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The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is an international scientific society dedicated to increasing and diffusing the knowledge of acoustics and its practical applications.
The ASA was instigated by Wallace Waterfall, Floyd Watson, and Vern Oliver Knudsen. On December 27, 1928, approximately 40 scientists and engineers interested in acoustics met at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York, NY, to consider the formation of a scientific society for acoustics. Just a few months later, the Acoustical Society of America held its first meeting on May 10-11, 1929, with approximately 450 charter members. In 1931 the Acoustical Society joined with three other scientific societies to form the American Institute of Physics.
The Society has 13 technical committees that represent specialized interests in the field of acoustics. The committees organize technical sessions at conferences and are responsible for the representation of their sub-field in ASA publications. The committees include:
- Acoustical oceanography
- Animal Bioacoustics
- Architectural Acoustics
- Biomedical Ultrasound/Bioresponse to Vibration
- Acoustical Engineering
- Musical Acoustics
- Physical Acoustics
- Psychological and Physiological Acoustics
- Signal Processing in Acoustics
- Speech Communication
- Structural acoustics and Vibration
- Underwater Acoustics
From its inception, the ASA's members have helped develop acoustical standards. In 1932, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) appointed the Acoustical Society as sponsor of a committee to standardize acoustical terminology and measurements. In 1957 this committee split into three follow-on committees: S1 on Acoustics, S2 on Mechanical Shock and Vibration, and S3 on Bioacoustics, with a fourth, S12 on Noise, added in 1981. The ASA also distributes ISO and IEC standards.
The ASA presents awards to individuals for contributions to the field of Acoustics. These include
- Gold Medal
- R. Bruce Lindsay Award
- Wallace Clement Sabine Medal
- Pioneers of Underwater Acoustics Medal
- Trent-Crede Medal
- von Békésy Medal
- Silver Medal
The ASA offers membership and conference attendance to students at a substantially reduced rate. Conference attendance is further promoted by travel subsidies and formal and informal student meetings and social activities. The ASA also expanded services to student in 2004 by introducing the regional student chapters.
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