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Purnima Ratilal-Makris

422 Dana
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Professor Ratilal-Makris has extensive experimental and theoretical experience in remote sensing with acoustics and ultrasonics. The applications include long range acoustic detection, localization, and inference of underwater vehicles, geology, fish, and other objects in the ocean; linear and nonlinear ultrasound imaging for biomedical and military applications; and imaging in multipath environments.

Professor Ratilal-Makris holds a PhD in acoustics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 2002). She was was previously a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Ocean Engineering at MIT (2002-2004) and a Research Scientist at Singapore's DSO National Laboratories (1994-1998). She was awarded the ONR Postdoctoral Award in Ocean Acoustics in 2002, the Bruce Lindsay Award by the Acoustical Society of America in 2006, the ONR Young Investigator (YIP) Award in 2007, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2008.


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002

Research & Scholarship Interests

Remote sensing, underwater acoustics, acoustical oceanography, bioacoustics, ultrasound imaging, nonlinear scattering, wave propagation in random media, signal, image and array processing, statistical inference theory.
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award

Professional Affiliations

  • Acoustical Society of America, Fellow

Selected Publications

  • W. Huang, D. Wang, H. Garcia, O.R. Godø P. Ratilal, Continental Shelf-Scale Passive Acoustic Detection and Characterization of Diesel-Electric Ships Using a Coherent Hydrophone Array, Remote Sensing, 9(8), 2017, 772, 1-27
  • D. Wang and P. Ratilal, Angular Resolution Enhancement Provided by Nonuniformly-Spaced Linear Hydrophone Arrays in Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing, 9(10), 2017, 1036, 1-16
  • D. Wang, H.Garcia, W. Huang, D.D. Tran, A.D. Jain, D.H. Yi, Z. Gong, J.M. Jech, O.R. Godoe, N.C. Makris, P. Ratilal, Vast Assembly of Vocal Marine Mammals from Diverse Species on Fish Spawning Ground, Nature, 531, 2016, 366-370
  • D. Tran, W. Huang, A. Bohn, D. Wang, N. Makris, P. Ratilal, et al., Using a Coherent Hydrophone Array for Observing Sperm Whale Range, Classification, and Shallow-Water Dive Profiles, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 135(6), 2014, 3352-3363
  • Z. Gong, D. Tran, P. Ratilal, Comparing Passive Source Localization and Tracking Approaches With a Towed Horizontal Receiver Array in an Ocean Waveguide, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134, 2013, 3705-3720

Related News

September 12, 2017

ECE Associate Professor Purnima Ratilal-Makris received a $710K NSF award for the "Development of a Large-Aperture Coherent Hydrophone Array, Data Processing and Analysis Software System for Instantaneous Wide-Area Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Mammals."

January 30, 2017

ECE Interim Chair Miriam Leeser, Associate Chair Waleed Meleis, and Associate Professor Purnima Ratilal-Makris met with undergraduate students in the ECE Student Advisory Board to discuss their...

March 2, 2016

ECE Associate Professor Purnima Ratilal whose research was recently featured in Nature, has shown that whales tend to group into their own species when eating in large feeding areas.

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