Advanced study in Architectural Acoustics represents a unique opportunity for students to combine existing courses and research to provide an education that integrates scientific, computational, cognitive, and psychological research with experimental applications. The work will not only be multidisciplinary in scope but also application-oriented, relating closely to design and to the needs of practitioners and industry.
Architectural Acoustics is an interdisciplinary field of science tied intimately to the design and optimization of interior spaces, wherein the physical sound field of a space and its corresponding aural quality are primarily determined by architectural parameters such as shape, volume, and surface properties. The acoustical quality of a space is relevant not only for cultural settings (e.g., room acoustics) but also for any environment that values human health, performance, and productivity (e.g., effects of noise). Architectural Acoustics is also necessary for the accurate and realistic simulation of virtual spaces, e.g., for prototyping, education, training, design, or experimental research with non-physical sound fields. Such virtual spaces can also lead to new developments of “sonic architecture” and time-variant sound-scapes.
Architectural Acoustics thus encompasses and links many traditionally disparate disciplines to design: physics, hearing perception, mathematics, computer modeling, engineering, music, psychological and physiological acoustics, cognitive science, and electro-acoustics. Thus the Ph.D. in Architectural Acoustics can also involve communication acoustics in its widest sense.
Examples of research topics of current interest are:
- Training of auditory perception capabilities with regard to reverberation
- Sound quality of scattered sound
- New algorithms for the prediction of room acoustic transmission sound quality
- Improved methods for feature extraction in room acoustic measurement
- Physical scale modeling made simple
- Spatial properties of reverberation
- Product sound quality metrics and their relationship to the meaning of sounds
- Quantification of transmission sound quality of audio equipment