Dr Silvia Cirstea

Principal Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Computing and Technology

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Computing and technology

Silvia has over ten years' research experience in mathematical modelling for engineering and medical applications. She teaches engineering mathematics and digital signal processing.

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Silvia’s areas of expertise include numerical modelling of physical processes (wave propagation for acoustics/electromagnetics/optics, psycho-acoustics, electron transport), image/sound/signal processing, artificial intelligence, optical systems, inverse problems and statistical methods. Since 2010, she has worked with the Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU) on the role of acoustic cues, like level and reverberation as conveyors of information about the environment and to facilitate better navigation of the visually impaired. She has a keen interest in the area of assisted living for the visually impaired using acoustic cues and smart technologies.

She has worked on research projects funded by the EU, UK Central Laboratory of the Research Councils, Radiocommunications Agency, Medical Research Council and British industry.

Research interests

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  • Mathematical modelling
  • Acoustic and psycho-acoustic modelling
  • Smart technologies for assisted living
  • Assisted living for the visually impaired and the elderly
  • Signal processing techniques for multimodal data fusion
  • Mobility and navigation aids for the visually impaired
  • Artificial intelligence

Silvia is a member of our Digital Electronics Research Area which forms part of our Informatics, Computing and Electronics Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

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  • Mathematical modelling for engineering or medical applications
  • Assisted living (for the visually impaired or the elderly)
  • Virtual environment applications for the visually impaired
  • Mobility and navigation aids for the visually impaired
  • Signal processing techniques for multimodal data fusion

Find out more about our Computer Science PhD including our exciting PhD project opportunities.


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BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering
BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology
MSc Electronic and Electrical Engineering


  • PhD Electronics/Imaging Technology, De Montfort University
  • MSc Mathematics, University of Bucharest, Romania
  • PGCE Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Fellow, the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Selected recent publications

Kolarik, A.J., Timmis, M.A., Cirstea, S. and Pardhan, S., 2014. Sensory substitution information informs locomotor adjustments when walking through apertures. Exp Brain Res, 232(3), pp.975-84.

Kolarik, A.J., Cirstea, S., Pardhan, S. and Moore, B.C.J., 2014. A summary of research investigating echolocation abilities of blind and sighted humans. Hearing Research, 310, pp.60-68.

Kolarik, A., Cirstea, S., Pardhan, S. and Moore, B., 2013. An assessment of virtual auditory distance judgments among blind and sighted listeners. International Congress on Acoustics ICA2013, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 133(5:2), p.3287.

Kolarik, A.J., Cirstea, S. and Pardhan, S., 2013. Discrimination of virtual auditory distance using level and direct-to-reverberant ratio cues. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 134(5), pp.3395-98.

Kolarik, A.J., Cirstea, S. and Pardhan, S., 2013. Evidence for enhanced discrimination of virtual auditory distance among blind listeners using level and direct-to-reverberant cues. Exp Brain Res, 224(4), pp.623-633.

Kolarik, A.J., Cirstea, S., Pardhan, S. and Moore, B.C|.J., 2013. Using acoustic information to perceive room size: effects of blindness, room reverberation time, and stimulus. Perception, 42, pp.985-990.

Kolarik, A.J., Cirstea, S.E. and Pardhan, S., 2012. Contrasting the effectiveness of auditory level and direct-to-reverberant energy ratio as cues to distance discrimination. Int. J. Audiol., 51, p.229.

Kolarik, A. J., Cirstea, S. and Pardhan, S., 2011. Perceiving auditory distance using level and direct-to-reverberant ratio cues (A). J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 130, p.2545.

Cirstea, S., Kolarik, A., Ramlagun, K. and Pardhan, S., 2011. Ability of the Visually Impaired to Perceive Distance from Auditory Cues. J Vis 2011, 11(15), p.32.

Dinu, A., Cirstea, M. and Cirstea, S., 2010. Direct Neural Networks Hardware Implementation Algorithm. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 57(5), pp.1845-1848.

Recent presentations and conferences

Kolarik, A., Moore, B., Pardhan, S., Cirstea, S., 2013. The Consequences of Blindness for Judging the Distance of Sound Sources: a 'Compression' of the Auditory World. 165th Acoustical Society of America Meeting, ASA Lay Language Papers.

Barrett, J.A., De Souza, M.M., Cirstea, M. and Cirstea, S., 2012. Analytical techniques for the simulation of electron transport in semiconductor systems. 13th International Conference on Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (OPTIM). DOI: 10.1109/OPTIM.2012.6231948 (pp.822–826).

Pardhan, S., Cirstea, S., Kolarik, A. and Moore, B., 2013. Do visually impaired participants hear better? An evaluation of self report using a modified version of Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale. ARVO 2013.

Cirstea, S., Kolarik, A. and Pardhan, S., 2012. Differences In Perceiving Auditory Distance Between Visually Impaired And Severely Visually Impaired. ARVO 2012.