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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Kasia Adamska

Kasia Adamska is currently studying for a PhD in Computer Science at Queen Mary and is a member of C4DM.


What's your thesis title?
Predicting hit songs: multimodal and data-driven approach
Can you summarise your research in one sentence?
My research is aimed at finding whether there is a combination of musical and non-musical factors that contribute to a song's popularity and commercial success.  
What made you want to study for a PhD?
My Masters' thesis focused on music popularity, and I felt like I was only scratching the surface. I wanted to keep studying this topic, so when I found out I could pursue a PhD in it, I applied right away. Also, after about a year of working in the industry, I realised I still wanted to learn more, challenge myself, and be able to make meaningful contributions to the field.
Why did you choose to do your doctoral research at QMUL?
QMUL is a very unique place to study Music and Audio Technology as it is home to the world-leading research groups: Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) and the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence and Music, which I am part of. I thought Queen Mary would be the perfect university for a PhD since I had previously completed my integrated master's degree there and was familiar with the work that both faculty and students conduct.
How does your research group support you?
Through the PhD programme, I had the opportunity to undertake essential modules and courses that provided me with the skills necessary for my research. Weekly meetings with my supervisor play a key role in keeping me on the right track, ensuring I meet my research goals. Additionally, our group holds regular meetings where students discuss their ongoing work and offer constructive feedback. This sense of community fosters an environment where we actively support each other's research, personal development, and overall well-being.
What's a typical research day look like for you?
A typical research day begins with a plan, in which I outline the tasks that I need to complete that day. In the morning, I kick off by checking my emails and preparing for any scheduled meetings. I find that coding is most productive in the morning, helping me wake up and focus. In the afternoon, I tend to shift my focus to writing, whether it's drafting reports or working on a paper. But it all depends on what I'm working on. Some days, all I do is read research papers and look for other relevant tools and resources.
What's been your most exciting research experience so far?
My most thrilling research experience to date was my project on predicting successful songs in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. It allowed me to apply the tools and methods I had developed during my PhD journey. It was really exciting to be able to share the results with my research group and on different social media sites. Seeing how other people were interested in my work was very satisfying and showed me how my work affected people in a broader way.
Any advice for anyone about to start their PhD journey?
Stay organised, document your work. You may find yourself speaking about your research topic to lots of other students, professors, or industry professionals, and you may receive excellent feedback at any time, even when you least expect it. Do not compare your progress to that of other PhD students because each PhD is unique in its own way.


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