Coding and Composing

March 13, 2015
Sky Kalfus
Eli Stine ’14 posed with computer
Photo credit: Mika Johnson

As an undergraduate, Eli Stine ’14 worked to unite his passions: composition and computer science. A technology in music and related arts (TIMARA) and computer science (CS) double major, he put his programming skills to work in the TIMARA department, while exploring the realms of digital art in CS. Now he attends the University of Virginia (UVA) as a Jefferson Fellow in the five-year Composition and Computer Technologies Ph.D. program, formally bringing together his two interests at last.

Stine learned of the Jefferson Fellowship from TIMARA Professor Peter Swendsen ’00, an alumnus of the program. “The combination of music composition and computer technologies is a perfect follow-up to my Oberlin education,” Stine says. “The TIMARA and composition classes introduced me to new artists, methods, and means to create music and multimedia,” explains Stine, “and CS classes gave me knowledge and a huge appreciation for the theoretical side of CS along with programming methods, abstractions, and skills.”

Stine enjoys the new challenges offered by the Jefferson Fellowship. “Each week I am challenged as a teacher, an academic, and composer and media artist,” he says. “Being a Jefferson Fellow and getting support from the wonderful people at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation allows me to travel and focus entirely on my studies.”

Although Stine loves composing, his dream job is teaching. “I would love to teach music, specifically the intersection of music, multimedia, and technology, at the college level,” Stine explains. “This Ph.D. is a stepping stone toward that goal.” As an Oberlin student, Stine worked at the local afterschool program and tutored math at Langston Middle School. He is excited to try new teaching techniques as a teaching assistant.

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