Rachel Chen will be a visiting researcher at CNMAT for the fall of 2022. She will be conducting research at the intersection of music, technology, and special education.

Rachel will be working on a version of the Magical Musical Mat that goes beyond musical notes. She will be using Pure Data to experiment with adding noise to the analog signal of the mat. Rachel is interested in collaborating with others through improvisation, creating art with the musical mat, or working on the mat together. She is happy to be with the CNMAT community, and to learn about everyone’s work and interests.

Rachel S. Y. Chen is an improvisational musician and a design-based researcher. As a violinist, she has performed internationally in collectives across diverse musical genres including experimental music, funk, jazz, bluegrass, and folk. In her design work, Rachel develops interactive environments that center sound and movement. Her work is empirically informed by her research with neurodivergent students who communicate through means beyond speech. Currently, Rachel is developing the “Magical Musical Mat”, a rich environment for improvisation through interpersonal touch and sound.

Rachel will be receiving a Ph.D in Special Education at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University in 2022. She begins a faculty position at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2023.