Steve Rubin

srubin at

I am a fourth-year CS Ph.D. student at Berkeley, where I am currently finishing up my dissertation. In 2011, I graduated from Williams College where I majored in both Computer Science and Mathematics. I'm advised by Maneesh Agrawala.


The desk.

I am broadly interested in HCI, music, media editing, information visualization, and design. In my time at Berkeley, I have worked on audio editing interfaces, crowdsourcing graphical perception studies, bribe-reporting, a cup that knows what you're drinking, and chart-data extraction.

My undergraduate senior thesis developed a methodology for visualizing large, highly symmetric communication graphs, such as process communication graphs from parallel programs.


Generating Emotionally Relevant Musical Scores for Audio Stories
Steve Rubin, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 27th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2014).

YouTube | Audio Results | Library for constraint-based score generation

Content-Based Tools for Editing Audio Stories
Steve Rubin, Floraine Berthouzoz, Gautham Mysore, Wilmot Li, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 26th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2013).

YouTube | Audio Results | Code for audio construction/music retargeting

UnderScore: Musical Underlays for Audio Stories
Steve Rubin, Floraine Berthouzoz, Gautham Mysore, Wilmot Li, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 25th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2012).

Youtube | Demo | Code for audio construction

Bribecaster: Documenting Corruption Through Community Participation
Manas Mittal, Wei Wu, Steve Rubin, Sam Madden, Bjoern Hartmann
2012 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW 2012).

(Poster and extended abstract)

Visualizing Large Communication Graphs
Steven S. Rubin, advised by Duane Bailey
Senior thesis at Williams College (2010-11).

Old publications (unrelated to current interests)

Correlation Identification in Bipartite Pauli Channels
Michael R. Frey, Laura E. Coffey, Lucas K. Mentch, Amy L. Miller and Steven S. Rubin
International Journal of Quantum Information, September 2010 (IJQI).

This work was done at the NSF-sponsored Quantum Information Theory REU at Susquehanna University in June/July of 2009.

A 16-Bit Microcoded Microprocessor for an FPGA
Steven S. Rubin
The 40th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2009).

Finalist (top 5) in the Student Research Competition. This work was done during the Williams College Summer Science Research Program with Duane Bailey in 2008.


I've written a lot of software for my research. I'm hoping to eventually release a lot of this code. Here's what I've released so far:

  • speecheditor — a web app for editing and adding musical scores to audio stories. Instead of editing speech using waveforms, the speecheditor allows you to edit audio with text, like a word processor. Likewise, it allows users to easily loop musical tracks and add musical underlays à la This American Life. The speecheditor is described in detail in our paper, "Content-based Tools for Editing Audio Stories."
  • radiotool — a python library that aims to make it easy to create audio by piecing together bits of other audio files. This library was originally written to enable my research in audio editing user interfaces, but perhaps someone else might find it useful.


Williams College commencement, June 2011.

At Williams I served as president and root of Williams Students Online, competed on and co-captained the track and field team, and wrote a senior thesis with Duane Bailey. I also spent a semester studying math in Budapest, Hungary.

My undergraduate research, apart from my senior thesis, is completely orthogonal to my current research interests.


My first trip to Tahoe (Squaw Valley)

My hobbies include listening to music and going to shows

watching professional (and occasionally college) sports

  • Go Steelers, Ephs, Bears, Lakers, Pirates, Sixers, Orange, and Tiger

working out and hiking, working on toy software projects,

  • vinyl-fm (scrobble vinyl records automatically)
  • lastday (cross-reference profile with black cab and daytrotter sessions)
  • microphone (process streaming microphone input in the browser)

and, as of the Winter of 2013, snowboarding.


Graduate student researcher — UC Berkeley

Spring 2015, 2013, 2012. Fall 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Research intern — Adobe Research

Summer 2014, 2013, 2012. Part-time in Fall 2012.

Graduate student instructor — UC Berkeley

Spring 2015 – CS160 (User Interface Design, taught by Andy Carle)
Spring 2014 – CS160 (User Interface Design, taught by Maneesh Agrawala and Björn Hartmann)


I've taken several classes as part of the requirements for the Ph.D. program at Berkeley.

  • CS 260 — Research Topics in HCI (Hartmann)
  • CS 262a — Advanced Topics in Computer Systems (Brewer)
  • CS 270 — Combinatorial Algorithms and Data Structures (Rao)
  • CS 280 — Computer Vision (Malik)
  • CS 281a/STAT 241a — Statistical Learning Theory (Wainwright)
  • CS 294-10 — Visualization (Agrawala)
  • CS 294-84 — Interactive Device Design (Hartmann)
  • STAT 239a — The Statistics of Causal Inference in the Social Sciences (Sekhon)


Paper reviewer

  • ACM CHI – Conference on Human Factors in Comptuing Systems (2013, 2014)
  • ACM UIST – Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (2014)
  • IEEE InfoVis (2014)