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People have thought about their ears (and those of certain animals) for a long time. Intelligent speculation, supplemented by experiment (and vice versa), has brought us a long way toward understanding how the ear works-from subtle monaural phase effects (verboten by Ohm's law of acoustics) to expansive binaural stereophony (hailed by almost everyone). Much of this new gained knowledge, some of it acquired only very recently, has found its formal expression-as it has in other fields-in models: mathematical models or physical models (or both) of how the ear "does it" ... or might do it if it had been designed by fanciful model builders instead of by pragmatic evolution. In this paper, after a brief introduction into the human ear, a selection of models of both kinds is presented-not with claims of exhaustiveness, but with the intent to give a flavor of what is going on in a very active field on a fascinating, and ultimately still mysterious, subject: man's sense of hearing.