2015 Spring Research Fair

Joonhee Lee and his winning poster

Joonhee Lee and his winning poster

Two NAG members presented posters at the 2015 UNL Spring Research Fair on April 14-15, 2015: (1) graduate student Joonhee Lee on “Threshold Estimation for Noise-Induced Annoyance by Tones from Building Mechanical Noises” and (2) undergraduate student Brenna Boyd on “Evaluation of Crowd Noise Levels During College Hockey Games”, both advised by Dr. Lily Wang.

Brenna Boyd presents on UCARE research

Brenna Boyd presents on UCARE research

Out of 50 posters submitted in the graduate engineering division, Joonhee received one of four Commendation awards – way to go!

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Bliefnick selected as ASA Student Council rep

Congratulations to Jay Bliefnick, who has been selected to be the representative to the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Student Council, for the Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics (TCAA) over the upcoming two-year term!  Jay recently matriculated as a PhD student in our program, after finishing his undergraduate degree at Columbia College in Chicago.   He succeeds recent Nebraska PhD graduate, Ellen Peng, whose term as the TCAA Student Council Rep ends after the upcoming ASA Pittsburgh meeting.

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UNASA Spring 2015 Activities

UNASA President Matt Blevins presents award to a Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair participant

UNASA President Matt Blevins presents award to a Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair participant

The University of Nebraska ASA (Acoustical Society of America) Student Chapter has been busy this semester.  Among their activities have been the following:

  • Judging acoustics-related projects at the Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair (March 28)
  • Making acoustical measurements at St. Martha’s as part of an ongoing project to document the acoustic properties of local spaces (April 2)
  • Introducing the science of acoustics to students at Bellevue West High School (April 21)
  • Hosting a presentation by Ted Pyper from K2 Audio who spoke on “Acoustical Consulting: from Roll Call to Rock N’ Roll”! (April 22)
  • Holding a ‘Journal Party’ where officer Brenna Boyd led a discussion on perfect pitch (April 23)

Learn more about their activities at their UNL website or Facebook page!

UNASA measurements at St. Martha's

UNASA measurements at St. Martha’s

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NAG Meetings 4-8-15 and 4-22-15

The NAG meeting on 4-8-15 featured sophomore Brenna Boyd who presented on her UCARE-sponsored research project involving noise measurements at UNO hockey games played at the Century Link Center in Omaha this past year.  Next year the UNO hockey team will be playing at the soon-to-be open UNO arena … it will be interesting to see how the noise levels compare between the two facilities!  The acoustic nuggets that were highlighted included a New York Times article on metamaterials and a Washington Post article on how GMU students created a device that puts out fires using low frequency noise.  Madeline Davidson spoke at the 4-22-15 NAG meeting, about research she’ll be presenting at the upcoming ASA Pittsburgh meeting on time-varying directional characteristics of musical instruments.  Two additional acoustic nuggets were shared: one on another student project (this time from Rice University) that is helping deaf people to hear; and the other on designing more miniature directional microphones for hearing aids.  We had a special guest at the 4-22-15 NAG meeting … check out the next posting for more details!

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Powell discusses recent high-end home theater projects

Dinner with Eric Powell (2nd from left)

Dinner with Eric Powell (2nd from left) at Bonefish Grill

We welcomed Eric Powell (MAE ’12) back to Nebraska on April 1, 2015, to present on recent high-end home theater projects that he’s been working on as a consultant with Paradise Theater.  We are so proud of the excellent work that Eric has been doing!  Although Dr. Wang had to hurry home to put her girls to bed after a NAG group dinner with Eric, many of the students stayed chatting with Eric for another 45 minutes in the parking lot!  Thank you, Eric!

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NAG Meetings 2-25-15 and 3-11-15

At our NAG meeting on 2-25-15, we visited the Georgia Tech Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition website.  Also, new PhD student Jay Bliefnick presented on a variable acoustics chamber study that he conducted as an undergraduate student at Colombia College in Chicago.  At our 3-11-15 NAG meeting, Hyun Hong presented an update of his PhD work on perception of reflection density.  We had two acoustic nuggets: one about modeling room acoustics using COMSOL Multiphysics , and the other on Meyer Sound and their impressive Constellation Systems from the New Yorker Magazine.  Only two more meetings left in the school year!

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Dr. Lily Wang leads EPA grant to study school environments

Dr. Lily Wang with other UNL co-PI's, Dr. Josephine Lau, Dr. Clarence Waters, and Dr. Jim Bovaird

Dr. Lily Wang with other UNL co-PI’s, Dr. Josephine Lau, Dr. Clarence Waters, and Dr. Jim Bovaird

Dr. Lily Wang is the lead PI on a project “Evidence-Based Evidence-Based Interactions between Indoor Environmental Factors and Their Effects on K-12 Student Achievement”, recently funded through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy Schools STAR Program. The four-year study will examine indoor environmental factors and their effects on the scholastic achievement of K-12 students.  Read more about the project in this UNL press release!

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NAG Meetings 1-28-15 and 2-11-15

At our first NAG meeting of the year on 1-28-15, Joonhee Lee presented our newly acquired Larson Davis 831 sound level meters to the group – what an improvement over the 824s!  We had two acoustic nuggets, one youtube video (oldie but goodie) showing what an iPhone recorded inside a guitar and the other on Trevor Cox’s recently published text “The Sound Book“.  Madeline Davidson also shared the amazing Cycloramic iPhone app, as featured on the TV show Shark Tank (you must try it).  At our 2-11-15 NAG meeting, Matt Blevins discussed work that he’s been conducting on optimizing transmission loss of metamaterials using genetic algorithms.  We again had two acoustic nuggets to share.  The first from Matt Easlon shows how there are now techniques to create earmolds without touching your ears.  Joonhee Lee shared one that he recently found on how the architect of the new Philharmonie de Paris is boycotting the opening of his hall, stating that it is not complete (because of lack of acoustical tuning among other things!)  Here’s a link to a great panoramic view of that space.

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‘People Behind the Science’ Podcast: Dr. Lily Wang

Dr. Lily Wang was featured on a recent podcast, ‘People Behind the Science’, as interviewed by host Dr. Marie McNeely.  If you have 47 minutes to spare sometime, take a listen (… although Dr. Wang admits she hasn’t had the nerve to listen to it herself yet!!)

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NAG Winter Party 2014

Happy holidays from NAG!

Happy holidays from NAG!

The annual Nebraska Acoustics Group Winter Party was held on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.  The party featured food from Famous Dave’s, a game of ‘Holiday Bingo’ (to determine the order of opening gifts), and our traditional ‘white elephant’ gift exchange.  The reindeer glasses were a hit this year, as shown in our annual group photo.  Hope that everyone had a great holiday!

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