For more information, please contact Ben Stein (301-209-3091 until May 22; 240-506-1863 from May 22-28; email@example.com) or Martha Heil (301-209-3088; firstname.lastname@example.org) of the American Institute of Physics
Melville, New York, May 11, 2004
10:00 AM: NEW YORK CITY SOUNDSCAPES
No celebration of acoustics in New York City would be complete without mention of the countless alternative spaces used for the performance of music, dance, and other art forms. New York's countless train stations, parks, alleys, and overpasses provide popular venues for artists to make sound. Lincoln Center and Carnegie get all the glory, but it's the streets and train stations that do all the work.
Alex Case of fermata audio + acoustics (email@example.com, 603-591-6101 cellphone) will survey some of these alternative performance spaces and their acoustic contributions to a musical performance. (Papers 4pAA2 and 4pAA6)
NEWLY ADDED Nancy Nadler of the League for the Hard of Hearing (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Arline Bronzaft of Lehman College (email@example.com) will discuss noise issues in New York City and urban spaces. In their "Noise Tour of the United States," they found that restaurants can be as noisy as some construction sites. Nadler and Bronzaft will also provide a brief, general update on their work with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to revise the city's noise code (4pNSb2).
Space is the final frontier for some acoustical versions of conventional machines. NASA seeks a small, lightweight, and efficient electrical generator for its future deep-space missions.
With this goal in mind, Scott Backhaus of Los Alamos National Laboratory (firstname.lastname@example.org) will present a small-scale, acoustically based device that uses sound waves to produce small amounts of electricity. (1aPAa2)
Ultrasound isn't just about taking pictures of fetuses anymore.
Ronald H. Silverman of Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York (email@example.com) and his colleagues have developed a series of very-high-frequency ultrasound instruments that can provide exceedingly detailed information on the eye. The ultrasound devices can catch surgically produced defects resulting from LASIK surgery, as well as tumors, cysts, foreign bodies in the eye (1aBB4).
Cyril Lafon of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (firstname.lastname@example.org) will present an ultrasound device designed to destroy deeply buried tumors. He will report encouraging results in treating patients with cholangiocarcinoma, malignant tumors in the biliary duct system (2aBB5).
Bob Shannon of the House Ear Institute will report on the first patients who have received the Penetrating Auditory Brainstem Implant, a surgically implanted device that aims to restore some hearing to profoundly deaf individuals who have lost the use of their auditory nerves. In this device, eight tiny electrodes are inserted directly into the auditory center of the brainstem, the structure at the base of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord. The device aims to give users the ability to detect tones and comprehend speech to a degree experienced by those who wear advanced cochlear implants. (1aPP5; for more information, contact Christa Spieth Nuber, HEI Media Relations, 213-273-8027, email@example.com).
Is your computer whining while you read this text? Scott Sommerfeldt of Brigham Young University (firstname.lastname@example.org) will present a solution: a noise-cancellation system that can nullify the sounds of computer fans (2pNSb3).
When you listen to a CD in a music-store kiosk, do you ever wish you could zip to the best part of the song? Masataka Goto of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan (m.goto@aist..go.jp) will present the SmartMusicKIOSK system which automatically detects a song's choruses in songs and provides a visual display of song structure for easy navigation (2pMU6).
Andrea Simmons (Andrea_Simmons@brown.edu) and Dianne Suggs (Dianne_Suggs@brown.edu) of Brown University will discuss a newly discovered vocalization in male bullfrogs called the "stutter," in which they split an individual croak into shorter parts, with a possible function of attracting mates (1aAB9).
Susan E. Parks, now at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (email@example.com), and her colleagues have discovered that males of the endangered North Atlantic right whale species make a gunshot-like noise for the purpose of attracting females or antagonizing other males (4aAB12).
Studying how bats use ultrasound to sense their surroundings, Rolf Muller of the University of Southern Denmark (firstname.lastname@example.org) will present what is believed to be the first high-resolution 3D map of bat ears that identifies ear regions sensitive to low-, mid-, and high ultrasound frequencies. Generated with the help of computer models, the researchers' approach allows them to perform "Boolean surgery," in which they can modify the anatomy of bat ears on a computer to see how they change their detection of ultrasound (4aAB6).
At this special event co-sponsored by ASA and Science Writers in New York (SWINY), world experts will introduce science writers to the rich world of musical acoustics. Tom Rossing of Northern Illinois University will make a general presentation on strings and percussion. Another guest will be architectural acoustician Alexander Case of fermata audio + acoustics in New Hampshire. He will present audio examples of urban spaces such as train stations, parks, and alleys adopted by the performing arts. Then various meeting attendees will make short demonstrations of musical instruments including some of the following:
- Mandolin- Dave Cohen, Cohen Musical Instruments, Richmond, VA
- New Musical Bells-Neil McLachlan, Australian National University
- Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) - Shigeru Yoshikawa, Kyoto University Voice--Ingo Titze, Iowa State
Please RSVP Mariette DiChristina of SWINY (email@example.com) if you plan to attend this event. Thank you!
Don Albert of the U.S. Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (Donald.G.Albert@erdc.usace.army.mil) will discuss a system that uses "time-reversal" acoustics to pinpoint the exact locations of gunfire and explosions in an urban environment. A network of simple audio sensors records sounds in an urban area; a computer then generates backwards versions of the sound waves and broadcasts the reversed versions in a virtual urban environment. The waves eventually return and focus at the original source point, enabling researchers to pinpoint the location of a sound, such as an explosion or gunshot. (5aPAb5)
NEWLY ADDED Mathias Fink (firstname.lastname@example.org), Laboratoire Ondes et Acoustique, ESPCI, France, will discuss an idea for transforming all objects in a room into touch-sensitive, remote control devices, even if they don't run on electricity. The idea is the following: touch any object in a room, and an acoustic detector records the sound or vibration from a touch. Then, employing a scheme known as "time-reversed" acoustics, the detector sends a reversed version of the soundwave to the object. After sending soundwaves back and forth several times between source and detector, the system is able to pinpoint exactly where the object lies in the room. One can therefore create "virtual switches" that perform certain functions in response to touch. (Paper 5aEA9)
Cynthia Clopper of Indiana University (email@example.com) will present results from the Nationwide Speech Project, which captures differences between the US regional dialects from New England to the Midwest to the South (4aSC6).
Laura Warren of Columbia College Chicago (firstname.lastname@example.org) will describe a study of music-listening habits in children; the study suggests that children don't listen to music as loudly as they claim they do (4aPP1)
Please return the REPLY FORM if you are interested in attending the meeting or receiving additional information.
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