Acoustical Society of America

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Acoustical Society of America
TypeProfessional association
WebsiteOfficial website

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is an international scientific society founded in 1929 dedicated to generating, disseminating and promoting the knowledge of acoustics and its practical applications. The Society is primarily a voluntary organization of about 7500 members and attracts the interest, commitment, and service of many professionals.[2]


In the summer of 1928,[3] Floyd R. Watson and Wallace Waterfall[4] (1900–1974),[5] a former doctoral student of Watson, were invited by UCLA's Vern Oliver Knudsen to an evening dinner at Knudsen's beach club[4] in Santa Monica.[3] The three physicists decided to form a society of acoustical engineers interested in architectural acoustics. In the early part of December 1928, Wallace Waterfall sent letters to sixteen people inquiring about the possibility of organizing such a society. Harvey Fletcher offered the use of the Bell Telephone Laboratories at 463 West Street in Manhattan as a meeting place for an organizational, initial meeting to be held on December 27, 1928. The meeting was attended by forty scientists and engineers who started the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Temporary officers were elected: Harvey Fletcher as president, V. O. Knudsen as vice-president, Wallace Waterfall as secretary, and Charles Fuller Stoddard (1876–1958) as treasurer.[4][6][7] A constitution and by-laws were drafted. The first issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America was published in October 1929.[4]

Technical committees[edit]

The Society has 13 technical committees that represent specialized interests in the field of acoustics. The committees organize technical sessions at conferences and are responsible for the representation of their sub-field in ASA publications. The committees include:


The Acoustical Society of America publishes a wide variety of material related to the knowledge and practical application of acoustics in physics, engineering, architecture, noise, oceanography, biology, speech and hearing, psychology and music.

In 2021, the ASA Publications' Office began producing Across Acoustics,[9] a podcast to highlight authors' research from these four publications.

Discontinued publications[edit]


The ASA presents awards and prizes to individuals for contributions to the field of Acoustics. These include:[10]

  • Gold Medal
  • Silver Medal
    • Interdisciplinary Silver Medal – Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal
  • R. Bruce Lindsay Award
  • Wallace Clement Sabine Medal
  • Pioneers of Underwater Acoustics Medal
  • A. B. Wood Medal and Prize of the Institute of Acoustics
  • Trent-Crede Medal
  • von Békésy Medal
  • Honorary Fellows
  • Distinguished Service Citation
  • Science Communication Award[11]
  • Rossing Prize in Acoustics Education[12]
  • David T. Blackstock Mentor Award[13]
  • Medwin Prize in Acoustical Oceanography[14][15]
  • William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience[16]

Most technical committees also sponsor awards for best student or early career presenter at each conference.

Student activity[edit]

The ASA offers membership and conference attendance to students at a substantially reduced rate. Conference attendance is further promoted by travel subsidies and formal and informal student meetings and social activities. The ASA also expanded services to students in 2004 by introducing regional student chapters.


  1. ^ "Brand Adoption". Acoustical Society of America.
  2. ^ "Acoustical Society of America home page". Acoustical Society of America.
  3. ^ a b Cavanaugh, William J.; Tocci, Gregory C.; Wilkes, Joseph A. (16 November 2009). "A timeline of some significant events in architectural acoustics since Sabine's pioneering work at the Fogg Museum Lecture Hall". Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Practice. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9780470190524. (See Wallace Clement Sabine.)
  4. ^ a b c d Waterfall, Wallace (October 1929). "History of Acoustical Society of America". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 1 (1): 5–8. doi:10.1121/1.1901431.
  5. ^ Beyer, Robert T. (November 1974). "Obituary. Wallace Waterfall". Physics Today. 27 (11): 79, 81, & 83. doi:10.1063/1.3129008.
  6. ^ "Clarence Hickman and Charles Stoddard papers, 1886–1999" (PDF). Indiana Historical Society (
  7. ^ "The Reproducing Piano - Ampico". The Pianola Institute (
  8. ^ "Governance". Acoustical Society of America.
  9. ^ "Across Acoustics". Buzzsprout. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  10. ^ "Awards". Acoustical Society of America.
  11. ^ "Science Communication Awards". Acoustical Society of America Press Room. 4 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2020-08-04.
  12. ^ "Awards & Prizes". Education in Acoustics Committee. 14 May 2016. Archived from the original on 2020-09-23.
  13. ^ "Mentor Award". ASA Students. 4 December 2018. Archived from the original on 2019-05-13.
  14. ^ "Medwin Prize in Acoustical Oceanography". Technical Committee on Acoustical Oceanography. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  15. ^ Heald, Gary (2002). "Timothy Leighton FIOA is awarded the Medwin Prize 2001" (PDF). Acoustics Bulletin. p. 40.
  16. ^ "Prizes". Acoustical Society of America Prizes. Archived from the original on 2018-01-30. Retrieved 28 November 2021.

External links[edit]