Heyser Memorial Lecture
AES 111th Convention
Javits Convention Center, New York, NY
Sunday, December 2, 5:30pm
||Manfred Schroeder delivering Heyser Lecture
at AES 111th Convention in New York and enjoying the reception after the
lecture with friends.
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Audio
University of Goettingen, Germany
Mathematics has had an almost uncanny impact on audio. From the abundance of
applications of various branches of mathematics on audio engineering and
music, I will focus on the following topics:
I will also touch on the potential of the famous Fibonacci numbers, the
related "rabbit" sequence and other self-similar number sequences for
composing pleasing music and generating exciting rhythms.
- Maximum-length sequences for the precision measurement of impulse and
frequency responses of recording studios, concert halls, and all manner of
- The realization of efficient sound scattering by means of quadratic-residue
diffusors and other number-theoretic phase gratings.
- Error correcting codes for compact discs.
- The measurement of reverberation times and sound decay rates by
- The statistics of reverberant sound fields in acoustics spaces.
Manfred Schroeder bio
Manfred Schroeder studied mathematics and physics at the University of
Göttingen in Germany. In his thesis he investigated the distribution of
resonances in concert halls using microwave cavities as models. The chaotic
distribution he found is now recognized as characteristic for complex
(non-integrable) dynamical systems.
In 1954 Schroeder joined the research department of AT&T Bell Laboratories in
Murray Hill, New Jersey. From 1958 to 1969 he directed research at Bell on
speech compression, synthesis, and recognition. Since 1969 he has also
served as a Professor of Physics at Göttingen, commuting between the
University and Bell. Since 1991 he has been University Professor Emeritus.
Schroeder is also a founding member of the Institut de Recherche et
Coordination Acoustique/Musique of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In the late
1950s he helped to formulate the U.S. standards for stereophonic
broadcasting, now used worldwide. Schroeder holds 45 U.S. Patents in speech
and signal processing and other fields.
Schroeder has written three books: Number Theory in Science and
Communication; Fractals Chaos, Power Laws: Minutes from an Infinite
Paradise; and Computer Speech: Recognition, Compression, Synthesis.
In 1991 Schroeder was awarded the Gold Medal of the Acoustical Society of
America for "theoretical and practical contributions to human communication
through innovative application of mathematics." He also received the
Rayleigh Medal of the British Institute of Acoustics, the Helmholtz Medal of
the German Acoustical Society, and the Gold Medal of the Audio Engineering
Schroeder is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the
New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the National Academy of
Engineering in Washington and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences.
Schroeder's hobbies are languages, bicycling, down-hill skiing, and computer