Call for Participation

ICAD 2017

The 23rd International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2017)

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus, June 20-23, 2017



Co-chairs: Mark Ballora, School of Music/School of Theatre • Jeff Rimland, College of Information Sciences and Technology

Paper chair: Margaret Schedel

Music chair: Rob Hamilton

Worshops chair: Derek Brock

Please check the conference website for updates:

To submit proposals online via EasyChair, go to

Key Dates

February 20, 2017 - Deadline for rough draft submissions

March 6, 2017 - Deadline for final submissions (anonymized)

March 13, 2017 - Deadline for workshop submissions

April 10, 2017 - Acceptance of notification sent to authors, Deadline for ThinkTank proposal submissions

June 19, 2017 - Student ThinkTank

June 20-23, 2017 - ICAD 2017 conference

Theme: Sound in Learning

Scientific literacy is typically gained through the study of graphs and various types of visualizations. Many of these have been in existence since the late 18th century, and are part of the standard research vocabulary.

The twentieth and twenty-first century have made dynamic, multi-modal displays feasible. Visualization is essential for many applications — it draws on the strength of the eyes for assessing static qualities such as size, color, or texture. But many applications could greatly benefit from displays the address the ears, with their particular sensitivity to dynamic changes and capability for following multiple simultaneous streams. 

Auditory information is also received faster than visual information. Hearing sets the stage for what we see. Sound is quickly transmitted to areas of the brain that carry out basic functions at an emotional, survival level. The legacy of our ancestors’ quick “fight or flight” response is the human creature’s unique appreciation of music.

Because of all this, sound should be a part of learning science and other topics. Young students being introduced to information through sound will likely have a more holistic and engaging experience than is possible with visual materials alone. If a generation of students were raised to learn about science by listening as well as looking, what implications would this have for the scientific climate twenty or thirty years in the future?

As this conference takes place 25 years after the first ICAD, it also offers an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made since that first gathering in Sante Fe in 1992.

ICAD is a highly interdisciplinary academic conference with relevance to researchers, practitioners, musicians, and students interested in the design of sounds to support tasks, improve performance, guide decisions, augment awareness, and enhance experiences. It is unique in its singular focus on auditory displays and the array of perception, technology, and application areas that this encompasses. Like its predecessors, ICAD 2016 will be a single-track conference, open to all, with no membership or affiliation requirements.

ICAD 2017, the 22nd International Conference on Auditory Display, will be held at the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University June 21 to 24, 2017. The conference venues are the Colleges of Arts and Architecture and Information Sciences and Technology. The graduate student ThinkTank (doctoral consortium) will be on Tuesday, June 20, before the main conference.

Note that ICAD dovetails an international acoustics conference in Boston, which may be of interest to many ICAD attendees.


Topics for ICAD 2017 include new and emerging themes, as well as more traditional ICAD ones. 

There will be two special calls for themed paper tracks:

  • Games
    As gaming environments continue to push the boundaries of real-time graphics processing, interactive control systems and dynamic story telling, the expression of real-time game data streams using sound and music has remained a relatively secondary concern. This special call for ICAD 2017 aims to bring together researchers, artists and practitioners developing and designing sonic and musical interactions for gaming that balance artistic and communicative uses of gaming data. Submissions describing innovative new techniques or case studies of auditory display, musical sonification or data-driven and procedural sound design are highly-encouraged.

  • Philosophy/Aesthetics
    If, long ago, artists developed the technologies to produce works—optics in the Renaissance: cameras obscura and ludice, framing devices, etc.—today’s imaging technologies more often are science originated.  Contemporary imaging often entails data/image inversions and while science has often been dominantly visualist in orientation, many artists took the data-to-image possibility into sonification. But today there are new developments in sonification in both art and science. For ICAD we are interested in the philosophical and aesthetic developments in sonification. For example, as with time lapse photography, much new knowledge arises from high speed observations: recently time lapse photography of sunflowers helio-orientation showed differences between younger and older plants. The same occurs with acoustic time-lapsing as shown by Felix Hess. This is a call for presentations related to innovative sonification, with presentations illustrating innovative sonification results.

In addition, themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Sonic Information Design
  • Stream-based Sonification and Auditory Scene Design
  • Acoustic Sonification
  • Small Data (personal, intimate) sonification and the quantised self
  • Sonification, soundscape and screensound
  • Sonification in Health and Environmental Data (soniHED)
  • Musification - sonifications and music
  • Sonification, personal fabrication and maker culture
  • Sonification in the Internet of Things
  • Auditory Data Mining and Big Data sonification
  • 3D and Spatial Audio
  • Aesthetics, Philosophy, and Culture of Auditory Displays
  • Accessibility
  • Applications
  • Design Theory and Methods
  • Evaluation and Usability
  • Human Factors and Interaction
  • Mappings from Data to Sound
  • Psychology, Cognition, Perception, and Psychoacoustics
  • Sonification and Exploration of Data through Sound
  • Sound as Art
  • Technologies and Tools


ICAD workshops and tutorials provide in-depth opportunities for conference attendees to discuss and explore important aspects of the field of auditory display with like-minded researchers and practitioners.  Sessions can range from applications and programming methodologies to interdisciplinary research skills, emerging research areas, and challenge problems.

See the Submit Contribution page for information on how to submit Workshop and Tutorial proposals.

Student ThinkTank (Doctoral Consortium)

The Student ThinkTank will take place Monday June 19, the day before the main conference begins. Graduate students working in research relevant to the conference and its themes are encouraged to apply to participate. More information can be found on the Student ThinkTank page.