The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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It was her Menger sponge, a cube measuring 1.5 meters (5 feet) on one side and made from 66 048 folded business cards, that put her on the map, but Jeannine Mosely has loved origami since the age of 5. It was the perfect background for an MIT Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science and a career in three-dimensional modeling. She says she loves to breathe life into numbers: ”You can see a mathematical theorem or formula made real when you create a new model.” See her work at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., through 8 June; at the Siggraph 2008 Convention in Los Angeles, in August; and online at TheIFF.org, Creased.com, and PEM.org.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
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Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford
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Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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