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Dr. David Bradley (from Vassar College), "To Hear or Not To Hear: The Acoustics of Drama Theaters"

Date: 11/17/11
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: Dr. Julio Jorge Gonzalez, x3724, gonzalj@engr.newpaltz.edu

If you have ever wondered how the architectural design of a performing arts space helps or hinders the way we hear a performance, this lecture will elucidate the topic. Dr. Bradley's current research objective is to characterize the behavior of reflected sound energy from surfaces used in acoustically sensitive spaces, such as concert halls and classrooms. To this end he is investigating the scattering characteristics of two-dimensional surfaces exhibiting fractal geometries, where patterns and shapes (“fractals”) repeat their structure on ever-finer scales. These types of surfaces are useful in spaces with high sound pressure levels and low-frequency concerns, such as the multipurpose performing arts spaces that have become more common. He will discuss how the sonic environment of a theater affects the acoustics of spoken-word performances. Additionally, he will examine the progression of acoustical design for drama theaters over the past 25 years.