meet the team

This is a team of researchers that I hope will grow in exciting ways over the next four decades, and even beyond my retirement! If you are interested in working with us, you are welcome to get in touch to discuss opportunities. We're happy to try to support face-to-face research visits and/or distributed collaborations.

Lehigh lab members in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. Pictured left to right: Austin Katz, Linda Chen, Tom Collins, and Emily Stekl.
The current team, in pseudo-random order, is:

current members

  • Tom Collins, principal investigator, with interests including (but not limited to) pattern discovery in music and other domains, modelling musical expectancy, automatic identification of high-level music-theoretic concepts, the development of Web-based music software and its effect on student education and work.

  • Emily Stekl, Lehigh undergraduate, assisting with the investigation of the effect of music artificial intelligence on creativity. We embedded an AI suggestion button in an interface and are in the process of determining how it affects users' compositional processes.

  • Linda Chen, Lehigh undergraduate, working on a project that aims to determine how differing levels of feedback affect users' ability to lean to read staff notation.

  • Austin Katz, Lehigh undergraduate (Journalism and Psychology), working on a project aiming to shed light on the perception of repetitive structure in music.

  • Andreas Katsiavalos, DMU PhD student, with research interests in adaptive, complete music information retrieval systems, and a focus on the automatic extraction of high-level concepts such as schemata from music.


  • Lee White, DMU undergraduate (Computer Games Programming), is the Frontrunner Intern for summer and autumn 2015, working with Tom and Dr Jethro Shell on a music prediction app.

  • Katrien Foubert, PhD student, visited the group in June 2015. We worked on extracting structural features from piano improvisations recorded during music therapy sessions, with a view to predicting diagnoses of borderline personality disorder.

  • Fahida Miah was the Nuffield Research Placement student in summer 2014. Her project involved auto-generation of Pop music and quantitative evaluation of creative systems.

past members

  • Thom Corah, DMU PhD student, working on a framework for the use of real-time binaural audio on personal mobile devices. The aim is to create an audio-based augmented reality, with applications in digital heritage and assisted living.

  • Ali Nikrang, Master's student, developed the PatternViewer, an application that plays an audio file of a piece synchronized to interactive representations of tonal and repetitive structures. Ali's thesis describes the construction of this application, the music-psychological research on which it is founded, and the influence of the application on listeners' music appraisal skills.

mountaintop opportunity

As part of the Mountaintop Initiative, three paid internships ($460 per week) are being offered to Lehigh undergraduates to work on a Web-music development project, starting May 29th for 10 weeks.

I'm very interested to hear from bright students with a Computer Science background who are enthusiatic about one or more of Web development, music, commercialization of research. I particularly welcome enquiries/applications from students belonging to groups currently under-represented in academia. Follow the group chat to see what we're up to and find out about the application process. You're also welcome to get in touch with Professor Collins to register interest.

Jamrooms project description

The idea behind this project, called Jamrooms, is to create an online space where 2-4 users per session experiment remotely yet collaboratively to create loop-based music. Like multiple people editing a Google Doc simultaneously, but in sound!

The recent emergence of the Web Audio API has led to sleek, browser-based interfaces for creating/interacting with music (e.g., see, making it easier to develop music Web apps than it is to produce bespoke smartphone or desktop systems.

The main topics interns will address as part of this project are music computing, Web programming, and user experience design. The research questions surrounding the project are (1) Via user click data, can we gain unprecedented insights into the details of how people write music? (2) Can Web-based interfaces for making and understanding music broaden (i.e. reduce the economic barriers to) participation in music? (3) Does active participation in music have educational benefits in other domains (e.g., numeracy or reading skills)? (4) What are the implications of technologies like Jamrooms for musical creativity and copyright? As such, the interns will also be exploring questions relating to music psychology and education.

The final product to emerge from the Jamrooms project might be like a Web radio station, where visitors can listen in on active jams. What intrigues me about this prospect is that the distinction between music consumer and music creator will be almost imperceptible, with visitors listening to content one moment, and shaping its creation the next. It's going to be one big jam in the cloud!