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Leo L. Beranek, an engineer whose company designed the acoustics for the United Nations and concert halls at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood, then built the direct precursor to the internet under contract to the Defense Department, died on Oct.
He was Beranek taught acoustic engineering at Harvard and M. But one of his most notable achievements was well outside the field of acoustics. By demonstrating the ability to share data and messages through vast computer networks, Arpanet, a product of government-sponsored research, paved the way for the creation of the internet.
Among its many breakthrough achievements, his company sent the first email message that used the symbol, in He also improved the acoustic environment in such landmark concert venues as the Koussevitzky Music Shed at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass.
From to he did work on noise control, creating standards that are used internationally today. What are acceptable noise standards in a home, in a factory, in a concert hall? I wrote those. At the advent of the jet age, Dr. Despite claims by the airlines and Boeing that jets were no louder than propeller aircraft, Dr. These standards were adopted around the world. His mother died when he was His father was a farmer and later an owner of a hardware and farm machinery store in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
When he was a junior in high school, Dr. Beranek took a correspondence course on radio that sparked a love affair with the medium that lasted for the rest of his life. His business paid his tuition and living expenses at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, where he enrolled in fall He graduated with a degree in physics and mathematics in During his senior year, a chance encounter outside the Mount Vernon town library changed his life.
One afternoon, Dr. Beranek noticed a Cadillac with a flat tire stopped on the street. A middle-aged man emerged from the car, and Dr. Beranek offered to help him change the tire. He chatted with the grateful driver, Glenn Browning, a businessman from Massachusetts, who suggested he apply to Harvard for graduate studies in engineering. Browning had once taught at Harvard and offered himself as a reference. He became an assistant professor at Harvard that year and held that position until In Dr.
Bernanek married Phyllis Knight. She died in He later married Gabriella Sohn, who survives him. Beside his son James, other survivors include another son, Thomas Beranek Haynes; two stepsons, and a granddaughter.
Until then, voice communication from the ground to airplanes at high altitude was impossible. After the war, Dr. Beranek was recruited to teach at M. Beranek and Robert Newman, a former student of Dr. The company was conceived as a center for leading-edge acoustic research. But Dr. Beranek changed its direction in the s to include a focus on the nascent computer age. Beranek said in a interview for this obituary. He hired J. Licklider , a pioneering computer scientist from M.
Licklider who persuaded him that the company needed to get involved in computers. Under Dr. Licklider, the company developed one of the best software research groups in the country and won many critical projects with the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies. Though Dr. Licklider left in , the company became a favored destination for a new generation of software developers and was often referred to as the third university in Cambridge.
Beranek said. With the PC, I could see that computers were fun, and that is the real reason why all innovations come into widespread use. His death was confirmed by his son James. Beranek applied and was offered a full scholarship. Home Page World U.
Acoustics: Sound Fields, Transducers and Vibration
Leo L. Beranek, an engineer whose company designed the acoustics for the United Nations and concert halls at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood, then built the direct precursor to the internet under contract to the Defense Department, died on Oct. He was Beranek taught acoustic engineering at Harvard and M. But one of his most notable achievements was well outside the field of acoustics.
He authored Acoustics , considered a classic textbook in this field, and its updated and extended version published in under the title Acoustics: Sound Fields and Transducers. He was also an expert in the design and evaluation of concert halls and opera houses , and authored the classic textbook Music, Acoustics, and Architecture , revised and extended in under the title Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture. Beranek was born in in Solon, Iowa. His father Edward Fred Beranek was a farmer whose ancestors came from Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic and his mother Beatrice Stahle, previously a schoolteacher, had become a farmwife. Beranek first started school in a one-room schoolhouse in Tipton, Iowa.
Leo Beranek, Acoustics Designer and Internet Pioneer, Dies at 102