Alvar Wilska

Studies on Directional Hearing  (pdf 3.4 MB)

is an English translation of doctoral thesis published originally in 1938 in German. The original thesis  is republished here in scanned pdf form:

Untersuchungen über das Richtungshören (pdf 9.2 MB)

It can be cited for example as:
A. Wilska, Studies on Directional Hearing. English translation, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics, 2010. PhD thesis originally published in German as Untersuchungen über das Richtungshören, University of Helsinki, 1938.

The combination of both versions is available also in printed form from the Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics.

About Alvar Wilska and his hearing research:

Alvar Wilska was born in Finland in 1911. He studied physiology in the University of Helsinki under supervision of prof. Yrjö Reenpää. Alvar Wilska was a multidisciplinary researcher who showed also excellent engineering skills. His first topic in hearing research was to measure the movement of the tympanic membrane (1935), which is well known by the audiologists. After that he started his doctoral thesis project which was finished in 1938. This thesis shows how advanced experimental work he conducted, ahead of his time, based on excellent knowledge on acoustics, physiology and psychology of hearing, as well as electronics and audio techniques.

Unfortunately this remarkable work remained largely unknown as he switched immediately after the thesis to study other topics such as human vision and especially electron microscopes. Due to that, and being written in German, the existence of this early work on directional hearing was almost forgotten. Prof. Armin Kohlrausch 'rediscovered' the thesis and it was translated to English by Prof. Matti Karjalainen with help from a group of experts. We hope that the translation makes this pioneering work better known to the researchers in the field.

Dr. Wilska spent
most of his research years as a professor in the University of Arizona, Tuscon, (1960-78), developing electron microscope technology. Then he returned back to Finland where he died in 1987.

Alvar Wilska himself as a subject of hearing studies

Alvar Wilska volunteered himself in hearing measurements.

Wilska in studies of microscopes

Wilska's main interest in later years were microscopes.

April 5, 2011

Aalto University School of Science and Technology
Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics

Acoustical Society of Finland