High School Brilliance in ASA Publications

In this post, we invite readers to look back at a few ASA articles that were written and/or co-written by authors who were still in high school at the time of publication, proving that age is merely a number in the pursuit of scientific excellence.

High School Dougherty-sqr

The author and her siblings (left to right) Brooke, Ross, and Morgan Dougherty

First up is Brooke Dougherty who reached out to the editor of Acoustics Today (AT) to pitch her article idea. Her passion and initiative resulted in the AT Sound Perspective piece, “The Sound Journey of a Future Acoustician” (DOI: 10.1121/AT.2021.17.4.70) where Brooke writes about Perfect Pitch Fluency—an accessible resource to master perfect pitch, delve into sound concepts, and explore the hidden world of frequency in music and beyond.

High School Lee-Park

Experimental setup for testing the benefit of the metamaterial structure.

Next up, Joonyoung Lee and Mincheol Park, who received the ASA Second Award at the 2019 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), also presented at the 2019 International Congress on Ultrasonics. Co-authored with Jong-Rim Lee, Younho Cho, and Young H. Kim, the Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA) publication, “Optimize ultrasound condition for water treatment by coiled-up space metamaterial” (DOI: 10.1121/2.0001123) explores the efficiency boost of ultrasonic waves for cleansing.

High School Cayanan-Gozun-Tongol

Flowchart of Making the Sound Absorption Materials

The 2019 ISEF ASA Honorable Mention team made up of Neil David C. Cayanan, Shaira C. Gozun, and E’van Relle M. Tongol presented their project at the 178th Meeting ASA Meeting and then published their work in POMA. Their publication, “Hibla: Acoustic fiber” (DOI: 10.1121/2.0001264), showcases their innovative thinking in creating high-performance sound absorption panels from Abacá, Bamboo, and Water hyacinth.

High School Hillier

Spectrograms of the same utterance of “I know because I will” spoken by an adult female native English speaker.

After presenting their work at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair in 2017, Adeline F. Hillier, Claire E. Hillier and their mentor, David A. Hillier, published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA). “A modified spectrogram with possible application as a visual hearing aid for the deaf” (DOI: 10.1121/1.5055224), describes how enhanced frequency resolution, optimized information clarity, and the elimination of distracting details is paving the way for a more intuitive and efficient interpretation of acoustic patterns.

The next time you come across a scientific publication, remember – it might just be the work of the next generation of acousticians, who penned their groundbreaking insights while still navigating the halls of high school!

Outstanding Student Authors

The Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA) serves as a platform for showcasing acoustics research presented at Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Meetings. With the winners of the POMA Student Paper Competition from the 184th ASA Meeting soon to be announced, we would like to highlight some past winners. These outstanding papers delve into diverse areas of acoustics, ranging from directional acoustic structures and computational fluid dynamics to array deformations and transfer functions.

Lara Díaz-García, Andrew Reid, Joseph Jackson-Camargo, and James Windmill. “Directional passive acoustic structures inspired by the ear of Achroia grisella.” Proc. Mtgs. Acoust 50, 032001 (2022) doi: https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001715

This paper explores the fascinating concept of developing small and directional microphones inspired by the ear of the moth, Achroia grisella. The researchers employ bio-inspiration to overcome the challenge of achieving directional hearing in miniature microphones. By combining analytical equations, finite element modeling, 3D-printing, and experimental measurements, they demonstrate the feasibility of creating innovative microphones with improved directional hearing capabilities.


Mara Salut Escarti-Guillem, Luis M. Garcia-Raffi, Sergio Hoyas, and Oliver Gloth. “Assessment of Computational Fluid Dynamics acoustic prediction accuracy and deflector impact on launch aero-acoustic environment.” Proc. Mtgs. Acoust 50, 040001 (2022) doi: https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001716

This paper focuses on the assessment of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in predicting acoustic environments during launch activities. The researchers investigate the accuracy of CFD simulations in predicting the aero-acoustic environment and the impact of deflectors on noise reduction. Through their study, they provide valuable insights into the use of CFD for optimizing launch vehicle design and reducing noise emissions.


Kanad Sarkar, Manan Mittal, Ryan Corey, Andrew Singer. “Measuring and Exploiting the Locally Linear Mapping between Relative Transfer Functions and Array deformations.” Proc. Mtgs. Acoust 50, 055001 (2022) doi: https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001707

This paper delves into the measurement and utilization of the locally linear mapping between relative transfer functions and array deformations. The researchers propose a novel approach to exploit the relationship between acoustic transfer functions and array deformations, enabling improved understanding and control of the acoustic field. Their findings have implications for various applications, including acoustic imaging, sound source localization, and beamforming.

Stay tuned for the announcement of winners from the 184th ASA meeting in Chicago!

To all the students reading this post, make sure to submit your abstracts by July 24, 2023, so that you can participate in the upcoming POMA Student Paper Competition for the 185th ASA Meeting in Sydney, Australia! Up to five student papers will receive an award of USD $300 and the opportunity to appear on the ASA publications podcast, Across Acoustics. Submitting to POMA is not only a chance to win recognition but also a great opportunity to boost a CV or resume with an editor-reviewed proceedings paper. For complete competition information, visit the ASA meetings page.

