Lina Matine on the Undergraduate Research Fellowship

28 Apr, 2022

Lina Matine on the Undergraduate Research Fellowship

As a BCNM Undergraduate Research Fellow, Lina Matine worked closely under the mentorship of Harry Burson on his project on "Ambisonics," the “three-dimensional” sound format that provides the technical basis for the immersive soundtracks of contemporary video games, Virtual Reality, and IMAX cinema. Harry's project examines how these researchers worked across the burgeoning fields of information theory, psychoacoustics, and multichannel sound technology to create new representations of acoustic space. In conversation with new media and disability studies, it explores how this sound technology creates a new experience of auditory immersion in the digital age, as well as a normative understanding of the hearing body.

Lina describes her experience as a research fellow below:

"My role in this project was finding primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic, and providing summaries of the arguments and context in which they were published. This involved looking into literature around the early development of Ambisonics, but shifted over the time of the project. The focus evolved from Ambisonics to other immersive sound formats like Dolby Atmos, both in its application in movie theaters and consumer products. The research also extended into the fields of virtual reality and game development as well as film studies, honing in more on the concept of immersion in media.

Throughout the project, working with literature from a range of sources and across decades, from trade literature from the 1970s to film studies journals from the last few years, was valuable part of the experience. Finding and interacting with sources is evidently an important skill in any research project, and to have worked directly with such a variety of texts definitely strengthened that skill for me. It was also rewarding to become familiar with the topic of immersive sound, especially in making connections between the research project and my own studies on popular culture in American studies and cognitive science."