William Strong was awarded the Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics, the second highest honor given by the Acoustical Society of America. Strong taught at BYU from 1967 to 2001.
Hearing the Music of Science
The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences is proud to congratulate emeritus professor William Strong on receiving the Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics for a lifetime of acoustical research excellence.
The Silver Medal is the second highest honor presented by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and is only awarded when the board determines that a nominee has provided significant and long-lasting contributions to science. Strong is the ninth person in the history of the ASA to receive the Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics.
“The award was fully unexpected,” Strong said. “But it’s an honor. An unexpected honor.”
Unexpected, but not at all unmerited.
Physics was a favorite subject of Strong’s beginning in high school. This interest continued when he attended BYU in the 1950s where he was exposed to a broad range of physics topics.
“Then I took an acoustics course taught by Dr. Harvey Fletcher toward the end of my studies at BYU and I decided that’s the thing that really appealed to me,” Strong said.
After completing his undergraduate education, Strong entered into a doctoral program in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he joined a musical acoustics research group. His research there centered on the synthesis of wind instrument tones. It was at MIT where he observed and grew close with professors, something that sparked his interest in pursuing a career in academia.
“When I was at MIT, I had a couple of professors that I very much enjoyed, and the idea of becoming a professor appealed to me more and more,” Strong said. “Working in the university environment combines the best of all worlds because you can teach, you can do research, you get to interact with students, you get to interact with colleagues, [and] you get to do some travel. It’s an exciting environment.”
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