Wanda Díaz-Merced

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Wanda Díaz-Merced
Scientific career
InstitutionsSouth African Astronomical Observatory
ThesisSound for the exploration of space physics data (2013)
Doctoral advisorStephen Brewster

Wanda Díaz-Merced is an astronomer best known for using sonification to turn large data sets into audible sound.[2][3][4][5] She worked on the technique after she lost her sight as an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico.[6]

She received a doctorate from the University of Glasgow in 2013,[7] and was a post-doctoral fellow at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town.[4]

She works at the South African observatory’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD). She has led the OAD project AstroSense since April 2014.[8]

In 2016, she gave a TED Talk in Vancouver, BC, Canada.[9]

In 2017 she was awarded a Estrella Luike.[10]


  1. ^ Hendrix, Susan. "Summer Intern from Puerto Rico Has Sunny Perspective". Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Wanda Diaz Merced: How Can We Hear The Stars?". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  3. ^ "Wanda Díaz, la astrofísica ciega de Puerto Rico que descubre los secretos del Universo escuchando las estrellas" (in Spanish). BBC News. June 21, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Lisa (February 18, 2016). "Blind astrophysicist listens to the stars by turning data into sound". CBC News.
  5. ^ Hernández, Isaac (June 16, 2017). "La astrofísica ciega que escucha a las estrellas" (in Spanish). Grupo PRISA. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Díaz-Merced, Wanda (September 22, 2014). "Making Astronomy Accessible for the Visually Impaired". Scientific American blog.
  7. ^ Diaz Merced, Wanda L. (2013). "Sound for the exploration of space physics data - PhD thesis". University of Glasgow.
  8. ^ Simón, Yara (2016). "This Blind Boricua Astrophysicist Pioneered a Revolutionary Way to Study Stars Through Sound". Remezcla. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  9. ^ "How a blind astronomer found a way to hear the stars". TED. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Trofeo Estrella Luike a una invidente estudiosa de las constelaciones" (in Spanish). LUIKE Iberoamericana de Revistas. August 2, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2018.