Page 69 - Spring 2018
P. 69

Sound Perspectives
Whitney Coyle
Department of Physics Rollins College Winter Park, Florida 32789 USA
Micheal L. Dent
Department of Psychology University at Buffalo State University of New York B76 Park Hall Buffalo, New York 14260 USA
Ask an Acoustician: Whitney Coyle
  Meet Whitney Coyle
Welcome to the second installment of our new Sound Perspectives series “Ask an Acoustician.” This article highlights Whitney Coyle, an assistant professor at Rollins College, Winter Park, Flori- da ( Whitney represents the musical acoustics field. She received her BS from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky, in the fields of music and mathematics. She then went on to Penn- sylvania State University, University Park, for her MS and PhD in acoustics. Whitney has a strong as- sociation with the Acoustical Society of American (ASA), including serving on the Student Council
Committee from 2011 to 2015. She received awards for the Best Student Paper in Musical Acoustics in 2009 and 2014 and the Best Young Presenter in Noise in 2013. Whitney serves on the ASA Web Advisory Committee as chair, the Women in Acoustics Committee, the Education in Acoustics Committee, and the Musical Acoustics Technical Committee. Whitney recently answered a series of questions designed to get to know more about her and her field. Readers can also learn more about Whitney’s work at
A Conversation with Whitney Coyle, In Her Words
Tell us about your work.
I am a musical acoustician, studying the physics of the clarinet. I am part experi- mental, part computational, part theoretical ... whatever helps my students! It is easier to be an experimentalist when working with undergraduate students so that is where my work has pivoted in the last two years. Under my current musical acoustics research umbrella, I am interested in finding objective, acoustical qual- ity markers for musical instruments. Throughout my PhD, I focused on analytical methods to predict the playing frequency of the clarinet. There are many factors that would alter our expectation that a closed-open pipe (the simplest version of our clarinet system) would have certain integer multiple resonance frequencies.1 One of these factors is the flow created by a vibrating reed on the clarinet mouth- piece. Currently, I am interested in experimental methods that can be used to mea- sure the reed-induced flow that is present in the clarinet. Having a more accurate measurement of this quantity will improve the analytical models that were the fo- cus of my PhD work. I am also interested in studying the asymmetrical vibrations of the clarinet reed while the instrument is played by a musician. These questions are difficult to study objectively and accurately due to the human interaction with the instrument and, of course, because the human tends to impede any visualiza- tion studies. For now, as many musical acoustics labs do, we use an artificial mouth
 1 See article in this issue of Acoustics Today by Wolfe on the acoustics of woodwinds.
©2018 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved. volume 14, issue 1 | Spring 2018 | Acoustics Today | 67

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