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 Sound Perspectives
Adrian KC Lee
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences University of Washington 1715 NE Columbia Road Seattle, Washington 98195 USA
Micheal L. Dent
Department of Psychology University at Buffalo State University of New York (SUNY) B76 Park Hall Buffalo, New York 14260 USA
Ask an Acoustician: Adrian KC Lee
Meet Adrian KC Lee
In this issue, “Ask an Acoustician” features Adrian KC Lee. KC (as he is known) is a midcareer scien- tist at the University of Washington (Seattle) and is heavily involved in the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). He received his ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge) and com- pleted postdoctoral training at Boston University, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). KC serves on the editorial board of The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
 (JASA) as a coordinating editor (CE) and has chaired the Strategic Group for the Dissemination of Information and Knowledge. He has also served on the Committee on Education in Acoustics and the International Liaison Committee for the ASA. I will let KC tell you his story.
A Conversation with Adrian KC Lee, in His Words
Tell us about your work.
Imagine a crowded Chinese restaurant: you are trying to have a conversation with your spouse amid your two children practicing their percussion skills with chop- sticks while you simultaneously watch the dim sum cart server’s face to discern whether your favorite dish is being announced. My laboratory studies the cortical mechanisms underlying our ability to selectively listen to one sound source in such a crowded environment and how we leverage visual information to help us navigate in these everyday settings (see Lee, 2017, in Acoustics Today). I am also interested in understanding how one’s ability to interact in these complex sound scenes is impacted by neurodiversity (e.g., listeners with autism spectrum disorders).
Describe your career path.
When I was 16, I went to a high-school engineering camp hosted by The University of Wollongong (just outside Sydney, NSW, Australia) and saw how sound can be represented both in time and in frequency; it was a Hollywood clip showing how forensic acoustics is used to solve crimes (viz., a spectrogram). I was hooked. That led me to study electrical engineering for my bachelor’s degree at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW, Australia), with a major concentration in signal processing. In my junior year, a book by Graeme Clark entitled Sounds of Silence, an autobiographical journey of cochlear implant research in Australia, inspired me to do my undergraduate thesis at the Bionic (Ear) Institute under the tutelage of Hugh McDermott. At that time, my signal-processing professor encouraged me to apply to graduate school in the United States. By the process of elimination (viz., which applications did not require me to take a GRE), I applied to MIT and was accepted to what was then the Harvard-MIT Speech and Hearing Biosciences and Technology (SHBT) program but without guaranteed funding as a foreign student. (I was lucky that my parents encouraged me to accept their admission offer and could afford to let me take the financial risk.) Once I arrived there, I knocked on
64 | Acoustics Today | Winter 2019 | volume 15, issue 4 ©2019 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved.

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