Update: Practice Session Talk List

On October 8, 2012, in Updates, by Pi

Sam Denes

The Practice Session on Friday will be host to a number of great talks. There is still time to RSVP to either give a talk, or attend and give comments to the presenters. Contact Andrew Pyzdek, if you have not already.

As of right now, this is the list of talks to be given (in no particular order):

Andrew Pyzdek, “Exploiting differences in underwater acoustic signal and noise distributions to improve signal detection in low signal-to-noise ratio

Randall Ali, “Thermoacoustic Device for Nuclear Fuel Monitoring and Heat Transfer Enhancement

Eric Mitchell, “Addition of a series spring to a lumped element model of a novel thermoacoustic refrigerator

Dale McElhone, “Application of inversion techniques for bubble size spectra from attenuation measurements in lab-generated bubble distributions

Sam Anderson, “Acoustic Cavitation Localization in Reverberant Environments

Sam Denes

Sam presents his research to a room of Penn State Students

The 164th Meeting of the Acoustical Society America in Kansas City from October 22-26 is fast approaching, and as usual many Penn Staters are going to be presenting. On October 12th, the Penn State Chapter of the ASA will be hosting a practice session from 12-4 PM in ASB 214. Pizza will be provided, and even if you aren’t presenting, we encourage you to attend to give our speakers feedback. This is a great opportunity to not only improve your talk, but also to watch some talks that you might not otherwise find time for during the busy meeting.

Please email Pi () with the name of your presentation by Monday, October 8th, if you would like to practice with us. RSVP, as well, if you would like to attend to give feedback but will not be presenting, so we can have enough pizza for everyone.

We look forward to seeing all the outstanding presentations that Penn State is so well known for!


Music on Mars

On September 10, 2012, in Acoustics Around the Web, by Pi

Photo by Cathlyn Melloan /PhotoDisc/Getty Images

With the Curiosity rover currently running around on Mars, it’s interesting to imagine what the rover might hear up there. Since Mars doesn’t have the thick atmosphere of Earth, sound travels in a very different way. It turns out that Physicist Andi Petculescu and acoustics Professor Tim Leighton have done some simulations to show what music from an organ pipe would sound like in different atmospheres.

They’ve made these files available online, and they’re a really fun listen. Here’s Earth and Mars, but there’s also Venus and Titan.

Space Music: This is the Sound of Pipe Organs on Mars


Also good to see undergraduates doing real work in acoustics. These students have found a way to attach a single accelerometer to a solid surface and turn it into a working touch screen. Watch the video above to see a full demonstration of its abilities!


Files for the Matlab Bootcamp

On August 30, 2012, in Updates, by Pi

For students taking advantage of our Matlab Bootcamp tomorrow, we’ve put together a package of files for you to download. The package includes the walkthroughs and tutorials for tomorrow, as well as a few sample scripts to run.

The package can be found here: Matlab bootcamp files.


Matlab Bootcamp, August 31st

On August 26, 2012, in Event Announcements, by Pi

On Friday, August 31st, the Penn State chapter of the Acoustical Society of America will be hosting our first annual Matlab Bootcamp. Matlab has become an indispensable for acousticians because of its mathematical syntax and rapid code iteration. Many classes in Penn State’s acoustics curriculum expect some familiarity with Matlab, but not all students have a background in programming with this language. The Matlab Bootcamp is a great opportunity to get hands on experience, and learn from fellow students.

The Matlab Bootcamp is highly encouraged for incoming first-year acoustics students, but is open to anyone wanting to beef-up their skills. Interested students should meet in the Applied Science Building at 8:30 AM on Friday; the bootcamp will run until 3 PM (Breakfast and lunch provided). Computers with Matlab installed will also be provided for your use.

Full details follow after the break.

Continue reading »


Welcome, New Students!

On August 26, 2012, in Miscellaneous, by Pi

On August 27th the new semester at Penn State starts in earnest, and with it comes new members for the Penn State chapter of the Acoustical Society of America! If you’ve made it to this site, then odds are you are aware of who we are and what we do. In short, though, we are a student chapter for the Acoustical Society of America, a professional organization for those who study and use the science of sound. If you haven’t already, I recommend you sign up for our listserv and consider applying for membership to our parent organization. In addition, check back here regularly for event updates and announcements, interesting articles from around the web, and original content catered specifically to students of acoustics!

We hope to have a great semester with all of our new members, and we look forward to seeing you all throughout the coming year!


Royster Competition Results

On May 1, 2012, in Miscellaneous, by Jason

Andrew Christian - winner, 2012 Royster Competition at PSU

Thank you to everyone for your participation in our very successful ASA day last Friday!

A special thank you to the Royster Competition Poster entrants; everyone put in a great effort and the posters looked great!

It is our pleasure to announce the judges decisions on the winners of this year’s competition:

First place: Andrew Christian
Second place: Samuel Anderson
Third Place: Matthew Shaw

Thank you again to everyone who came out in support of the poster competition and for everyone’s hard work throughout this year making Penn State ASA a success.


It is my pleasure to announce the results of the PSU ASA officer elections for the 2012-2013 school year:

President: Matt Shaw
Vice-president: Derek Olson
Secretary: Dan Domme
Treasurer: Steve Wells
Chapter Representative: Anand Swaminathan
Webmaster: Andrew Pyzdek
Education: Randy Ali
Faculty co-advisors: Matt Poese and Dan Russell

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming these folks into their new positions. We look forward to their leadership this next year!

It has been a pleasure to serve as your president this past year — thank you all for your help in planning events and your interest shown by your attendance!

All the best,


Last Spring, PSU ASA teamed up with PSU AES to offer a speaker building project for students at Penn State. This wasn’t any speaker, but rather a low-cost speaker made out of a shoebox! (OK, and some other materials as well.) Penn State students Scott Porter, Dan Domme, and Jeff Whalen designed this project as an educational tool to help get students excited about acoustics. Since the project’s conception, it has gone through several iterations and builds with student groups of different ages. (We’ll have to post the details of how to make this speaker later…)

This Spring, we’ve been offered another opportunity to share this project with students in our community. We plan to team up with a local Physics teacher from Bellefonte High School on June 4 before the end of their school year. Contact Randall Ali or Dan Domme for more information.