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Featured research

Faculty members in the School secure funding from Canadian Research Councils, Quebec Research Councils, and international and private funding sources. This page features recently funded SIS faculty research projects.

For a more comprehensive list of recent research activities, visit the research areas & projects page.


Dr. Catherine Guastavino

NSERC Discovery Grant (2013-2018)
Upper Limits of Auditory Motion Perception
Principal Investigator

This research program investigates the relative contribution of different perceptual mechanisms used to localize sounds as they move around the listener.

One of the major challenges to the auditory system in everyday listening is to track moving sound sources to predict their future path, e.g. an approaching car or a buzzing mosquito. To date, auditory motion perception has been largely understudied due to the complications of laboratory setups. This research will benefit theory formation in cognitive science by refining auditory models. As well, it will have practical benefits for: spatial sound reproduction: to determine the necessary and sufficient cues to recreate sound movements; multimodal installations: to enhance user immersion and engagement; auditory alarms: using motion to draw attention to specific sounds.

NSERC Engage Grant (2014-2015)
Spatialized and Interactive Artificial Binaural Reverberation
Principal Investigator

In virtual environments, a high-quality interactive audio presentation of the acoustic environment plays a significant role in the perception of the virtual space. Emerging video game and interactive media peripherals will soon provide consumers with a highly immersive virtual reality experience through the use of stereoscopic displays and head-tracking.

This project, in partnership with industry partner Audiokinetic, will develop a next-generation algorithm which produces interactive, head-tracked reverberation for an acoustic approximation of virtualized listening environments. This advancement will increase the sensation of users’ immersion in 3D virtual environments through realistic audio production.  

C. Guastavino faculty page




Dr. Charles-Antoine Julien

NSERC Discovery Grant (2014-2019)
Improving Retrieval of Unstructured Information using Existing Information Structures
Principal Investigator

This project aims to improve the performance of information discovery tools used to meet digital information needs by developing novel online information searching tools. These tools will alleviate vocabulary mismatch problems by using existing organized information collections (e.g., scientific, library, business or personal information collections) integrated with Web searching. The research will result in novel information seeking features; for example, a library collection can suggest new keywords that better describe users’ Web searching needs, and Web searching results can direct users towards promising subjects from a library catalogue.

FQRSC New Researcher Grant (2013-2016)
A Novel Library Collection Browsing and Information Retrieval Tool
Principal Investigator

This project aims to develop a novel kind of online library catalogue that integrates keyword searching with an interactive visual representation of the topic hierarchy that describes the collection. The resulting tool may help users to explore organized information collections and discover new promising topics.

McGill Internal SSHRC Grant (2013-2014)
Social Network Visualization to Facilitate Subject Browsing in Library Collections

Principal Investigator

This short term project aims to explore how users could interact with visual representations showing the true shape of subject structures (i.e., lattices) that provide access to much of the world’s organized information collections. Searchers may eventually be able to see and explore the different ways in which subjects are related to one another to find the topic they are seeking or discover new ones.

C.-A Julien faculty page


Dr. Elaine Ménard

SSHRC Grant (2011-2014)
Modeling of an Interface Dedicated to Digital Image Retrieval in a Bilingual Context
Principal Investigator

The research program will develop an interface model for image retrieval in a bilingual (French and English) context, that is, when the query language differs from the indexing language.

The overarching goal is to investigate the characteristics and functionalities necessary to support image retrieval in a bilingual context, and to integrate these characteristics and functionalities into a comprehensive yet flexible interface model.

By taking into account the needs and expectations of real users, the main outcome of this research will be the establishment of a framework that will contribute to design efforts and help many groups of image searchers to browse and search for images, since an appropriately designed interface could be crucial to their success in finding the needed images.

E. Ménard faculty page


Dr. Karyn Moffatt

NSERC Discovery Grant (2012-2017)
Socially-Informed Accessible Technology: Improving Access to Technology, Information, and People
Principal Investigator

This project researches accessible technology for users with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities, with a goal to develop new generation assistive devices and accessible technologies that are sensitive to the social environments within which they will be used, and that seek to leverage those relationships to improve assistance and support.

Google Faculty Research Award (2014-2015)
Supporting Communication for Persons with Aphasia via Contextual Prompting on a Heads-Up Display
Co-Principle Investigator

This project will develop a new form of communication support tool using Google Glasses. People with aphasia experience reduced ability to use or understand words, which can result in the sudden loss of lifelong language skills. The project will provide unobtrusive vocabulary prompting to give support for users right where it is needed, providing critical support to assist individuals with aphasia to regain independence and quality of life.

FQRNT New Researchers Start Up Program grant (2012-2014) 
Advancing Accessible Computing by Considering Real World Use
Principal Investigator

This project aims to advance accessible computing for older adults through the study of real world computer use.

K. Moffatt faculty page


Dr. Eun Park

McGill Internal SSHRC Grant (2014-2016)
Linked Historical Collections as Networked Knowledge

Principal Investigator

This project focuses on developing a semantically linked ontology model in an OWL and RDF repository for large historical collections. The project's new approach will explicitly reconceptualise and restructure historical collections in a more dynamic, interactive and iterative manner to consider historical resources as networked knowledge. The research will benefit academic and non-academic communities across a variety of fields by increasing collaboration and dissemination in an open-access linked data web.

E. Park faculty page