Botros, with the ‘virtual flute’ in the background.
Also pictured is flutist Jane Cavanagh.
Andrew Botros was awarded the state and national Siemens Prize for
Innovation (a prize of $25,000) for his honours project conducted
in the Acoustics Lab. Andrew’s project involved the development
of a web service called the ‘Virtual Flute’ that is
now used hundreds of times each day by flute players and composers.
The service is based on an accurate acoustical model of the flute
that has analysed the acoustical impedance spectra of all 39,744
possible acoustic configurations or ‘fingerings’ of
the instrument. It uses an expert system to relate features of these
spectra to pitch and ‘playability’ of notes. The service
presents a user-friendly interface to provide musicians with alternative
fingerings for difficult passages, microtones and multiphonics.
It is at www.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/flute/virtual.
Fearn receives the silver award the Young Inventor of the Year
from Paul Chan (Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Hewlett-Packard)
and Paul Herrling (Head of Corporate Research, Novartis International
Robert Fearn won the silver award in the Young Inventors Awards
for his work on new coding strategies for cochlear implants. The
award, sponsored by Hewlett Packard and the Far Eastern Economic
Review, included prizes ofUS$5000 in cash, and equal value in electronics
goods, and trips to Hong Kong and California.
Robert and his thesis adviser Joe Wolfe, along with colleagues at
Cochlear Ltd, have patented the new strategy. Prototypes running
on developmental hardware are undergoing pre-clinical trials. These
have showed improved pitch resolution, which is expected to improve
the perception of tonal languages and the appreciation of music.
Comments included “Instruments sounded more real”, “Singing
voice appeared to sing the right notes” and “You guys
are going to have to shoot me to get this processor back! I love
Smith and Joe Wolfe