Rashi Jain, a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics at NJIT, is looking forward to a good new year, particularly when it comes to getting a job following graduation next May. Jain, who is specializing in underwater acoustics, has high hopes for a good position, thanks to a new addition to her resume. She recently blew away judges at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America with her paper “Particle filtering approach for multipath arrival time estimation from acoustic time series.” The work received the top honor for the best young researcher’s paper.
"The importance of this research lies in, but is not limited to, the area of ocean exploration and advanced sonar design,” she said. “Waves traveling underwater have a story to tell about the environment they have been traveling in and the source that transmitted the sound.” Her research extracts relevant information from the signals to obtain knowledge of the surroundings, such as the depth of the ocean, the nature of the sea floor sediments, the location of the sound source and more.
“The challenge is to build an effective and efficient model that can extract information from these signals which have interacted with the ocean and have been distorted by noise during their travel,” she said. Although researchers are working on solving these ocean acoustic problems, the field is not as narrow as it sounds. The fruits of their labor may also be applied to radar tracking and surveillance and environmental monitoring.
Jain received funding for her research from the Office of Naval Research through the Graduate Traineeship Award due to its importance in defense applications. Such awards, for study and research leading to a doctoral degree, are given to individuals who have demonstrated a special aptitude and desire for advanced training in ocean acoustics or the related disciplines of undersea signal processing, marine structural acoustics, and transducer materials science.
Jain lives in Kearny now while completing her doctorate. She was born and raised in India. Prior to attending NJIT, she received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Delhi University and her master’s degree, also in mathematics, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. NJIT Professor Z. H. Michalopoulou, an expert in underwater acoustics, is her advisor.