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Published on Sep 9, 2013
When Ron Miles was young, he would go with his mother to fabric stores, where he spent hours wandering aisles flanked by bolts of cloth. But it wasn't the endless satins, tulles and twills that drove him crazy: it was the sound — rather, the lack of sound. "I hate fabric stores; the sounds just get sucked up in the bolts of fabric," says Miles, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean of research in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Yet, his new one-of-a-kind laboratory is among the quietest places on the planet. "It is way beyond the sound of a fabric store," he chuckles. "But I do like this."