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Professor Mottley has published most of his work in the areas of ultrasonics, both medical and materials characterization. His work in medical ultrasound was mostly in the area of ultrasonic characterization of muscle tissues, both cardiac and voluntary. His efforts were aimed at increasing the amount of information extracted from the ultrasound scattered by tissues as they did their work, in order to improve diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders.

More recently his interests have turned toward acoustics and music performance technology. We are still trying to understand the properties and features of acoustic halls, what makes the sound in one hall superior while another is flat or featureless. We would like to apply physical measurements along with qualitative assessments and evaluations to better characterize performance spaces. In the area of performance technology, Professor Mottley would like to better understand and characterize the feedback and interactions between a player and their instrument. For example, organs made with different action mechanisms "feel" different to the player. For a student to become a well-rounded organist requires the student to travel to many places and play many organs of many types. We can sample sounds from different organs and give someone an approximate sound experience of playing a remote organ, but we would like to make a programmable keyboard that would actually FEEL like that of the actual organ.

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