Dhruv "DJ" Jain, MS, PhD

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering


I am an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, with an affiliate (courtesy) appointment in the School of Information. My research intersects human-computer interaction (HCI) and applied machine learning (ML), and focuses on sound accessibility. Specifically, I am interested in inventing novel sound sensing and visualization systems to support accessibility and healthcare applications for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. I completed my PhD from University of Washington, masters from MIT Media Lab, and have worked at Microsoft Research, Google, and Apple.

Research Interests

At the University of Michigan, I direct the Accessibility Lab, where we are aiming to make sounds and sound information accessible to everyone, everywhere, be it in noisy restaurants when you have trouble understanding a conversation, or at your home when you are wearing your headphones and miss someone knocking. We are accomplishing this vision through designing user-centric systems with an aim to deliver sound information in alternative ways—using visual or haptic feedback or through enhanced audio. A key aspect of this research is the focus on the user—we conduct a thorough design process to understand our users' concerns, building technology systems to address those concerns, and deploying and studying our built systems with the users in their natural environments.

Our lab publishes work in the most selective computer science venues such as CHI, UIST, and ASSETS; seven of our papers have been honored with best paper and honorable mention awards. As well, our work has been publicly launched (e.g., one deployed system has benefited over 100,000 disabled users), has directly impacted accessibility products at Microsoft, Google, and Apple, and is frequently covered by popular press venues such as CNN, New Scientist, and Forbes.