Dinoj Surendran

This page is a placeholder while I move my pages from my old University of Chicago site to Microsoft Research.


I am a Zimbrindian at Microsoft Research's Next Media Group working on data curation for the WorldWide Telescope.

I got my doctorate in computer science in December 2007 from the University of Chicago, where I worked in the intersection of computational linguistics and applied machine learning - quantifying the importance of phonological contrasts and investigating voice quality as a source of new acoustic information for recognizing tones in Mandarin Chinese. My advisor was Gina-Anne Levow, and the other members of my committee were Partha Niyogi and Chilin Shih. Here's my Ph.D. thesis (and data), which considers the following questions:

While in graduate school, I was part of what was fondly described as a "guerrilla astronomy visualization group" called COSMUS with some astronomy/outreach types at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, the University of Chicago Astronomy Department, and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum . We created stereo 3d interactive animations of the large scale structure of the universe, cosmic ray showers, and other astronomy datasets. These have since been used as visuals at a couple of museums, a NASA hi-def documentary, several classrooms, and Astronomy and Science magazines (see image to right).

My other hobby in grad school was using astronomy visualization packages to visualize the results of machine learning algorithms.

Wondering what Zimbrindian means? Ethnically I'm Indian, culturally I'm British, and I grew up in Zimbabwe.

I enjoy table tennis, reading Bujold, cycling very very slowly on flat ground, and pointing out the cloud that accompanies every silver lining.

Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. - W.C. Fields

World Time Zones : Seattle Area Weather


Non-First-Author Publications

Technical Reports

All are from the University of Chicago Computer Science Department unless otherwise stated.

Non-research publications are listed on the Writing page.


Here are presentations I've been involved in. I was the one doing the talking, unless otherwise mentioned. I need to add the WWT-related ones.