Wanda Diaz Merced
May 6, 2021 12:00PM
Registration Details Coming Soon
Wanda Díaz-Merced is an astronomer and the leading proponent of sonification of astrophysical data. When Wanda lost her sight in her early 20s, her dreams of studying stars in the visually oriented scientific world suffered a major setback -- until she discovered "sonification," a way to turn huge data sets into audible sound. She realized that she could use her ears to detect patterns in stellar radio data, and could uncover connections obscured by graphs and visual representation.
After receiving a bachelor's in Physics from the University of Puerto Rico. She continued to undertake astrophysical research at NASA Spaceflight Center, and completed a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She has held positions at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the South African Astronomical Observatory. She co-chaired the 2019 conference Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Wanda is an important voice and leader in increasing equality of access to astronomy and STEM.