The Acous-Tech Lab is led by Dr. Timothy Hsu. This growing research lab is focused on investigating the intersection of acoustics, music, technology, and creativity. In particular, the research examines aspects of human and environmental sustainability through music technology and acoustics. The research projects include healthcare and vocal acoustics, sustainable materials for architectural acoustics, sonically preserving culturally important and endangered venues, to instrument design.

Acoustics and Health

Acoustics affects health in multiple ways. Current projects in this lab include an investigation of vocal acoustics and vocal damage and algorithmic vocal diction detection. Technical tools and methods such as audio signal processing, computational fluid dynamics, and machine learning methods are employed for this area.

Additionally, ongoing research into the acoustics of healthcare facilities extends Dr. Hsu's Ph.D. dissertation. Room acoustics, background noise, and architectural design affects human health and work conditions in the built environment. Creating acoustic products and researching ways the acoustics affects musicians and others is a focus on this lab's work.  

  1. B. Rathi, T. Hsu (2021). A Pilot Study for Algorithmic Diction Detection for Use by Singers and Teachers. Int. J. of Music Science, Technology and Art. 3(1). 
  2. T. Hsu, E. Ryherd, J. Ackerman, and K. Persson Waye. “Noise pollution in hospitals: Impacts on patients.”  J. Clin. Out. Mgmt. Vol 19 (7). 301-09 (2012).  
  3. T. Hsu, E. Ryherd, J. West, C. Barnhill, M. Swisher, and N. Levit (2010). Further studies of hospital noise control at the Johns Hopkins Hospital: Part II. Invited speaker at 159th meeting of the Acoust. Soc. Am., Baltimore, MD.  

Sustainability in Architectural Acoustics

Recent projects focus on the design of diffusers arrays and the materials they are made from. Shape grammar, a design method used in various contexts, plays a critical role in reimagining how diffusers designs can be generated and deployed, resulting in both surprising and unique acoustical properties and visual complexity. Additionally, using unique materials as a way to create more eco-friendly designs with low ecological hazard will allow these panels to be deployed in a green, acoustically efficient, and visually compelling manner.  Collaborating with Jonathan Dessi-Olive at Kansas State University, this ongoing research project seeks to create lower cost acoustical arrays that link acoustical and design parameters. For more information, view the project page. 

Additionally, the lab has continued to research historical acoustics, looking at the preserving culturally important venues in extant and non-extant venues. While previous work simulated opera houses of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart where simulations can place a listener to virtually experience what Mozart may have heard, ongoing work extends this project into non-Western spaces in preserving the culture and heritage of traditionally underrepresented populations. 

  1. J. Dessi-Olive, T. Hsu (Accepted for 2022 publication). A Simulation-Validated Shape Grammar for Architectural Acoustics. Nexus J. Accepted. 
  2. T. Hsu, J. Dessi-Olive, “A computational design framework for absorption and diffusion panels with sustainable materials,” Inter Noise 2021, Washington D.C. (2021). 
  3. J. Dessi-Olive, T. Hsu, “Generating acoustic diffuser arrays with shape grammars,” SimAUD 2019, Atlanta (2019). 
  4. T. Hsu, J. Dessi-Olive, “Evaluation of shape grammar-generated diffuser arrays,” 177th Meeting of the Acoust. Soc. Am. Louisville, KY (2019). 

Musical Acoustics

Musicians have been impacted by acoustics from the beginnings of music. The research of this lab continues to investigate the link between acoustics, musicians, composers, and instruments. Multidisciplinary research that connects mechanical design methods with musical composition and performance leads to a unique design methodology that attempts to create opportunities for the music to drive the creativity and the engineering and acoustic design.  

Some of the student built innovative instruments created have resulted in two exhibitions at the Stubbins Gallery in Atlanta, GA, as well as the Ferst Center for the Arts, as part of the events of the Margaret Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition.

  1. E. Racz, T. Hsu (2021). Experimental Design for Flexible Acoustic Transducers. Int. J. of Music Science, Technology and Art. 3(1). 
  2. H. Guan, Z. Yan, T. Hsu (2021). “Automatic Piano Fingerings Estimation Using Recurrent Neural Networks,” 2nd Nordic Sound and Music Conference. Copenhagen, Sweden. 
  3. E. Sammoutis, P. Sheppard Skaerved, T. Hsu, “The Legacy of the ‘Cyprus Codex’ (MS. Torino J.II.9): Creating New Technologies and Compositions through a Collaborative Process,” Circuit, 28, 69 (2018). 

Current Students

Bhawna Rathi, Ph.D. Student 

Saad Ansari, M.S. Student 

Jakub Walerstein, M.S. Student 

Elijah Racz, B.S. Student (Electrical Engineering)