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“Tinkering is fooling around with phenomena, tools, and materials. It’s whimsical, enjoyable, fraught with dead ends, and ultimately about inquiry.” The Art of Tinkering
Fiddling, playfulness, and tinkering. These approaches, attitudes, and instruments of inquiry are fundamental to polymathic praxis. As professor of electrical engineering, professor of computer science, professor of linguistics, professor of pediatrics, and professor of psychology, Shri Narayanan is a paragon polymath who tinkers across his multiple fields of expertise with epic results. SAIL, an institute that Professor Narayanan created and directs, supports a collaborative interdisciplinary environment and bridges research from several departments and schools both within and outside USC. “Freedom of ideas and thought” and “work hard and play hard” are principles held at SAIL that promote a culture of tinkering, inquiry, innovation, and problem solving. Join Professor Narayanan in conversation about the processes of play he employs in his research and explore with him the promise of polymathic tinkering.
Shri Narayanan, Andrew J. Viterbi Professor of Engineering
Shri Narayanan is the Andrew J. Viterbi Professor of Engineering and holds joint appointments in computer science, linguistics, and psychology. Professor Narayanan is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Eta Kappa Nu, and he holds the first Viterbi Professorship in Engineering at USC. Professor Narayanan’s research interests are truly polymathic and focus on signals and systems modeling with an interdisciplinary emphasis on speech, audio, language, multimodal and biomedical problems and applications with direct societal relevance.