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MANFRED ROBERT SCHROEDER

1926–2009

Elected in 1979

“For founding the statistical theory of wave propagation in multi-mode media and contributions to speech coding and acoustics.”

BY JAMES L. FLANAGAN

MANFRED ROBERT SCHROEDER, an internationally known acoustician, telecommunications research leader, and professor of physics, died on December 28, 2009, at his home in Goettingen, Germany. He was 83 years of age. His professional work is renowned for its diversity, embracing the fields of speech processing, room acoustics, computer art, and number theory.

In his youth his father, a mining engineer, and his mother encouraged an early interest in the beauty and utility of mathematics. He was a leading student in his secondary schooling, but still not above enjoying practical jokes on colleagues and friends. Like many science-oriented young people of the time, he was attracted to radio technology. He built short-wave receivers and transmitters and, despite government restrictions, surreptitiously listened to broadcasts from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). He never considered himself a legitimate “radio amateur” (“ham“) because of the difficulty of obtaining a government license and the (not unusual) additional obstacle of Morse code. But, in all other respects, he was a “ham.”

Also, like many other youth of his time, Manfred’s continued education was interrupted by the hostilities of World War II. At age 16 he was drafted into the German Air Force and



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