Spring 2015 Updates

May 2015 - Job Posting - Tech Support Specialist and Lab Computer Manager/Consultant

The Language and Brain Lab (LAB lab) in the Linguistics Department at SFU is looking for a part time tech support specialist and computer manager/consultant. Under the supervision of the lab director, Dr Yue Wang, you will be supporting approximately 15 users, mostly in a Windows environment, with some Mac clients. You must have excellent communication skills and be comfortable working in an academic and research environment. Some knowledge of Linux and Windows server administration is required.

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience with Windows desktop technical support
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills (Diagnostics of software and hardware issues)
  • Understanding of networking fundamentals
  • Familiarity with Mac OS X
  • Knowledge of PC hardware and repair

Bonus Qualifications

  • Good understanding of backup systems, using a variety of tools across platforms
  • Experience working with or managing Active Directory
  • Experience with Linux server administration
  • Good understanding of Linux command line and configuration tools
  • Experience working with experimental software (eg, EPrime, EEG)
  • PC building and repair experience
  • Good understanding of IT security fundamentals
  • Experience working with audio equipment (mixers and amplifiers)
  • Familiarity with Linux
  • Familiarity with Windows Server 2012

The position is part­time (approx. 10hrs/week), contract based, and is renewable on a per semester basis. Pay rate is commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Please send a resume with references to: Mathieu Dovan (​mda5@sfu.ca​) by 12:00PM June 5, 2015

Congratulations Keith!

As part of his PhD program, our Research Coordinator, Keith, has completed his first of two Qualifying Papers (QPs). Read the abstract below!

Title: The acoustic characteristics of clearly spoken English vowels

Abstract: Speakers naturally adopt clear speaking style when there is background noise or when listeners have hearing impairments. In order to understand the difference between a clear and a natural, conversational speaking style, the acoustic properties of clearly produced vowels have been widely studied. Overall, clear vowels are characterized by longer syllable and vowel duration, higher pitch, higher amplitude and an expanded vowel space defined by formant frequencies. A less explored area concerns the difference in the adaptations of tense and lax clear vowels, and talker’s response to various types of recognition errors that prompted their productions. This study attempted to explore the clear production of three pairs of English tense and lax vowels, in response to recognition errors. Prompted by an interactive computer program, 5 male and 5 female native speakers of Canadian English produced vowels in the context of /kVd/ in conversational and clear speaking styles and the acoustic properties of their productions were analyzed. This study had the following hypotheses: (1) there would be overall style effects consistent with previous findings; (2) Tense vowels would demonstrate a larger clear and conversational speech difference than lax vowels in terms of all measurements; (3) The vowel repeated after miscomprehension would be more different from the sound they are mistaken for. Results suggested that conversational-to-clear modifications generally followed previous findings, with the exception of F1 and F3. Tense vowels lengthened more than lax vowels when switching from conversational to clear speech. Contrary to the hypotheses, lax vowels yielded more conversational-to-clear modifications than tense vowels in spectral measures. Moreover, acoustic-phonetic modifications did not change as a function of recognition errors.

The LABlab Welcomes 2 New Members!

This semester, we welcome an MA Graduate - Eleanor Hendriks and a BA Student - Jennifer Williams as Research Assistants. We look forward to working with you both!

Congratulations Courtney!

We are pleased to announce that our former Research Assistant, Courtney, has been accepted into the Masters of Speech Language Pathology program at UBC for Fall 2015!

Congratulations Sylvia!

Our Research Assistant, Sylvia, has been accepted to start her PhD in our lab and Linguistics at SFU. More details to come!