ME6112 - Acoustics and Hearing

ME6112 - Acoustics and Hearing


Prof. Sripriya Ramamoorthy



Course Difficulty


Time Commitment Required

4-5 hours a week including lectures



Attendance Policy




Evaluation Scheme and Weightage

  • Assignments: 10%
  • Project: 20%
  • Midsem: 30%
  • Endsem: 40%

Topics Covered in the Course

The course proceeds in such a fashion that first a base is established and then using the base, it is applied to different scenarios. The (non-exhaustive) list of topics is as follows:

  • Acoustic wave equation
  • Transmission phenomena
  • Sources and radiation
  • Pipes, Cavities and Waveguides (interior acoustics)
  • Resonators, low-frequency analysis of networks
  • Equivalent electrical circuits for electroacoustic transducers
  • Sound transmission through the ear
  • Sound transduction in the inner ear The course does not go deep into the biology of the ear.

Mechanism of Instruction and Teaching Style

Very high. Attending lectures is highly recommended as slides are mostly not used and the exams and assignments depend highly on the proofs and concepts taught in the lectures.

Assignments and projects in the Course

  • The assignments are moderately difficult and largely require applying the concepts learned during lectures directly. Occasionally, graph plotting and analysis are required using MATLAB or Octave.
  • The project topics are to be chosen by the students (individually, or a group of 2, in case of a somewhat rigorous topic) themselves. The projects are expected to be in the lines of demonstrating how the topics learned in the class can be applied in real life and/or suggest new applications.


Moderately difficult


  • Fundamentals of acoustics, Kinsler, Frey, Coppens, and Sanders, 4th Edition
  • Theoretical Acoustics, P. M. Morse and K.U.Ingard

Importance of Course

This course provides a very good introduction and can be a stepping stone to a variety of research fields: audio devices, biomedical engineering (hearing aids, MRI, etc.), porous materials, etc.

Motivation to take the course

I was very intrigued by the applications of waves in different areas (health applications, entertainment industry, etc.). I wanted to explore the field in more depth than that encountered during JEE preparation. This course offers a very good introduction to the field, and hence I decided to take up this course.

When did you take the course?

I took it in my 5th semester. I believe that 3rd or 4th year could be a good time to take up this course as it requires considerable mathematical rigour (which you may like or lament, depending on you :P)

How strongly would you recommend someone for taking this course?

Strongly recommended to anyone who wants to get introduced to the field. It offers a nice change of pace from ‘normal’ mechanical engineering courses.

This youtube channel has very good videos on control theory. I have attached here one introductory video here!

Anything else relevant to the course

In summary, this course is focused more on applications of frequently used concepts in control systems than dealing with the mathematical depth of it. One should not take this course if they are expecting to study a rigorous control theory. It is also advised that students should ask the professor how is he going to manage the course in the coming given the current situation and inclination of the course.