Patrick W. Nye

Aug. 19, 1936 - Mar. 7, 2008

We are sad to report that Patrick (Pat) Nye died at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington on March 7, 2008 after his heart stopped while riding his bicycle on March 3rd. He was 71. Pat is survived by his wife, Elaine Nye, and their two children, Phillipa and Adrian Nye.

A blog ( has been created by his family since Pat’s friends and relatives live far and wide and most likely won’t get the chance to get together to share their thoughts on Pat and his life. They hope that this will provide a way to do that.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Foundation, PO Box 15, Port Hadlock, WA, 98339. The foundation supports public safety and volunteer programs.


In December 2007, the Board of Directors of Haskins Laboratories recorded its gratitude to Patrick W. Nye in recognition of his 36 years of immensely loyal service to the Laboratories. Pat stepped down from his place on the Board because at the time he felt that the distance between the Laboratories and his residence was too great to bridge for him to be useful.

Pat Nye served the Laboratories in a number of different capacities: Research Scientist 1971-1975, Associate Director of Research 1975-1992, Vice President for Administration 1992-1997, Member of the Board of Directors 1996-2007, serving as Chairman of the Board from 2002 to 2006.

During his years as Associate Director and Vice President, Pat cheerfully took on many administrative burdens that otherwise would have fallen on the President, especially in matters pertaining to budgets and management of the Lab’s finances, but not exclusively in this domain. He also devoted considerable time to other important duties, such as preparation of a Handbook for staff, and in developing guidelines for Lab support of graduate student research and doctoral dissertations. An especially valuable contribution was his oral history of Haskins Laboratories compiled through recording and editing interviews with longtime members of the staff. In addition to these services, Pat, whose doctorate was in physics, was also an active member of the research team, even after his position became primarily administrative. His earliest association with the Laboratories came about because of his work on a reading machine. Later he contributed to research on the reading machine for the blind and the articulatory synthesizer. Over the last several years of his association with Haskins he collaborated with Carol Fowler in a study of imitation and with Arthur Abramson in acoustic and perceptual studies of phonation types in two languages. It is hard to imagine the Lab without Pat. He will be missed.

Board of Directors (1996-2007), Haskins Laboratories
Chairman of the Board (2002-2006), Haskins Laboratories

Reading University, Reading, England, B.Sc., 1958, Physics
Reading University, Reading, England, Ph.D., 1962, Physics


1962-1964, St. Dunstans Fellow, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, U.K.
1965-1966, Staff Physicist, California Institute of Technology
1966-1969, Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology
1969-1971, Senior Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology
1971-1975, Research Staff, Haskins Laboratories
1975-1992, Associate Director of Research, Haskins Laboratories
1992-1997, Vice President for Administration, Haskins Laboratories

Selected Publications

Fender, D. H. and P. W. Nye. (1962). An investigation of the mechanisms of
eye movement control. Kybernetik, 1, 81-84.

Fender, D. H. and P. W. Nye. (1962). Retinal image motion in a simple pattern
recognition task. Kybernetik, 1, 192-194.

Nye, P. W. (1962). Aural recognition time for multi-dimensional signals.
Nature, 196, 1282.

Nye, P. W. (1963). Psychological factors limiting the rate of acceptance of
audio stimuli. In: Technology and Blindness. L. L. Clark, ed. New York: The American Foundation for the Blind. pp. 99-109.

Nye, P. W. (1964). Reading aids for blind people–A survey of progress with
the technological and human problems. Med. Electron. Biol. Engineering, 2, 247-264.

Nye, P. W. (1968). Analysis of colour responses of the ERG of the pigeon
(Columba livia). In: Clinical Electroretinography. Basel/New York: Karger. pp. 221-231.

Nye, P. W. (1968). Research on reading aids for the blind–a dilemma. Med.
Electron. Biol. Engineering, 6, 43-51.

Nye, P. W. (1968). An examination of the electroretinogram of the pigeon in
response to stimuli of different intensity and wavelength and following intense chromatic adaptation. Vision Res.,8, 679-696.

Nye, P. W. (1969). The monocular eye movements of the pigeon. Vision Res.,
9, 133-144.

