Undergraduate noise control: Not just acoustics for dummies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


When designing an engineering course, it is common to start from fundamentals and first-principles and derive solutions to simple problems. This approach is often seen in a first-semester Acoustics course: The wave equation and its solutions are derived for strings, membranes, plates, and fluids; Fourier transforms are calculated by hand; and transmission coefficients for barriers are calculated under the assumption that panels are uniform and infinite. It is tempting for an instructor designing an introductory course in noise control to take a similar approach and spend most of the semester on fundamentals and background, leaving little time for applications or demonstrations. In this paper, an alternative approach is presented: focus on the information that practicing noise control engineers use every day. For example, students should learn how to use sound level meters, increase STC ratings of walls, reduce HVAC noise, and follow noise regulations and standards. A course in noise control should expose students to careers and specialties within the industry and prepare them to contribute at an employer as quickly as possible. A sample curriculum for a senior-level course in noise control is presented, with special attention given to the differences between the course and a typical first-semester acoustics course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Event44th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, INTER-NOISE 2015 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2015Aug 12 2015


Other44th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, INTER-NOISE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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