Page 8 - Spring 2018
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From the Editor | Arthur N. Popper
 When putting together each issue of Acoustics Today (AT), I try to have a diverse set of topics. In particular, a goal is to ensure that we have articles that, over time, represent the
extraordinary diversity of research and ideas that make the meetings of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) so in- teresting and exciting. I hope that readers find that this issue of AT meets the goal of diversity and that every reader de- cides that it is worth their time to read every article.
The first article in this issue, by Geoffrey Manley, Andrei Lu- kashkin, Patrício Simões, George Burwood, and Ian Russell, takes an interesting approach to discussing the inner ear. Rather than considering the ear solely from a physiologi- cal perspective, the authors ask about “competing” forces of evolution and physics in the “design” of the ear and its func- tion.
In the second article, Robin Matoza and David Fee share fascinating insights into the sounds produced by volcanos (as illustrated on the cover of this issue). These infrasounds reveal a great deal about volcanic mechanisms, and the au- thors share many of these findings with readers.
Jennifer Miksis-Olds, Bruce Martin, and Peter Tyack are very much engaged in issues related to the underwater soundscape and how it is measured. In the third article, they provide a broad overview of man-made underwater sounds and current and future approaches to sampling and under- stand this increasingly important issue.
One of the true pioneers of biomedical acoustics as well as a major contributor to the ASA was the late Floyd Dunn. Al- though many members of the ASA did not know Dr. Dunn (regretfully, I only met him once or twice), he is certainly someone every Society member is likely to enjoy knowing about. William O’Brien provides a personal perspective about Dr. Dunn and shares some of his extraordinarily im- portant research that, in fact, impacts every member of the ASA and their family.
Another perspective on soundscapes is provided by Hans Slabbekoorn in an article that discusses the effects of man- made sound on birds. An important point in this article is that many of the ideas about the effects of changes in the
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soundscape that have been discussed regarding humans in earlier articles in AT also affect birds and other animals. In- deed, it becomes apparent from the article that much can be learned about the effects of man-made sound from studies on nonhuman subjects.
The final article in this issue can be thought of as part of a “miniseries” in AT on the function of musical instruments. In this article, Joe Wolfe describes the physics of woodwind instruments. Do make sure to check out the sounds that ac- company this article because they really help bring home many of the points Joe makes.
I have been asked several times how we “pick” the cover for each issue of AT. In fact, selection of the cover is a group project for the AT team, and although I make the final deci- sion, I solicit and listen to input. We have two criteria. First, the figure used must be really interesting and attractive. Second, we try to have diverse topics on the cover, so even though I tend to personally like pictures of animals and bio- logical structures, I avoid this “prejudice.”
Of course, some of you will notice that the cover in this issue and the one in Fall 2017 were artist renditions that reflect the topic of an article. This artistic approach is one that I’m hav- ing fun exploring. In each case, the artist is my close friend Mark Weinberg (who donates the illustrations to AT). Mark has led a “dual life” as an attorney and as an artist but most- ly artist now that he is retired. You can see more of Mark’s work at (Full disclosure: my wife and I own the Einstein shown on the website, and “covet” Mark’s painting of Leonardo da Vinci.)
We continue the issue with a number of Sound Perspectives essays. We start with essays on three ASA committees: the Committee on International Research and Education (writ- ten by Ann Bradlow and Michael Vorländer), the Public Relations Committee (by Andrew Piacsek), and the Student Council (by Tyler Flynn and Sarah Young). The Student Council report is part of a series of articles that we will have in AT from this very active and invaluable group (I particu- larly urge all students to read about this group and become involved in its myriad activities). I am hoping to have reports from other ASA committees in future issues of AT and invite committee chairs to contact me (if I’ve not already contacted them) to discuss doing an article.

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