NAG dinner at Espana in honor of Devin Wong (2nd from left) – NAG alum Cathy Novak was also in attendance!
Congratulations to Devin Wong, who successfully defended his M.S. Thesis “How Acoustics in California High Performance Schools Relate to Student Achivement” on November 17, 2016, advised by Dr. Lily Wang! Devin works full-time at Veneklasen Associates.
At our 10/26/16 NAG meeting, Anna Catton presented on a set of speakers that she designed for the reverberant room at Michigan Tech, where she did her undergraduate studies with Dr. Andrew Barnard. The acoustic nugget featured the new Acoustical Society of America newsfeed: “ASA News About Acoustics” – which could make Dr. Wang’s job easier when she goes looking for nuggets before each NAG meeting! At our 11-9-16 NAG meeting, Laura Brill gave an update on the Healthy Schools research project, sponsored by the EPA. The acoustic nugget featured news on a recent NSF funded project to measure the sounds of New York City … sounds like so much fun!
The beginning of another school year is always exciting! This year, we were pleased to welcome two new graduate students to NAG: Anna Catton and Yoshimi Hasegawa. At the first NAG meeting of the semester on 8/31/16, members discussed their summer experiences at various acoustic endeavors, and the nugget of the month highlighted a story on CBS that focused on the sounds of a US national park “On The Trail: Great Sand Dunes National Park”. Then at the 9/28/16 NAG meeting, members of Dr. Ryherd’s research group introduced the new acoustic camera that was recently acquired at UNL – what a cool device! The nugget that month was on metamaterials and their potential to absorb low frequencies without great mass.
Jay Bliefnick presents his invited paper in the “Isotropy and Diffuseness in Room Acoustics” session at ICA 2016.
Dr. Lily Wang and two students (Jay Bliefnick and Laura Brill) presented technical papers at the International Congress on Acoustics (ICA) in Buenos Aires (September 5-9, 2016) and the following International Symposium on Room and Musical Acoustics (ISMRA) in La Plata (Sept 11-13, 2016). Both Jay and Laura received ICA Young Scientist Grants to attend the conference! The meetings provided great networking opportunities, particularly with acousticians from South America and other parts of the world.
The May 2016 issue of Journal of the Acoustical Society of America includes a paper by alum Dr. Z. Ellen Peng and Dr. Lily Wang on “Effects of noise, reverberation and foreign accent on native and non-native listeners’ performance of English speech comprehension”! The article presents results from Ellen’s PhD work at the University of Nebraska, indicating that while higher BNLs are generally more detrimental to adult listeners with lower English proficiency, all listeners experience significant comprehension deficits above RC-40 (~48 dBA) with native English talkers. This limit is lower (i.e., above RC-30, or ~38 dBA), however, with non-native talkers. For reverberation, non-native listeners as a group perform best with reverberation times up to 0.6 s, while native listeners perform equally well up to 1.2 s. A matched foreign accent benefit has also been identified, where the negative impact of higher reverberation does not exist for non-native listeners who share the talker’s native language.
Congratulations to our Nebraska Acoustics Group alum, David Manley, who has been named a 2016 Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40 winners! David is a senior consultant with D.L. Adams Associates in Denver.
Congratulations to Brenna Boyd who has been selected to receive a 2016-17 UNL Milton E. Mohr Scholarship in the College of Engineering! Brenna is entering the 4th year of the accredited BS/MAE degree program.