Cynthia Liem

I am an assistant professor at the Multimedia Computing Group and obtained my BSc and MSc degree in Media and Knowledge Engineering (Computer Science) at the TU Delft in 2007 and 2009, respectively, after which I continued pursuing a PhD at the same institution. Besides, I obtained the BMus (2009) and MMus (2011) degree in classical piano performance at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. On the border between these two worlds, I was the chamber music commissioner of the 2009-2010 board of the Delft Student Music Society Krashna Musika.

My research interests have strongly been motivated by my background in both engineering and music and concentrate around multimedia content analysis for the music information retrieval domain. Having finished an MSc thesis on audio-based cover song retrieval, I continued conducting my PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Alan Hanjalic. Here, I worked on exploiting multiple sources of digital music data in a multifaceted way, to get more insight into artistic and connotative aspects of music content. A possible application of this is non-linear previewing of music and music videos through multimodal and cross-performance cues. Another application is that of associating music across modalities to other information streams, such as video.

Part of my PhD research work was sponsored through the Google European Doctoral Fellowship in Multimedia, of which I was a recipient in June 2010, being among the first generation of doctoral fellowships in Europe and the first named Fellow in Multimedia worldwide. This fellowship is an unrestricted gift, and the work resulting from it is independent from and unaffiliated with the company. I am very grateful to Google for thus having provided me with the means to explore and investigate new and intriguing directions on the borders of music and multimedia here at the Multimedia Computing Group. In addition, I also am grateful for the multiple wonderful internship experiences that the company granted to me.

In 2011, I initiated and co-organized the 1st International Workshop on Music Information Retrieval with User-Centered and Multimodal Strategies (MIRUM), a full-day workshop in conjunction with the ACM Multimedia conference. In 2012, MIRUM saw a very successful second edition at ACM Multimedia 2012. The workshop managed to raise and sustain interest for music- and audio-related work at the ACM Multimedia conference, which led to a dedicated Music and Audio submission area for ACM Multimedia 2013, which was continued in 2014.

In December 2012, I was very honored to become one of the recipients of the first edition of the UfD Best PhD Candidate Award. This is a university-wide, new award from Delft University of Technology, established to stimulate PhD candidates to excel in their research, and meant for a motivated PhD candidate at the TU Delft who is currently working on an innovative research design or topic, while also having a broader view of the implication of the research topic.

From February 2013, I had a considerable role in the EU FP7 STREP Project PHENICX (Performances as Highly Enriched aNd Interactive Concert eXperiences), in which multimedia and Internet technology was used to enrich and enhance the digitization of (classical) music performances, such that this form of cultural heritage can be preserved in novel ways.

In 2016, I was one of the top-5 nominees for the New Scientist Wetenschapstalent Prijs, recognizing young academic talent in The Netherlands and Belgium.

I also still am active as a performing pianist, most notably in the Magma Duo with violin player Emmy Storms, which won 1st prize at the international competition 'A Feast of Duos' in Sion, Switzerland, August 2014, and is laureate of the 2014-2015 Dutch Classical Talent Tour & Award career development program, leading to a national concert tour.