February 24, 2018

Voice Recognition – AI for Audio

Voice recognition is a prominent technology that is being used in more and more places today.

There is voice recognition for recognizing the speaker. This type of voice recognition is used for security (physical access and access to files in computer network). This is also evolving to give specific instructions/information to the speaker as well.

There is voice recognition for translation, as well. This allows for written transcripts of audio events. The benefits are not limited to ADA compliance but useful for translating into other languages and to have a searchable transcript of an event.

In both cases, artificial intelligence (AI) is utilized to have the computer learn and improve on its success of voice recognition.

While everyone has heard of Siri or Alexa for voice recognition, there are innovative uses far beyond the home or smartphone. One recent example is in forensics. A voiceprint can be created in less than two minutes of speech. Crime experts are now using voiceprints for identity of voices from wire taps. This application is unique in that it uses the sound of one’s voice rather than the shape or pattern. That means that a voice match can be found regardless of the language or accent of the person.

At UAT, we implement both of these types of voice recognition in our classes, such as AI, machine learning, and deep learning. Some of the examples of what our students have done are:

  • Coding by Voice – This allows visually impaired or those driving to speak their code. The cool part is that when you write a line a code then you can say “check” and it will make sure your syntax is correct or make suggestions on corrections.
  • Speech Analysis for Intent – When you send an email, write a blog, or read a news article, the content can be analyzed for intent – positive or negative. This could be used to find only positive new stories. This way, you could filter out the negative stories or blog posts. It could also be used in emailing your boss about a problem. This is important because in the written word, some meaning is lost without the actual interaction and this would help to insure that the message you want to convey has the proper intent.

Voice recognition is just one of the technologies that UAT students master – because we excel at implementing new technology as it occurs. UAT is truly a University of Advancing Technology.


Alumni Highlight: Gage Roland

Gage graduated from UAT in May 2017, as a dual major in Advancing Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction. As a student, Gage had a known presence at UAT as a veteran Student Ambassador, giving tours to new students and their families.

Gage was hired as a Data Analyst at Omni ePartners, a broker company that works with brands to sell products through Amazon US, Canada, Fresh, and other online vendors like Chewy.com and Walmart.

What Does A Data Analyst Do?

As a data analyst, Gage generates back-end reports from Amazon to find financial trends in the companies we work with.

Gage looks for losses in revenue which commonly come from shipping infractions. These infractions can be studied and fixed by creating reports to send to our supply-chain analyst team.

Gage is also in charge of data integrity of the company’s brands. He maintains all of the contracts, points of contact, invoice records, and billing of our partners. At any time, he usually manages the data/information of about 80 companies. Whoa!

How Did Your Major Prepare You?

Gage said his majors prepared him to think about multiple ways to solve problems, check over his work, and continuously reflect on how to be more efficient. A tip from Gage: easy to write programs that automate data in Excel sheets are not only easy, but it will impress your boss.

How Did You Get Hired?

“The real reason I got this job was with help from UAT’s Career Services. I found this job, applied, and interviewed on my own, but it was because of Ashley Murry’s help that I was successful. She helped me create the tools I needed like an awesome cover letter, a solid resume, and provided me with useful interview tips. It was my job to take these tools and use them.” Thank you, Ashley!

Do You Have Advice For Future Grads?

Do something while you aren’t doing anything. Meaning, even if you’re not in your dream position, be in a position somewhere. Having job history shows hiring managers that you are employable and disciplined.

My second recommendation is minding your job length. It’s easy to get carried away jumping from retail job to retail job, but the length of employment matters more than the number of companies you work for. It shows you’re not going to leave your dream job!

Lastly is the “overqualified” complex. Realistically, you’re as qualified as the job offers you get. You may miss an opportunity to grow into the position you want if you aren’t able to compromise for a position that you consider to be less than rockstar.

What Do You Miss About UAT?

“I miss my friends, teachers, and classes. UAT holds a special place in my heart as the first school that made me love to learn and to go beyond what is required. I met many amazing friends and faculty that have influenced me so significantly; I’d be scared to see where I was without them. UAT has played a considerable part on my identity, and I will never forget that.”

Congratulations Gage! We are proud of you.


7th Annual Tempe Geeks Night Out

It’s the time of year again! UAT is excited once again to participate and sponsor Tempe Geeks Night Out. UAT will have lots of cool tech to show off such as activities in Virtual Reality, Robotics, 3D Printing, Sustainability and Math!

Join Tempe’s Geeks Night Out in its 7th year running, presented by the Arizona Sci-Tech Festival showcasing all things STEAM-related.

If you don’t know what STEAM means, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. As technology becomes more and more immersed in today’s world, STEAM jobs will be in extremely high demand and luckily for UAT students, all of our majors offered are 100 percent STEAM.

Enthusiasts and Geeks of all ages are invited to Discover the Science at this free, family-friendly event. There will be live music and entertainment and more!

Thanks to the City of Tempe and State Farm for presenting the 7th annual Geeks Night Out. You can “Discover the Science” too! Join us at the Tempe Community Complex on Thursday, Mar. 1, from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

Follow Tempe Geeks Night Out on Facebook and Instagram to get excited for the event!

This Musical Tesla Coil Circuit Plays Tetris Theme Song

Musical Tesla Coil Circuit

Blog post by Robotics student Brandon Mickelsen

There’s always something awesome happening in the robotics lab at UAT. As a robotics major, it’s so much fun to be a part of it.

One of my most recent projects was something I’ve been meaning to build since high school, a musical Tesla Coil.

You may have heard of Tesla Coils. They’re essentially large coils of wire that steps up a low voltage power source into a much, much higher voltage – on the order of thousands of volts. The coils often produce a corona discharge (an electrical arc that looks like a purple flame) at one end, making a beautiful (but dangerous) light display. You can add audio to the circuit, causing the arc to produce sound.

It’s similar to how lightning produces thunder – the arc heats up the air around it, pushing the air molecules at a specific frequency (ex. the musical notes).

Check out the Musical Tesla Coil Circuit on YouTube.

My own design makes use of a Slayer-Exciter Tesla Coil circuit, which is just a transistor-based Tesla Coil. I paired it with an Arduino Uno to create the music.

Check out my project on Hackster.io.


UAT CCDC Team Places 3rd, Qualifying for Regionals

2018 CCDC Qualifier

The results are in! Out of 17 teams competing in the CCDC Qualifier, UAT had to place 8th or better…

UAT placed 3rd overall and took 1st in the defense category. Congrats to this amazing group of dedicated Network Security students.

Currently UAT is the top Arizona College coming out of the 2018 CCDC Qualifier. Next stop is the regionals.

Here are the standings:

1 – Cal Poly Pomona
2 – Stanford Univ.
3 – University of Advancing Tech
4 – CSU Northridge
5 – UC Riverside
6 – San Diego State Univ.
7 – National Univ.
8 – Arizona State Univ.

UAT will be taking the big white van to the Regionals in March!

The UAT WRCCDC Team consists of Robert Thompson, Eric Dodge, Kelvin Ashton, Jeremy Bunce, Mitchell Blystone-Pemberton, Adam Morris, Jordan Rude and Luke Schloesser.

Team alternates include Josh Mikkelson, Ashley Pearson, Lily Spear and Jackson Nestler, who were in the room during the competition observing.