Professor of Media Arts & Sciences, MIT
BARRY VERCOE is Professor of Music and Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
at MIT , and Assoc Academic Head of the
Program in Media Arts & Sciences .
He was born and educated in New Zealand in music and in mathematics, then
completed a doctorate in Music Composition at the University of Michigan. In
1968 at Princeton University he did pioneering work in the field of Digital
Audio Processing, then taught briefly at Yale before joining the MIT faculty in
1971. In 1973 he established the MIT computer facility for Experimental Music
-- an event now commemorated on a plaque in the Kendall Square subway station.
During the '70's and early 80's he pioneered the composition of works combining computers and live instruments. Then on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Paris in 1983 he developed a Synthetic Performer -- a computer that could listen to other performers and play its own part in musical sync, even learning from rehearsals. In 1992 he won the Computer World / Smithsonian Award in Media Arts and Entertainment, and recently gained the 2004 SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award.
Professor Vercoe was a founding member of the MIT Media Laboratory in 1984, where he has pursued research in Music Cognition and Machine Understanding. His several Music Synthesis languages are used around the world, and a variant of his Csound and NetSound languages has recently been adopted as the core of MPEG-4 audio -- an international standard that enables efficient transmission of audio over the Internet. At the Media Lab he currently directs research in Machine Listening and Digital Audio Synthesis (Music, Mind and Machine group), and is Associate Academic Head of its graduate program in Media Arts and Sciences.
You can read about Barry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica