Bill Elliot believes his life work is to bridge art and science.
The 21-year-old senior who is double majoring in architecture and physics, is fascinated by how sound interacts with architectural spaces and one day plans to work in the field of architectural acoustics. He says he’d love to design spaces where sound really matters — concert halls, performance centers, and courtrooms. Last summer, Elliot worked at a Washington, D.C. company that tests and manufactures sound diffuser systems. And last winter, he worked at an acoustical consulting firm in Cambridge, where he worked alongside architects creating plans to build a Mobile, Alabama courthouse and a new performing arts center at the American University in Cairo.
“I’d love to blend architecture and physics to design public spaces, but I realized at MIT that the study of music is also important to understanding this field.”
In high school, Elliot played violin, viola, and trumpet. He was in the marching band, jazz band, symphony orchestra, and symphonic band. When he got to MIT, though, he thought he’d have to give up his interest in music because he wouldn’t have time to pursue it.
“But somehow, getting the scholarship gave me a sense of freedom. I felt I could explore different academic areas.
“When I got to MIT, I was dead-set on studying architecture, but I also loved physics and music,” he says, adding that he couldn’t figure out how he could pursue one field without giving up another, until he got the scholarship, which helped provide him with the time, money, and freedom to explore all three.
“Now, I’m in MIT’s Symphony Orchestra, and I’m even minoring in music,” he says. “I’ve been given the chance to pursue every field I love.”