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Inaugural Lecture: 'Azimut mit Pommes! Some prickly predicaments in sonification and how to use sound to 'display' data'

Lecture Theatre 003

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Azimut mit Pommes! Some prickly Predicaments in Sonification and How to Use Sound to 'Display' Data

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Paul Vickers, Professor of Computer Science and Sonification 

What is Sonification? Sonification is the use of audio to communicate data (like a Geiger counter for data). Up till now, our understanding of the roles played by embodied perception, spatial considerations, and aesthetics in our listening to, and perception of, sonification have been very limited.

Professor Paul Vickers’ talk will outline some of the main challenges in designing effective sonifications. Drawing on experience from an interdisciplinary effort to study sonification through the lenses of computer science, ethnography, music composition, and aesthetics, he will share some of the latest insights into how people listen to sonifications and how this understanding can inform the design of the next generation of these ‘auditory displays’.

About the Speaker

Professor Paul Vickers is Professor of Computer Science and Sonification in the Department of Computer & Information Sciences at Northumbria University. In 2022 he was appointed president of the International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD) for a three-year term. In this role, Professor Vickers will work with academics and organisations to conduct and present research on the use of sound to display and communicate data, monitor systems in real time, and improve user interaction with computers and virtual reality systems. The real-world impact of these applications is wide-ranging, from helping visually impaired people to assimilate data to monitoring threats and network traffic at a security operations centre.

Prior to joining Northumbria in 2001, Professor Vickers worked for over a decade in the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University and also worked in industry in software development.

His research interests include Sonification and Auditory Display, Visualisation, Network Security, Cyber security and situational awareness, and Aesthetic Computing.

Event Details

Lecture Theatre 003
Business & Law Building, Northumbria University
City Campus East
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8ST


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