Ph.D. music technology program to be offered at IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved a Ph.D. program thin music technology at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

One of the principal objectives of the program is to train graduates who will develop and research transformative new technologies in music and the arts, according to Debra S. Burns, associate professor of music therapy and chair of the school’s Department of Music and Arts Technology.

Graduates will also explore the practices of designing, making and managing music technology, developing research methodologies in music technology, and integrating music technology in society and industry.

“The Ph.D. program in music technology addresses the comprehensive nature of the field, whose needs include designing new technological tools and techniques, leadership, business entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary research, and creative activity utilizing new and evolving technologies,” Burns said.

Music technology degree programs have been proliferating throughout the country over the past few years. More recently, it has started to emerge as an academic discipline internationally, Burns said. The Ph.D. program builds on the continuing success of the department’s undergraduate and master’s programs.

In addition to academic positions, graduates will be qualified for employment at a number of performing arts organizations and educational centers, such as Auralex Corp. in Indianapolis; Black Entertainment Television in Washington, D.C.; D’Addario Music Products in Farmingdale, N.Y.; MakeMusic Inc. in Minneapolis; Music for All Inc. in Indianapolis; National Arts Center in Athens, Greece; National Arts Center in Beijing; Ruth Lilly Health Education Center in Indianapolis; Scripps Network Interactive in Nashville, Tenn.; Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Korea; and Sirius Radio in New York.

“The rise of technologies such as file sharing, portable computing and interactive media have transformed the very nature of how music is both created and experienced,” Burns said. “It is expected that the Ph.D. program will produce academic and professional leaders capable of addressing a rapidly changing environment driven by continual development and integration of technology.”

Partnership links to global opportunities

Four IUPUI faculty and staff members who are involved with international opportunities for students attended Oktobertfest in the fall: from left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.

Four IUPUI faculty and staff members who are involved with international opportunities for students attended Oktobertfest in the fall: from left, Jennifer Williams, Pat Fox, Claudia Grossmann and Terri Talbert-Hatch.

A partnership linking the School of Engineering and Technology and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the School of Liberal Arts has given four IUPUI students intriguing international experiences as they prepare to graduate in 2015.

A dual-degree program between the engineering school and German, Spanish and French language programs opened the doors to the internships. Three of them, Brian Knip, Eduardo Salcedo and Jesus Roman, worked with the Bosch Engineering Group in the small town of Abstatt. The fourth, C. J. Nielsen, worked at the University of Heilbronn. Both Abstatt and Heilbronn are located in southern Germany.

Knip, Salcedo and Roman tested their skills and knowledge in Bosch’s research and development department as part of an international group of engineering professionals, researchers and interns. Nielsen worked at an engineering lab alongside graduate students. All but Knip are part of IUPUI’s motorsports engineering program; Knip majors in mechanical engineering.

Claudia Grossmann, director of IUPUI’s German program, said the time abroad has an impact on the students.

“They gain new language, technical and intercultural skills, and gain on a personal level, as well,” Grossmann said. “They learn how to take care of themselves in another culture. As interns, they don’t have as much support as they are used to, so they have to deal with a wide range of practical experiences. That’s invaluable.”

Terri Talbert-Hatch, the assistant dean of student services in Engineering and Technology, knows the dual-degree program allows students to prepare for professional careers while benefitting schools at the same time.

“It helps us develop partnerships with other universities and with businesses,” she said. “Last year, for instance, an official from Bosch Motorsports in Detroit heard about our dual-degree program, and the talented students who were involved, and wondered why the company’s Detroit site didn’t have a similar program.” That has opened a discussion that may lead to opportunities in the U.S.

Both Grossmann and Talbert-Hatch have led student delegations to Germany, and have seen how the trips affected IUPUI students.

“Students figure out pretty quickly how studying abroad can benefit them in internships and career opportunities,” Talbert-Hatch said, noting a wealth of connections linking the U.S. and Germany in engineering fields.

Knip said he learned a lot during his time abroad, not all of it technical.

“Throughout my internship, I discovered both what I enjoyed and disliked about the possible careers available for mechanical engineering graduates,” he said. That knowledge has given him a stronger focus on his career goals as he applies and interviews with prospective employers.

The dual-degree program has been around for a decade, and Grossmann believes that internship prospects in German companies fit well with the language she teaches.

“We have a good following from engineering students, who often are interested in German engineering and want to take advantage of what they can learn,” she said.

“Engineers tend to look at things a little differently, and doing an internship in Germany allows them to experience technology that is just as advanced, but in a different culture,” Grossmann added. “The language immersion and engineering work enrich each other.”

By Ric Burrous

IUPUI Music Academy turns children into composers

Don’t tell the youngsters sitting in front of large computer monitors with earphones clamped to their ears that they are engaged in something serious like problem solving. They are having too much fun composing music tracks in an IUPUI Music Academy summer class.

The children are creating six 33-bar tracks using the Garage Band software, which allows users to become composers, regardless of their knowledge of music.

“It’s really fun,” said 9-year-old Lilly. Cameron, 11, looked forward to showing his father his latest compositions. “I showed him what I had done (in a previous) class. He was kind of confused, but I helped him.”

The children are among 35 youths from an all-day sports camp at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who were enrolled in the weeklong Music Academy class, which meets for 90 minutes a day.

The IUPUI Music Academy is an independent community music school, operating under the auspices of the Department of Music and Arts Technology in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. It was established in 1996 as an outreach program for the communities surrounding the IUPUI campus.

In addition to engaging with the sports camp youngsters this summer, the Music Academy also worked with 74 TRIO Upward Bound first-generation college-bound students and 35 high school girls from across the country who participated in the School of Engineering and Technology’s Preparing Outstanding Women for Engineering Roles program, sponsored by Rolls-Royce. The classes for the high school students have concluded.

Participants in Preparing Outstanding Women for Engineering Roles are invited to the program after expressing an interest in that field. The weeklong experience includes activities like a trip to the Honda auto plant, where the girls met with female engineers. It also includes sessions devoted to GarageBand.

GarageBand strikes a natural chord with younger people, said E.J. Choe, an assistant professor of music and director of the IUPUI Music Academy. “The Christmas wish list of this generation begins with products whose names begin with the letter ‘I': iPad, iPhone, iPod.

“This marries an old art form with technology, which lures them into music, whether they play an instrument or not,” she said. “Everyone wants to be a composer, and kids quickly learn how to use the software to do it.”

There is a strong connection between engineering and music, said Terri Talbert-Hatch, assistant dean of student services. “Introducing them to GarageBand is a way to show them that technology can be fun. The name of the GarageBand class may not have the word engineering in it, but it’s all about technology, solving problems and being creative.”