Professor Dr. Michael Prairie will explore links between music and engineering in Dana I Category Lecture
Norwich University professor Dr. Michael Prairie has long found an intriguing link between two of his favorite topics — engineering and music.
At noon Wednesday, in a Dana Category I lecture, the electrical engineering professor and 1984 Norwich graduate will discuss how studying ancient flutes’ acoustics presented parallels with transmission line theory and fluid dynamics. He’ll explore how those lessons apply to learning laboratory instrumentation and measurement, specialized tool design, testing hypotheses and data crunching.
Dana Category I grants go annually to tenure-track faculty who demonstrate superior scholarship, teaching ability and university service. To receive the grants, the recipients agree to give a presentation on a topic of their choice. The grants come from a foundation started by Charles A. Dana (1881-1975), and his wife, Eleanor Naylor Dana. (Charles Dana founded vehicle axle, driveshaft, transmissions and sealing equipment supplier Dana Inc.)
In 2018, Prairie told the Norwich Record his flute fascination started in the late 1990s, when he saw a wood-flute player at a craft show, and deepened a few years later when he attended a Native American flute festival. He bought a kit to make one of the pipes the Native Americans played and continues making them.
When his flutes were out of tune in the one octave, Prairie used his engineering knowledge to study acoustics and correct the flaw.
In his outline for Wednesday’s talk, Prairie, a one-time Regimental Band musician and a U.S. Air Force veteran, said he’ll describe how teaching, student engagement and faculty research intersect.
“I’ll highlight several projects in which I was fortunate enough to work with students to explore unanswered acoustics questions as they learned about their engineering craft,” wrote Prairie, whose teaching focuses on courses involving sensors, including electronics, electromagnetics and control systems. “I hope to inspire others to find ways to bring their own unlikely passions into their teaching and scholarship.”
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— I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE: The Campus Activities Board presents a Mardi Gras mask scavenger hunt from 8 a.m. to 4:45 Tuesday. Students can find the masks hidden across campus, pose for selfies with the #NorwichCAB hashtag when they find them, and join a group photo at Wise Campus Center when the hunt ends.
Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, marks the start of Lent in the Christian faith. The scavenger hunt masks come in three colors: purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power.
From 9 to 11 p.m. Thursday, the board will present trivia night in the Wise Campus Center’s Mill. Teams of up to four people can compete for prizes and bragging rights.
— FUTURE STOCK: The Career and Internship Center’s information sessions continue this week with a “Career Pop-Up” table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Wise Campus Center’s “fishbowl” lounge and a reprises of "Résumés that Rock” from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday in Wise Campus Center, Room 228.
— NORWICH SERVES: During Spring Break, teams from Norwich University’s Center for Civic Engagement will visit Puerto Rico and the Florida Gulf Coast for posthurricane relief projects. The Puerto Rico trip will include environmental conservation tasks; the Gulf Coast trip will include work with community organizations, including food banks and after-school programs.
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See a complete list of Norwich University activities. This column will be off for Spring Break next week along with the students.
Join the conversation on Twitter @NorwichNews #NorwichTogether #NorwichForever #NorwichServes
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