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Sound Perspectives
D. Keith Wilson
US Army Engineer Research and Development Center 72 Lyme Road Hanover, New Hampshire 03755-1290 USA
Technical Specialty Group Report: Computational Acoustics
At the spring 2018 meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) in Min- neapolis, MN, the Executive Council approved the formation of a new Techni- cal Specialty Group (TSG) in Computational Acoustics (CA). The CA TSG will hold its first official meeting at the fall 2018 meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As indicated in the ASA Rules (Sect. 18), “Technical Specialty Groups are estab- lished to organize technical sessions at meetings of the Society in new or evolving acoustical areas not within the scopes of the existing Technical Committees...” Although a TSG functions similarly to a technical committee (TC) in that it or- ganizes sessions, undertakes technical initiatives, and is represented on the ASA Technical Council, it does have significant limitations relative to a full TC, for example, it does not confer awards and medals. After an initial period of three years, the TSG may be renewed, disestablished, or converted into a TC.
Computational acoustics is a well-established yet still rapidly expanding area of acoustics that attracts a broad range of researchers across the spectrum of the cur- rent TCs. The effort to establish a CA TSG began in earnest at the Honolulu (HI) meeting in December 2016, when Amanda Hanford (of the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory, University Park) and I first circulated a petition and collected signatures. The requisite 50 signatures to form a TSG were eventually gathered before the spring 2018 meeting in Minneapolis. The signato- ries to the petition listed 10 different TCs as their primary affiliations, with Physi- cal Acoustics, Structural Acoustics and Vibration, and Underwater Acoustics be- ing the most frequently represented.
Along the way to forming the TSG, Amanda and I received encouragement and valuable support from a great many ASA colleagues, whom we will not attempt to list here. Many stimulating discussions helped to sharpen our thoughts about the purpose of a CA TSG and its relationship to the current TC structure. In my view, the primary positive rationale for forming a new CA TSG is well captured by the following quote, which was brought to my attention by Elaine Moran (Director of Operations of the ASA).
“We also try to seek out groups who are working in some area of acous- tics and try to show them the Society will be of value to them. Over the years there has been a lot of discussion about what should be the scope of the Acoustical Society. I choose to take the position that acoustics and the scope of our Society should include whatever those who call themselves acoustical scientists are doing, which they regard as acoustics.”
Wallace Waterfall (ASA founding member, 1st Secretary, 1st Editor-in- Chief, 8th Treasurer), Address to the Narragansett Regional Chapter, 1966.
Because the ASA exists primarily to serve the professional interests of its mem- bers, if it can better serve a substantial segment of the membership through the
 ©2018 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved. volume 14, issue 4 | Winter 2018 | Acoustics Today | 63

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