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Grad student Hammond dies

Benjamin Hammond, 29, of Boston, an MIT doctoral student, acoustical expert and musician, died in his sleep on October 27 of a heart attack.

A graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, he did his research at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and had recently presented his research on how the fibers of the auditory nerve convey speech patterns from the cochlea to the brain. "He sought to unite architectural acoustics, music and neurophysiology," Professor Nelson Kiang said at a memorial service Friday at the Infirmary.

A 1989 Harvard graduate, he toured with his rock band Men of Clay for three years and then worked with Kirkegaard and Associates, an acoustics firm. He designed the outdoor sound systems for the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and he also worked on the acoustics of Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory.

He is survived by his parents, Rice University Dean of Music Michael Hammond and Anne Lilley Hammond, of Houston and Bedford Hills, NY, and his brother, Thomas, of Bedford Hills. A funeral mass was held Monday in Katonah, NY; burial will be in Bedford Hills. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ben Hammond Memorial Fund at MIT, c/o Professor Louis Braida, Rm 36-747.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 6, 1996.

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