Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Sonic Thinking Lecture - Methods of Working with Sound (Sommersemester 2021)

Dozent: Dr. Julia von Thienen (Internet-Technologien und -Systeme)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 18.03.2021 - 09.04.2021
  • Lehrform: Vorlesung
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-KO Kommunikation
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-DTA Design Thinking Advanced
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA


This class takes place on Mondays, 11 am - 12:30 pm (first session on April 12)

Online Access:


Meeting-ID: 653 5842 5875

Kenncode: 12744263



While the human sense of vision is harnessed a lot in human-computer interaction, opportunities arising from other human senses are much less explored. This class is especially dedicated to the auditory sense and resulting design opportunities in the field of digital engineering. It provides basic knowledge, skills and experiences in three directions:

- Computer music and sound synthesis – tools and algorithms (by Dr. Henrik von Coler & Julius Holtz)

- Artistic perspectives on sound (by Dr. Marisol Jimenez & Nico D'Aleman)

- Sound and science (by Dr. Julia von Thienen, Dr. Nico Steckhan, Dr. Knut Kaulke & Dr. Shama Rahman)

There is a lecture and a seminar on “Sonic Thinking - Methods of Working with Sound”. The lecture provides comprehensive theoretical knowledge and familiarizes you with pertinent works in the field. The seminar provides an experimental area for you to try out tools and algorithms. Often the same topic that is treated theoretically in the morning lecture gets explored practically in the afternoon seminar. While you can take one course without the other, you will most likely benefit from taking both classes together.


There are no prerequisites for attending this class. 


Your major work in this class will be a creative project, which you develop in the broad area of sound and digital engineering. You can conduct the creative project alone or in teams. You can conduct one bigger project across the lecture and the seminar if you like. It is also possible to continue a previous project pursued in a Neurodesign class or from the seminar Data Sonification & Opportunities of Sound.   

The final grade will be determined as follows:

Your Creative Project

  • 20% first project presentation
  • 20% final project presentation
  • 30% documented source code - final project submission

In-Class Topics

  • 15% audio technology method competence & engagement in class
  • 15% artistic & creative exploration in class


12.4. Julia: Sonic thinking in the context of design thinking innovation research

19.4. Nico D'A.: Sonic thinking from the perspective of sound studies

26.4. Henrik: History and tools of computer music

3.5. Marisol: Sound perception vs. embodied and conscious listening

10.5. Marisol: Soundscapes and soundscape composition

17.5. Henrik: Sound synthesis - algorithms and theory I

31.5. First project presentation (students)

7.6. Henrik: Sound synthesis - algorithms and theory II

14.6. Julius: Designing with sound in real and virtual environments. The lecture covers sound design strategies derived from mechanisms of the human sensory system. It introduces reproduction processes of sonic environments into virtual reality experiences.

21.6. Marisol: Experimental musical machines and biophysical music

28.6. Henrik: Spatialization and network performance

5.7. Nico & Knut: Sonification in biomedical research and Digital Health 

12.7. Samarjit Das (Bosch): SoundSee - Audio AI for Machine Health Monitoring

19.7. Final project presentation (students)

Final project submissions (documented source code) due 31.8.