• Lee Zamir ’95, MEng ’97, director of user experience research, talks to MIT students about the challenges of acoustics engineering and his experience working for Bose.

    Lee Zamir ’95, MEng ’97, director of user experience research, talks to MIT students about the challenges of acoustics engineering and his experience working for Bose.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Junior Vanessa Trevino solders the crossover components of the two-way speaker system by following the step-by-step instructions created by the Bose engineers.

    Junior Vanessa Trevino solders the crossover components of the two-way speaker system by following the step-by-step instructions created by the Bose engineers.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • A student’s completed stereo amplifier matches up with the instructions for assembling it. Zamir and six other engineers were on hand to walk students through the process and answer any questions.

    A student’s completed stereo amplifier matches up with the instructions for assembling it. Zamir and six other engineers were on hand to walk students through the process and answer any questions.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Bose engineer Mike Dellisanti inspects the soldering job on the switch-mode amplifier as graduate student Nathaniel Jay Salazar puts the finishing touches on his speaker.

    Bose engineer Mike Dellisanti inspects the soldering job on the switch-mode amplifier as graduate student Nathaniel Jay Salazar puts the finishing touches on his speaker.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Senior Steven Lam listens to his finished speakers. In the foreground sits a student-built digital switch-mode amplifier.

    Senior Steven Lam listens to his finished speakers. In the foreground sits a student-built digital switch-mode amplifier.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • A finished pair of speakers, each housed in PVC pipe. Bose supplied students with all the components they would need for the workshop.

    A finished pair of speakers, each housed in PVC pipe. Bose supplied students with all the components they would need for the workshop.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Back row, from left: Senior Yazan AlNahhas and Bose employees Mike Stark and Jeff Copeland. Front row, from left: juniors Vanessa Trevino and Elina Hu, Bose employee Darius Mobed, senior and Ashley Brown.

    Back row, from left: Senior Yazan AlNahhas and Bose employees Mike Stark and Jeff Copeland. Front row, from left: juniors Vanessa Trevino and Elina Hu, Bose employee Darius Mobed, senior and Ashley Brown.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Workshop co-organizer Darius Mobed SM '07 and Zamir connect an array of the student-made speakers to play loud sounds for a demonstration of Bose noise-canceling technology at the end of the workshop.

    Workshop co-organizer Darius Mobed SM '07 and Zamir connect an array of the student-made speakers to play loud sounds for a demonstration of Bose noise-canceling technology at the end of the workshop.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Senior Lauren Chai tries out a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones as recordings ranging from jet engines to clothes dryers play loudly over the student-made speakers.

    Senior Lauren Chai tries out a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones as recordings ranging from jet engines to clothes dryers play loudly over the student-made speakers.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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  • Bose President Bob Maresca ’78 dropped in for the last two hours of the class, chatting with students and talking about his experiences at Bose and as an MIT undergraduate.

    Bose President Bob Maresca ’78 dropped in for the last two hours of the class, chatting with students and talking about his experiences at Bose and as an MIT undergraduate.

    Photo: Thomas Gearty

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For a day, MIT students manufacture Bose speakers

IAP workshop teaches acoustics, speaker design to MIT students


When Lee Zamir ’95, MEng ’97 was an MIT undergraduate, he took a class with Dr. Amar Bose ’51 that transformed his education. “This unique exposure to the core principles of engineering was at the heart of my understanding, intuition, and enjoyment of engineering,” he says today.

Recently, Zamir — now an engineer who works at the Bose Corporation — returned to campus to try, he says, to give today’s students a hint of what that experience was like for him through a one-day Independent Activities Period (IAP) workshop on transducers and basic speaker design for 30 MIT graduate and undergraduate students.

Zamir and another MIT alumnus, Bose engineer Darius Mobed SM '07, set up the workshop in an electrical engineering lab in Building 38 with support from MIT Professor Steven Leeb. During the morning and early afternoon, the students learned about acoustics theory and basic speaker design and watched demonstrations of advanced technologies from Bose. Then, the group gathered up soldering irons, glue guns, screwdrivers, and wire strippers to assemble their own two-way speakers housed in PVC tubing.

“I had a lot of fun. Of course, it was cool to get some pretty sweet speakers out of it, but I finally understand speaker technology a little better,” says workshop participant and senior Elaina Chai. “I liked that there was time afterward to ask questions about the power amplifier's operation, the speaker technology we were using, and even the best place to mount the speakers for optimal bass and treble sounds.”

Having made speakers that project great sound, the students also learned how to cancel out sounds. Using an array of the student-made speakers to play recordings of a jet engine, Zamir passed around Bose noise-cancelling earphones and described the technology behind them. As an added surprise, Bose President Bob Maresca ’78 visited with the students at the end of the day and chatted with students about his time as an MIT undergraduate and his path to leadership at Bose.

“The students were so motivated and involved,” Zamir says. “It was a joy to work with them.”

Zamir says his goal was to inspire students to dive into their engineering studies at MIT and to prompt them to think about how they’ll apply their skills after graduation. “It is often thought that you have to move to the West Coast or overseas to find where the product development is happening,” he says. “I wanted to make it known that there is a leading product development company doing interesting work just down the Pike.”


Topics: Alumni/ae, Electrical engineering and electronics, Independent Activities Period, Industry, Students

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