Nye, P. W. and J. C. Bliss. (1970). Sensory aids for the blind: A challenging
problem with lessons for the future. Proc. IEEE, 58, 1878-1898.

Naka, K. I. and P. W. Nye. (1970). Receptive field organization of the catfish
retina: Are at least two lateral mechanisms involved? J. Neurophysiol., 33, 625-642.

Nye, P. W. (1970). Human factors underlying the design of reading aids for
the blind. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Engineering, BME-17, 97-100.

Naka, K. I. and P. W. Nye. (1971). Role of horizontal cells in the organization
of the catfish retinal receptive field. J. Neurophysiol., 34, 785-801.

Nye, P. W. and K. I. Naka. (1971). The dynamics of inhibitory interaction in a
frog receptive field: A paradigm of paracontrast. Vision Res., 11, 377-392.
Mobility Aids for the Blind (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Engineering).

nsory Training Aids for the Hearing Impaired (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Engineering).

Nye, P. W. (1973). On visual differentiation between frontal and lateral fields
in the visual system of the pigeon. Vision Res., 13, 559-574.

Nye, P. W., J. D. Hankins, T. Rand, I. G. Mattingly, and F. S. Cooper. (1973). A
plan for the field evaluation of an automated reading system for the blind. IEEE Trans. Audio & Electroacoustics, AU-21, 265-268.

Nye, P. W. and J. H. Gaitenby. (1973). Consonant intelligibility in synthetic
speech and in a natural speech control (modified rhyme test results). Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research, SR-33, 77-91.

Nye, P. W. and J. H. Gaitenby. (1974). The intelligibility of synthetic
monosyllabic words in short syntactically normal sentences. Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research, SR-37/38, 169-189.

Nye, P. W., F. Ingemann, and L. Donald. (1975). A comparison of listener
performances with preferences among different speech forms. Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research, SR-41, 117-126.

Nye, P. W., L. J. Reiss, F. S. Cooper, R. M. McGuire, P. Mermelstein, and T.
Montlick. (1975). A digital pattern playback for the analysis and manipulation of speech signals. Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research, SR-44, 95-107.

Nye, P. W. (1976). Reading devices for blind people. Med. Progr. Technol., 4,

Cooper, F. S., P. Mermelstein, and P. W. Nye. (1977). Speech synthesis as a
tool for the study of speech production. In: Dynamic Aspects of Speech Production, ed. M. Sawashima and F. S. Cooper (Tokyo, Japan: University of Tokyo Press) 307-322.

Abramson, A. S., P. W. Nye, J. B. Henderson, and C. W. Marshall. (1981).
Vowel height and the perception of consonantal nasality. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 70, 329-339.

Marshall, C. W. and P. W. Nye. (1983). Stress and vowel duration effects on
syllable recognition. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 74, 433-443.

Cooper, F. S., Gaitenby, J. H., & Nye, P. W. (1984). Evolution of reading
machines for the blind: Haskins Laboratories’ research as a case history. J. Rehabilit. Rsch. Dvpmt., 21, 51-87.

Baer, T., Gore, J. C., Boyce, S., & Nye, P. W. (1987). Application of MRI to the
analysis of speech production. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Vol. 5, 1-7.

Baer, T., Gore, J. C., Gracco, L. C., & Nye, P. W. (1989). Vocal tract
dimensions obtained from magnetic resonance images. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 116, S125.

Baer, T., Gore, J. C., Gracco, L.C., & Nye, P. W. (1991). Analysis of vocal tract
shape and dimensions using magnetic resonance imaging: Vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 90(2), 799-828.

Gracco, V. L. & Nye, P. W. (1993). Magnetometry in speech articulation
research: Some misadventures on the road to enlightenment. Proceedings of the ACCOR Workshop on Electromagnetic Articulography in Phonetic Research, 91-104.

Löfqvist, A., Gracco, V. L. & Nye, P. W. (1993) Recording speech movements
using magnetometry: One laboratory’s experience. Proceedings of the ACCOR Workshop on Electromagnetic Articulography in Phonetic Research, 143-162.Nye, P. & Fowler, C. A. (2003). Shadowing latency and imitation: The effect of

familiarity with the phonetic patterning of English. Journal of Phonetics, 31, 63-79.