15:30h. Room 55.410

Going from academy to industry is not a trivial path. Quite often personal and social expectations do not match entirely. We will share some experiencies about personal and social motivations. We will talk about the relevance of understanding the context before taking decisions. We will introduce how research capabalities may be a key ingredient in industry and finally highlight some fallacies we will possibly find during the process. 


Building Machine Learning Models to Value Heterogeneous Transactions in a Multi-Dimensional Customer-Vendor Relationship

Gabriel Silberman (director of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology and Chief Scientist at Cerebri AI)

January 24th 2018, 15:30h. Room 55.309.

Customer data​ gathered by enterprises is on the rise and being used to understand customer journeys for many purposes. ​At Cerebri AI we created an approach for using this data, in addition to demographics and other factors, events and transactions, to build supervised and ​unsupervised machine learning models to​assess how a customer values a vendor, its products and services​, at any point in time​​.​ The result is something we call Cerebri Values, and they provide a view of the vendor from a customer's perspective.

The methodology used to create Cerebri Values enables a proportionate attribution of transactions to events in a customer journey, normalized by the amount of actual purchases and expressed as a monetary value. This allows the detailed design of cost-effective, one-to-one marketing campaigns.

The talk will describe the rationale behind Cerebri Values, how they are built and how they are being used in understanding customers in the automotive space. If time allows we will also discuss how a similar approach may be used to detect bias in machine learning models built to support decision making.


A brief 18 year career in music understanding

Brian Whitman (formerly co-founder of The Echo Nest, Principal Scientist of Spotify)

November 29th 2017, 15:30h. Room 55.309

In 1999 I put a somewhat stalled electronic music career on hold to investigate how people were discovering new artists. I was especially interested in how very independent and niche music was getting noticed. Could the new methods of digital distribution at the time allow for greater scale and reach of all types of styles and genres of music? Could natural language processing, signal processing and machine learning play a role in understanding music? Two graduate degrees, a few stints in research labs, a startup, seventy employees, fifty customers, a large acquisition, 150 million active users of our technology and eighteen years later, I've left Spotify to focus on something new. I'm giving a brief talk to discuss what I've learned about the field, how big academic ideas translated into the marketplace, and what could be next. This will be a very informal group discussion.


mVentures - The Collider 2017-18 program

September 14th 2017, 12h. Room 55.410. Interviews with speakers available upon request (contact mVentures directly, or Aurelio Ruiz to arrange it)


Design for creative play. Thanks to U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, in the context of the cooperation for the American Space

Eric Rosenbaum. Scratch Team at MIT Media Lab. Co-inventor of Makey Makey.

April 25th 2017, 10:30h. Room 55.309

Eric Rosenbaum will describe some of the works he has been working on recently, including live demos for some of them, and will establish a discussion with PhD students around the challenges in achieving sustainable social impact from research activities.


Tech transfer in the context of Open Science

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

March 9th 2017, 15:30h-16:30h. Room 55.309

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). Slides.



Alex Posada, co-founder of Oval Sound.

March 9th 2017, 12:00h – 13:00h. Room 55.410

Founded in 2014 by Ravid Goldschmidt and Alex Posada in Barcelona (Spain), OVAL SOUND is the music technology startup behind Oval, the first digital Handpan ever developed. The project was launched via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and to this day remains one of the most successful campaigns on the platform in 2015.


SpectralEdge: from science to startup

Roberto Montagna. Principal R&D Engineer. SpectralEdge

March 3rd 2017, 12:30h-13:30h. Room 52.s29

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.


"Transferring our knowledge to the society"
Jordi Arias and Manuel Palacin. Mobile World Capital Barcelona (mVenturesBcn)

December 21st 2016, 10h-10:30h

Room 55.410. Roc Boronat 138 (Tànger building)

In this talk we will present a new transference programme that accompanies entrepreneurs from the best national universities and research centres in the tedious task of approaching technologies from lab to the market. The programme challenge is to help researchers and technologists to bridge the gap between discovery and commercialisation of their technologies to build marketable products and create high growth science based businesses. To complement the research activities of the investigators, the programme provides a scientific core team led by entrepreneurs in residence that will be in charge of mobilising internal resources as well as external collaborators whenever needed, freeing scientists from the business side and letting them focus on what they do best, research.