We encourage you to listen to all the student paper competition episodes on the podcast. These episodes offer valuable insights into cutting-edge research and highlight the achievements of young acousticians like yourself.

High school students win special awards for acoustics science projects

High school students win special awards for acoustics science projects

The Acoustical Society of America presented four special awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2023

Melville, May 19, 2023 – The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) announced that four projects are the winners of the ASA Special Awards presented at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF). The top three finalists have been awarded cash prizes for their research and all four project finalists are invited to attend an ASA Meeting.

Shodai Tanaka of Sapporo Kaisei Secondary School located in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan was awarded the ASA First Award of $1,500 for the project titled “A Mathematical Study About the Sustaining Phenomenon of Overtone in Flageolet Harmonics on Bowed String Instruments,” In addition, their school will be awarded $200, and their mentor will be awarded $500.

Anton Bulancea of Alexandr Pushkin Lyceum located in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, was awarded the ASA Second Award of $1,000 for the project tilted “Developing a New Acoustic Levitation Platform Design for Non-Contact Handling in Electronics Assembly,” In addition, their school will be awarded $100, and their mentor will be awarded $250.

Michelle Hua of Cranbrook Kingswood School located in Troy, MI, USA, was awarded the ASA Third Award of $600 for the project tilted “3D Acoustic Simulation and Optimization Algorithms for Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Delivered With Robotic Systems,” In addition, their Mentor will be awarded $150.

The ASA Honorable Mention went to Anu Iyer of Little Rock Central High School located in Little Rock, AR, USA for the project titled “VAST (Voice and Spiral Tool): A Novel Multimodal Machine Learning Method To Detect Parkinson’s Disease and Assess Severity.”

To read the project abstracts, visit https://exploresound.org/isef-asa-winners/

Shodai, Anton, Michelle, and Anu were finalists in at Regeneron ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college STEM research competition. Owned and produced by the Society for Science, Regeneron ISEF provides a platform for the best and brightest young scientists to showcase their science, technology, engineering or math research. This year, more than 1,600 finalists from 64 countries, regions and territories competed for more than $9 million in awards and scholarships.

The ASA has participated at ISEF since 1978 to promote acoustics and recognize the accomplishments of high-school students. ASA’s long-time participation in Regeneron ISEF recognizes the importance of promoting STEM education and generating interest in acoustics among all students. This year, the ASA judging team was led by Peter Assmann (University of Texas at Dallas) and included Christopher Ainley (Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc.), Satwik Dutta (University of Texas at Dallas), Nursadul Mamun (University of Texas at Dallas), and Abbey Thomas (University of Texas at Dallas). The Society looks forward to seeing future accomplishments from the many talented youth who participated in the Regeneron ISEF!

———————– MORE INFORMATION ———————–
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its worldwide membership represents a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

Helping Acoustic Concepts Resonate with Students #ASA183

Helping Acoustic Concepts Resonate with Students #ASA183

An experimental music piece can help teach concepts of resonance in a more interesting way.

Media Contact:
Ashley Piccone
AIP Media

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 7, 2022 – “I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now.” With these words, Alvin Lucier begins a fascinating recording where his voice warps and becomes indistinguishable over time — solely because of how sound reflects in the room. For physics students, this audio can be used to reveal details of the surrounding room and teach important lessons about acoustic resonance.

When a sound is made and recorded in a room, then replayed and rerecorded repeatedly, it becomes distorted. Frequencies that correspond to the room itself are emphasized. Credit: Andy Piacsek

Andy Piacsek, of Central Washington University, will discuss how he employs Lucier’s project in the classroom during his talk, “Students are sitting in a room.” The presentation will take place on Dec. 7 at 12:10 p.m. Eastern U.S. in the Lionel room, as part of the 183rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America running Dec. 5-9 at the Grand Hyatt Nashville Hotel.

To create this interesting audio, Lucier recorded seventy seconds of speech in a room, played it back over a speaker, and repeatedly rerecorded the result. Eventually, the feedback overwhelms the original recording, and the words are replaced by a collection of distorted frequencies.

In the first iteration of Lucier’s recording, his speech contains the typical range of sound frequencies that make up a human voice. When sounds at most frequencies bounce off the walls in the room, they get jumbled together and eventually fade out. But some frequencies ‘fit’ perfectly in the distances between opposite walls, and these frequencies resonate and grow louder with each recorded iteration.

“Each pair of walls has a set of natural frequencies,” said Piacsek. “By analyzing the frequencies that make up the recording, especially in the later stages, students can determine which frequencies are resonances of the room. The tricky part is figuring out which frequencies go with which pair of walls. This is a bit of a puzzle… and puzzles are fun!”

After identifying the resonant frequencies, students can apply their knowledge of physics to calculate the distance between pairs of walls, and therefore the size of the room Lucier used for his recording. More advanced students can try to make a version of the recording in their own rooms and see if their calculations match their measured room dimensions.

“At the introductory level, especially, many students come to a science class with the notion that science is dry and abstract, not something they identify with,” said Piacsek. “When they see how their classroom learning applies to scenarios they can relate to, it becomes less abstract and they remember it better.”

Main meeting website: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/
Technical program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/web/planner.php?id=ASAFALL22&proof=true

In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are 300 to 500 word summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org.  For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.