Who I am

I work primarily as a linguist, studying the movements of the vocal tract articulators (e.g. the tongue, lips, and velum). Between data analysis and deep thinking about issues in cognitive science, I spend my time as a social and competitive ballroom dancer.

You can find an overview of all of my exploits in my curriculum vitae.

Reed Blaylock pointing at you


  • Phonetics

    What is the relationship between articulation and acoustics? How do the movements inside our mouths produce intelligible speech sound?

  • Phonology

    What are the fundamental cognitive units of speech production? How are these units organized to create the breadth of languages that exist?

  • Singing and Beatboxing

    What is singing? How are our capacities for speech and music related?


I am most proficient in MATLAB, PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript (especially ES2015 and ES2016), with some knowledge of Java, C++, Python, and SQL. I first learned programming as a self-taught web developer. Since then, I have used my programming skills for linguistic analysis (e.g. analysis of vocal tract movements recorded using real-time MRI) and science presentations (e.g. an interactive exploration of beatboxing).

Ballroom Dancer

I compete in the American Smooth styles of ballroom dancing (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz). I have been dancing for five years: one year with the Ballroom Dance Team at the University of Minnesota, and four years with the University of Southern California's Ballroom Dance Team under the instruction of Lorena Bravo and Jonathan Atkinson. In addition to dancing at USC, I was the president of the USC Ballroom Dance Team from the Fall of 2015 to the Spring of 2017.

Curriculum vitae

Here are links to some of my publications and presentations. Click here to see my complete C.V.

Conference proceedings

  1. Reed Blaylock, Nimisha Patil, Timothy Greer, and Shrikanth Narayanan. "Sounds of the human vocal tract." Interspeech, . [link]
  2. Nimisha Patil, Timothy Greer, Reed Blaylock, and Shrikanth Narayanan. "Comparison of Basic Beatboxing Articulations Between Expert and Novice Artists using Real-Time Magnetic Resonance Imaging." Interspeech, . [link]
  3. Reed Blaylock, Louis Goldstein, Shrikanth Narayanan. "Velum control in oral sounds." Interspeech, . [link]
  4. Reed Blaylock. "Driving Derived Environment Effects with Alignment Constraints." Annual Meeting in Phonology (AMP), . [link]
  5. Alexsandro Meireles, Louis Goldstein, Shrikanth Narayanan, and Reed Blaylock. “Gestural coordination of Brazilian Portuguese nasal vowels in CV syllables: a real-time MRI study”. Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS), , p. 10-15. [link]

Invited presentations

  1. Reed Blaylock, Nimisha Patil, Timothy Greer, and Shrikanth Narayanan. “Breaking Down the Beat: The Art and Science of Beatboxing.” Sonic r/evolutions, USC. . [link]