Sound Science

Dates: February 2-23, 2021

Meets: Tues. from 10:00 AM to 12 Noon

Location: Online Presentation

OLLI Member: $55.00

Enrollment requires a 2020 - 2021 OLLI at MSU Membership

Why are some sounds pleasant while others drive you crazy? In this course, Rob Maher, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at MSU, will introduce the basic principles of acoustics. Topics include the human hearing system, microphones and loudspeakers, the way in which the science of sound influences music and philosophy, and even a few topics in audio forensic analysis. Whether vibrations and the resulting sound waves convey the whisper of a lullaby or the raucous sound of a jackhammer, an understanding of the science of sound leads to a fascinating understanding and appreciation of our sonic surroundings.

Fee:   $55.00

Online Presentation

This is a real-time (live) online class that meets at the specified day(s)/time(s) listed.

We will send you a reminder email with login instructions one business day before the program start date. If there are additional sessions, we will send reminders the morning of those sessions.

Rob Maher

Rob Maher is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Norm Asbjornson School of Engineering at Montana State University. He has a wide range of research and teaching interests, including audio signal processing, musical acoustics and audio forensic analysis. In his spare time, he enjoys music, hiking and both road and trail running. He is past-president of the local Big Sky Wind Drinkers running club and participates in several amateur music groups including the Second String Orchestra (cellist) and his church choir (bass/baritone).
Date Day Time Location
02/02/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation
02/09/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation
02/16/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation
02/23/2021Tuesday10 AM to 12 N Online Presentation

  • Develop a practical understanding of the relationships between frequency, wavelength, spectrum and musical pitch for sounds in air.
  • Understand the basic anatomical characteristics of the human hearing and vocal systems.
  • Understand the behavior of sound in small and large rooms.
  • Develop a basic familiarity with the components and characteristics of microphones and loudspeakers.

For information about refunds, cancellations, minimum enrollments and more, see the Course Administration and Procedures page.


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