- Posted by John on May 12, 2018
Congratulations Skye! Winner of the Overleaf Award for Most Entertaining Talk :)
Through a series of happy coincidences, Overleaf was able to support the recent 1st Annual Trent Mathematical Science Research Symposium.
Our sponsorship allowed us to offer an award, and 'most entertaining talk' seemed like a worthy prize. We're thus delighted to share the news that the winner of the Overleaf Award for Most Entertaining Talk was Skye Griffith. Her talk title and abstract were:
Music and Mathematics: An Analysis of Timbre
“Music is mathematics.” This famous statement is one that many of us are eager to offer in the context of comparing science and fine art, yet one that few of us are ready to logically support. What is music, anyway? And how can something so sensory and subjective possibly relate to a field like mathematics? I’m excited to demonstrate how music may be analyzed and synthetically reproduced through digital, statistical means. By measuring the disturbance in air pressure caused by sound waves and estimating a frequency spectrum for this disturbance using Fourier Series, spectral windows, and multiple tapers, I attempt to determine the series of sinusoidal wave functions that are responsible for a particular musical tone’s texture. Identifying the tone’s most prominent (yet possibly unexplained) frequencies and compiling them with the tone’s known partial and fundamental frequencies allows me to, furthermore, reproduce a synthetic estimation of the original tone. This presentation demonstrates my results, provides an overview of the math and computer science required for this process, and discusses the challenges I faced while unraveling and statistically analyzing raw music data.