I have been in the Audio Research Group (ARG) at the University of Waterloo since 2010 when I began my applied mathematics master’s degree with John Vanderkooy and Lilia Krivodonova. My main (current) research interests are in gasdynamics (compressible fluid dynamics) and nonlinear acoustics. In particular, I study the propagation and production of nonlinear acoustic sound waves within brass instruments. Within these problems, the nonlinear effects of wave propagation can lead to important musical consequences such as wave steepening and potentially the production of shock waves. In my thesis, “Nonlinear wave propagation in the trumpet,” I did experiments to measure the pressure waveforms of mid to high frequency notes and then used the discontinuous Galerkin numerical method to describe nonlinear wave propagation inside of a trumpet using the compressible Euler equations.

Working in the ARG with John and Lilia has been a wonderful, productive experience. In fact, we have been steadily continuing our research despite that I’ve already graduated. I’ve also been a lecturer at the University of Waterloo and St. Jerome’s University since 2011 and have always used my acoustics knowledge to motivate and excite my students. I think it’s one of the greatest mathematical tools for teaching since it merges concepts and theory from physics, mathematics and computer science (basically, all of undergrad). I feel incredibly lucky to be doing what I love the most – teaching and learning, (what could be better?) and am very grateful to my supervisors/coworkers. My hope is that I’ll soon be able to teach a special topic physics class on the acoustics of musical instruments to share my knowledge and excite others about the beauty of math and science.

  • Audio Research Group: 2010-Present
Mark Pocock
Chris Roehrig