Beranek was a computer pioneer, one of the developers of the Arpanet, without which we might not have the Internet as we know it, and thus you might not be reading me right now. But that's not the reason he's appearing here. From the Times obit:
Dr. Beranek was a sought-after acoustics genius, and Bolt, Beranek & Newman’s first contract was to design the acoustics of the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York. He also improved the acoustic environment in such landmark concert venues as the Koussevitzky Music Shed at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass., and Philharmonic Hall (now David Geffen Hall) at Lincoln Center in New York.Philharmonic Hall has been an ongoing acoustical disaster, and BBN did the original design. The problems were not their fault: the NY Phil board wanted more seats and the only practical way to get them was to extend the length of the hall, which is what made the acoustics such a problem. The obit doesn't mention Davies Symphony Hall in SF, which BBN also designed, and which also is problematic. The acoustician Christopher Blair helpfully discussed these two halls when he wrote a series of guest posts at Adaptistration in 2009; at that point, I had to stop ranting about and blaming Beranek, given the NYPO board and the state of the art when Davies was built.
RIP, Leo Beranek, and thank you for your work in areas of interest to me.