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Alison Bernice Ma (b. 1998) is a Master's of Science Music Technology student and recipient of the College of Design Dean's Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology (expected August 2022), where she participates as a member of the Music Informatics Group research lab under Dr. Alexander Lerch. Previous degrees include a Bachelor's of Music in Electronic Production and Design and minor in Sound Design for Video Games from the Berklee College of Music, where she was the recipient of the Max Mathews Award (2019).

As a graduate student, Alison's research interests reside within the field of digital signal processing, music information retrieval, and machine learning for musical applications. Her efforts are motivated by her desire to discover uncharted heights of sonic inspiration, reduce repetitive tasks so that creativity always takes precedence, and understand the fundamental building blocks that makeup sound. Most recently, Alison has been developing her knowledge in the meta- or continual-learning of sound databases. She spends her free time reading up on methods to develop automatic tools catered toward the personalization of an individual user's sound library for post-production and game audio applications; not just large databases of sound. Most recently, her Master's project research work supervised by Dr. Alexander Lerch, "Representation Learning for the Automatic Indexing of Sound Effects Libraries", was accepted at the prestigious 23rd International Society for Music Information Retrieval conference hosted in Bengaluru, India (ISMIR 2022).

As a sound designer, Alison is always looking to discover new possibilities for layering, mangling, and morphing sounds. Primarily, she loves to apply her sound design skills in interactive media and game audio applications. She finds implementing sound in games equally as enjoyable as actually designing the sound assets themselves. On the side, Alison currently enjoys exploring sound design in Georgia Tech's Sonification Research Lab. Furthermore, one of her experimental 2-channel sound design works for DSP & voice, Engulf, was presented at the SEAMUS conference at the University of Virginia in 2020.

Fun facts about Alison:

  • Go-to instrument: Modular synths!

  • Favorite kind of plug-in: Saturation (post-2021)

  • Guilty pleasure: Organizing anything..., especially research papers; And the new UI sounds that came with the MacOS Monterey update.

  • Latest sound design discovery: GRM Tools Shift for robot voices

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