Monthly archives: November 2013

Välkommen till Västerbotten!

Welcome all, my name is Jonathan and I’ll attempt to be your guide to the cold, frozen, incredibly beautiful north. It’s been three months since I landed, suitcase on rollers (thank goodness) in this eclectic and vibrant northern city but already there’s been a lot of change (mainly in what it’s appropriate to wear, I started in shorts and a t-shirt and have not-so-gradually progressed to layering jumpers with scarves and gloves…).

It has been a frenetic time adjusting to a new culture and climate, occasionally frustrating struggling with the inherent difficulties of setting up home in a new country, but above all a tremendously rewarding opportunity to meet and befriend a group of passionate and interesting people from all over the world. Hopefully this blog can impart some impression of my experiences in weird and wonderful Västerbotten and provide some useful information to help those considering the move along the way.

 

Nydalasjön with the chaps, August 2013.

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Semester Update from Gothenburg

I’m still alive. I promise. Though alive and well, I’ve been busy with work and life over the last few weeks, but I’ll try to bring you up to speed on some of the most important stuff.

At Chalmers we’ve actually just started a new quarter – my final round of classes before I start my thesis work in fact. That’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to contemplate; time flies when courses and exams are condensed into eight weeks modules. Anyway, I am currently enrolled in three courses: Applied Signal Processing, Electroacoustics, and Design of Silent Products. I can already tell that the signal processing course is the one that’s going to kick my butt – mainly because I’m relatively inexperienced in this area compared to the other people in the class who have studied signals and systems/communications.

The good news is that I’ve had a little time to mentally prepare myself since I took Active Noise Control in the first quarter. This course did a nice job of introducing the basics of adaptive filtering, and we were able to use this knowledge to essentially learn how to use a sound wave to cancel (or at least reduce) another unwanted sound wave. It really seems like evil magic unless you know what’s going on, and even then, it still seems a little crazy when an algorithm you created actually attenuates sound significantly. This principle of active noise control is used to create things like noise-canceling headphones and active mufflers and ventilation systems.

Active control of sound in a duct system (on the right). Photo by Brett Seward.

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