About Me


Mary Pietrowicz
IBM Thomas J Watson Research Center
Postdoctoral Researcher

I study human expression. My research explores expression-driven systems with the following three goals: 1) discovering how people perceive and produce human expression, 2) developing machine models for human expression and embodied interaction, and 3) validating the resulting models in the context of applications.

I focus on applications and systems which enhance a person’s creative, expressive capabilities, enable novel human interaction with physical systems, or promote health and wellness by leveraging the the bidirectional relationship between human wellness and expressivity. I’m interested in all modalities of human expression; however, much of my work has a sonic, linguistic, or kinetic element. I believe that these modalities are under-explored in comparison with the visual realm. I’ve also had training in music and dance, and see many opportunities for interdisciplinary discovery and creative collaboration across the computer science, engineering, linguistics, communication, and the arts. See my research page for details about my projects, and see my interactive art page for a summary of my creative projects.

I worked in industry and academia on various research and development projects for over 20 years before returning to school to study for my PhD. See my  CV for project highlights and a summary of my work history. I studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois, advised by Prof. Karrie Karahalios and Prof. Mark Hasegawa-Johnson.

Contact me at marybp@gmail.com .

Selected Publications

Mary Pietrowicz, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, and Karrie Karahalios, “Discovering Dimensions of Perceived Vocal Expression in Semi-structured, Unscripted Oral History Accounts,” International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2017.

Mary Pietrowicz, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, and Karrie Karahalios, “ Acoustic correlates for perceived effort levels in male and female acted voices,” J Acoust Soc am Aug;142(2) pp 792-811 (2017).

Mary Pietrowicz, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, and Karrie Karahalios, “Acoustic Correlates for Perceived Effort Levels in Expressive Speech,” INTERSPEECH 2015.

Mary Pietrowicz and Karrie Karahalios,”Visualizing Vocal Expression,”CHIEA 2014.

Mary Pietrowicz, Danish Chopra, Amin Sadeghi, Puneet Chandra, Brian Bailey, and Karrie Karahalios, ” CrowdBand: An Automated Crowdsourcing Sound Composition System,” Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP) 2013.

Jennifer Kim, Melinda Snodgrass, Mary Pietrowicz, Karrie Karahalios, and Jim Halle, “BEDA: Visual analytics for behavioral and physiological data,” Visual Analytics in Health Care (VAHC) 2013.

Mary Pietrowicz and Karrie Karahalios, “Sonic Shapes: Visualizing Vocal Expression,” International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD) 2013.

Mary Pietrowicz and Karrie Karahalios, “Phonetic Shapes: An Interactive, Sonic Guest Book,” CHIEA 2012.

Mary Pietrowicz, Robert E. McGrath, Guy Garnett, and John Toenjes, “Multimedia Gestural Interaction in Performance,” Workshop on Whole Body Interfaces, CHI 2010.

Robert E. McGrath, Mary Pietrowicz, Ben Smith, and Guy Garnett, “Transforming Human Interaction with Virtual Worlds,” Workshop on Computational Creativity Support, CHI 2009.

“Special Edition, Using Java,” First Edition, Que Publishing (contributed book chapter), 1996