My Research Stay at the CRC - Nestor Rafael Calvo Ariza

My name is Nestor Calvo, and I'd like to provide a brief overview of my research stay in Kiel. During this six-months research period, I focused on a project aimed at detecting swallowing using different sensors. Swallowing issues can have serious implications for a person's well-being, including the risk of choking, pain, and malnutrition. Conducting research in this area is crucial to finding ways to prevent such problems.

One of the key requirements for testing different techniques for automatic swallowing detection is a comprehensive database. Over the course of six months, I actively contributed to the creation of this database by employing multiple sensors, including throat microphones, magnetic sensors, condenser microphones, and a camera. My responsibilities encompassed designing the data collection protocol, setting up the sensors, recording data, labeling data segments, and conducting data analysis. In total, we recorded data from 20 volunteers, resulting in more than 1000 segments, including instances of swallowing saliva, water, yogurt, coughing, throat clearing, and speech. These data segments served as input for various machine learning and deep learning models, which aimed to identify and categorize swallowing instances. I'm proud to report that we achieved an accuracy rate of 87 %, showcasing the potential of certain sensors in swallowing detection.

On a personal note, this internship also marked my first experience in Europe. It offered me a unique opportunity to immerse myself in a new country, meet people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and engage in insightful discussions about our distinct cultures. I made new friends during this journey and had the chance to explore neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic, Austria, and Budapest. These trips allowed me to see the rich historical heritage these places hold.

I would like to extend my thanks to the CRC 1261 for providing me with this opportunity. I am also immensely thankful to all the faculty members who supported me throughout this internship, offering guidance and assistance during the data collection process as well as participating in the recording sessions. While I hope to return one day, if that's not possible, I will always cherish the invaluable experiences and memories from these transformative six months.

Nestor Rafael Calvo Ariza