Geek Alert! Audio Enthusiasts & Engineers

Dr. Hunter had the opportunity to talk to a really cool group on campus: Audio Enthusiasts & Engineers (AEE). His presentation, “Acoustics and Vocal Communication” introduced basic concepts of acoustics, including the fundamentals of sound propagation and reflection, as well as room acoustics and reverberation. He also introduced how these principles are used to understand the vocal system. For anybody interested, here’s a video of the presentation:

Many of you may see Dr. Hunter’s geek alerts–well, this group is the coolest of all geeky alerts. According to the website:

Audio Enthusiasts and Engineers (AEE ) is a student organization, that was started in the fall semester of 2006. The group was founded by Stas Todromovich and David Lenz, and our faculty advisor, Dr. Gregory Wierzba.

We aim to design, prototype and build audio equipment. We are always open to interesting new members, from all majors with skills and passion. We are a project oriented group, focused on experimenting, researching and building audio projects. We present the built ptototypes to the public at events like the Michigan State University Design Day, AEE Music Festival and other events and competitions. Our group meetings and educational forums are also open to all MSU students to learn, teach, share thoughts and ideas to encourage innovation and discovery in the field of audio.

A big thank you to AEE for the invitation to speak!


Publication Alert: Congratulations!

Congratulations to Drs. Bottalico  and Graetzer for their paper that has just been accepted to JASA Express Letters! It was accepted outright with no need for revisions. Great work!

Look for the article in the upcoming months.

Bottalico P, Graetzer S, and Hunter EJ. Effects of voice style, noise level and acoustic feedback on objective and subjective voice evaluations. JASA Letters.

V-BAL Fall Party

We had a wonderful party–thanks to all who could join us! We completed approximately 400 hygeine kits for the homeless and those who have sought temporary shelter at several locations in Lansing.


And here are the results of your hard work: A LOT of kits!


If you all are willing, we will do something like this again.  Remember ….

“Never worry about numbers.  Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
Mother Teresa

I-Robot Geek Alert

As autonomous cars gain traction, Popular Science asks an interesting question: Who Will Driverless Cars Decide to Kill? From the article:

Researchers from the Toulouse School of Economics decided to see what the public would decide, and posed a series of questions to online survey-takers, including a situation where a car would either kill 10 people and save the driver, or swerve and kill the driver to save the group.

They found that more than 75 percent supported self-sacrifice of the passenger to save 10 people, and around 50 percent supported self-sacrifice when saving just one person. However, respondents didn’t actually think real cars would end up being programmed this way, and would probably save the passenger at all costs. . . .  However, they foresee regulations being tricky, asking whether the public would support a law that requires cars to sacrifice their passengers under certain circumstances.

5 Pens Geek Alert

Geek Alert! (5 pens!)

Our college, Michigan State University College of Communication Arts & Sciences, does incredible work in virtual reality… but the technology being described here is astounding!

Feeds from any of six cameras located outside the jet can be piped into the helmet, for a 360-degree field of view. When the pilot looks down, he doesn’t see his knees—he sees “through” the aircraft, and knows what’s below him. Built-in night-vision lets him see in the dark, without needing to flip down a set of goggles. He can even aim weapons with no more than a glance, thanks to the helmet’s eye tracking capability.

V-BAL Service Party

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s time for our V-BAL Fall party at the Hunters’ house!

battered-woman-320This fall—if everyone approves—we’d like to do something a little different. In addition to the potluck party with lots of food that we normally do, we have the opportunity to put together hygiene kits for 2 area shelters that do AMAZING work in the community:

  • Eve’s House: an emergency shelter for domestic violence victims. While residents, they are taught those skills necessary to gain healing, confidence, hope, and independence. Each month, they provide emergency shelter for approximately 50 women/children who are (literally) running from violence.
  • Advent House: a weekend and transitional shelter. Programs are available for individuals/families transitioning out of homelessness, as well as weekend meals for long-term homeless individuals. They will use approximately 200 hygiene kits/month.

What are hygiene kits, you ask? These are basic kits that contain those items needed for physical care—for example, soap, shampoo, lotion, razors, etc.  Most of the hygiene kits will be given to the Advent House, where we need both regular sized kits for those transition to homes and sample-sized kits for those who are long-term homeless.

Please don’t feel obligated to participate. But I think this could be a memorable—and fun—night. We will try to quickly put the kits together and then play games.

And, if you’d like to contribute in any way to these or other shelters, there are many opportunities. In addition to donations (needed items can be provided), many area shelters seek volunteers to help with needs such as weekend meal preparation, life skills classes (e.g., GED classes, literacy, ESL), and upkeep of the buildings (e.g., painting, yardwork).

V-BAL Members to Present at Upcoming CSD Colloquium

Dr. Simone Graetzer and Dr. Pasquale Bottalico will speak at the CSD Colloquium to be held next Tuesday. Their research, entitled, “Vocal Effort and the Effect of Room Acoustics in Noisy Environments,” examines how teacher’s voice use (and vocal fatigue) is affected by the acoustics and noise in classrooms.

Be sure to come and support your fellow V-BAL members!  The Colloquium will begin at 2:30 in Rm 107 in the Oyer Speech and Hearing Building.

Dr. Hunter Discusses New CSD Minor at MSU

Eric HunterDr. Hunter discusses the new Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) minor in a new post on the College of Arts & Sciences homepage:

“We think it’s the way to go for students interested in this growing field,” said Eric Hunter, Associate Chairperson of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and Director of the Undergraduate Program. “We have offered individual undergraduate courses before. This new minor, however, creates a way for students to explore the field, getting the coursework and experience they need for their future studies. We also give these students the opportunity to experience the excitement of research in any of our diverse faculty labs.”

The following 7 courses are required to receive a minor in CSD:

  1. CSD 213 – Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms
  2. CSD 303 – Fundamentals of Hearing
  3. CSD 313 – Speech Science
  4. CSD 333 – Oral Language Development
  5. CSD 364 – Speech and Language Disorders and Their Evaluations
  6. CSD 444 – Audiologic Assessment and Intervention/Rehabilitation
  7. CSD 463 – Intervention/Rehabilitation Procedures in Speech Language Pathology

Look for more information on this minor on the CSD website.

Welcome, Mark!

We are excited to announce that Mark Berardi will be joining us in January of 2016, when he will pursue a PhD in CSD. We have appreciated the great work he has already contributed towards our study of gender differences in occupational voice users as a student at one of our collaborator sites, Brigham Young University.

He has given me permission to share the fabulous video that he put together. ENJOY!