Abstracts as MP3 Files
In keeping with its general policy of going beyond the ordinary, UMAP 2009 is introducing a new way to familiarize yourself with the papers that will be presented at the conference: With the help of high-quality speech synthesis, the abstracts that you will find on the page Detailed Program have been made into MP3 files that you can listen to away from the computer – for example, while walking or jogging outside or while cleaning up around the house.
Although it may take some getting used to, processing the abstracts of scientific papers in this way makes more sense in some respects than staring at them on the computer screen: It doesn’t take up any of your working time, and in fact you can afford to think as deeply as you like about the content of each paper, using pauses in the playback. (When is the last time you carefully read through all of the abstracts for a conference?)
Files to Download
The MP3 files are offered in two variants:
Warning About Driving
Listening to these abstracts while driving is not recommended, even if you can keep your hands free for driving: Because of their high information density, scientific abstracts tend to demand more concentration than, say, listening to the news or talking on the phone.
Note About Authors’ Names
The speech synthesis program sometimes mispronounces names that are not common in the English-speaking world. We apologize in advance to authors whose names are mispronounced, and we hope they will agree that it is still worthwhile to have their abstracts distributed in this way.
Comments and Requests
There has not been time yet for systematic user testing of this way of presenting abstracts, so your feedback is welcome concerning things like:
Suggestions may lead to the generation of new versions of the MP3 files.
Please add any comments, questions, or suggestions using the “Add new comment” or “Reply” links below. Your comment will be listed as coming from “Anonymous”, but if you like you can put your name in the comment itself. The comment will appear on the page within about a day, after it has been determined not to be spam.