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In Her Own Words:
An Acoustic Story
Marcia Isakson Over the 1:15! 50 years, Women have gone [ram being tolerated in science to be-
A d '1’ e S S: caminga vital component. The stories told "in Iier awn Wnrds”i'n this article
Applied Research Laboratories “'9 [""" gm” “'1'” ""4 '7'
The U“l"“'5“Y °f Tex“ 3‘ A“5““ As the editor of Acoustics Today, Arthur Popper, was developing the topics for this
A“5fi"- Tex“ 78758 issue, he realized that the first several articles he invited, by chance, had women as
USA senior authors. At the same time, he was consulting with members of the Women
Email. in Acoustics (WIA) Committee about a set of articles on their role in the Acoustical
mmk50n@a,1m_mexas_edu Society of America (ASA), and it struck him that one way to “celebrate” female
colleagues would be to set up the entire issue with women as senior authors. After
consulting with various colleagues, he easily arrived at a diverse set of exciting
Alex Tolstoy articles by rather remarkable ASA members. Thus, for the first time, Acoustics
Addms: Today has a woman as the senior author of each article. Art then gently “twisted
1538 Hampton Hm Circle arms” and invited the immediate past president, Marcia Isakson, and the founder
McLean) Virginia 22101 of the WIA Committee, Alex Tolstoy, to author the introduction. He was also
USA delighted to discover that Alex is a watercolorist and he invited her to do the cover
for the issue.
Email: The senior authors in this issue are a group of prominent women in acoustics.
atolstoy@g, . _ _ . .
Kathleen Wage, an expert in signal processing from George Mason University,
Fairfax, VA, has an article on sparse array processing. Christina Naify, from the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, gives us insight into the world of antenna arrays.
Iennell Vick from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, discusses
the intricacies of speech development in children. Lily Wang, the current ASA
president, writes about classroom acoustics. Lisa Zurk, the first female director of
the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, Seattle, reviews
sonar and signal processing. Finally, Alexandra Loubeau of NASA talks about how
humans perceive sonic booms.
This diverse and impressive list of authors shows just how much women are
contributing to the field of acoustics. However, although the breadth of acoustical
science is covered in these articles, the human element seemed to be missing.
Therefore, we decided that an appropriate introduction would be to trace the
experience of female researchers through the years. As such, we reached out to the
acoustics community for help in gathering stories. While doing this, we realized
that the best way to tell these stories was to let each individual tell her own story in
her own words, with some light editing. So, here is a semichronological collection
of individual stories in her own words. The stories are anonymous for two reasons.
First, many of the women requested to remain anonymous. Second, to some extent,
these stories reflect a shared experience among female researchers. In a lot of ways,
they reflect the “every woman.”
We have categorized the contributions into three parts: senior researchers (covering
the 1960s to 1980s), midcareer researchers (covering the 1990s to the early 2000s),
and early-career researchers (covering the 2010s). These stories, both good and
bad, tell the evolving story of women in science and, we believe, give hope for
1|: 1 Acuulclcl Tbday 1 mi 2013 1 volume14,issue3 @2013 Acousticalsociezy 0fAmeri'ca.AlI1xghts reserved.

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