Laura Cunningham

M.S. student
Architectural Acoustics

Biography

Laura’s background is in location sound for film and television. She has recorded sound on four continents: from the Moors of England and the bustling city of Addis Ababa to the Indian Himalayas. Her work has played in the US and internationally in film festivals as well as on network television. She graduated with a BFA in Film & Television Production at NYU in 2011.

Research

Sonification and Visualization of Weather Data

Scientific data is typically presented visually, with little thought to conveying additional information aurally. However, it is clear that there is an interaction between hearing and vision in human perception, and in some cases, acoustic cues are even stronger than visual cues. This research aims to integrate both aural and visual weather information in an intuitive way to facilitate understanding and learning. Time-lapse landscape footage will provide context for the data and will be presented in addition to a traditional visual display of weather information. The audio component is wind and rain noise synthesized in Max/MSP from temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation data, as well as ambient sound recorded throughout a 24-hour period. The goal will be to create an immersive audio environment using ambisonics to enhance and clarify the presentation of the complex visual data.