Seminars & Colloquia

John Q. Walker

Zenph Studios

" Building the Music Equivalent of Computer Graphics "

Monday October 12, 2009 04:00 PM
Location: 32, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series



Representing music performances with data and algorithms has a parallel in representing the visual world with computer graphics. This new “phono-realism” is introduced, using the familiar terminology of “photo-realism.” R&D here in the Research Triangle accelerated the rise of computer graphics 25 years ago – with its myriad of uses and the creation of whole industries. A similar prospect awaits the broad application of the symbolic representation of music. This talk compares these two fields, gives insight into the underlying science, and presents examples that point the way forward.

Short Bio:

Dr. John Q. Walker is the president and founder of Zenph Studios, a software company in RTP building advanced software to understand – and recreate – how musicians actually play. Zenph’s first offerings have received GRAMMY nominations as well as numerous “Best of the Year” recognitions.

He was a co-founder of Ganymede Software in RTP, which was acquired by NetIQ in 2000. In his five years as vice president of product development, Ganymede products consistently won “Best Product” and “Product of the Year” awards. For example, only two companies won Network World magazine’s “World Class Award” twice in 1999: Dell Computers and Ganymede Software. Dr. Walker co-authored a pioneering book for Cisco Press on Voice-over-IP. He also co-authored a book on portable network programming for McGraw-Hill. He has written dozens of technical articles, and is frequently an invited speaker on practical networking, software engineering, and music technology topics. He holds four patents.

Dr. Walker has extensive experience in the development and management of emerging technologies. At IBM, he managed teams developing high-speed networking software.  He was influential in the creation of the IEEE 802 LAN and Wi-Fi standards. Dr. Walker holds Bachelor degrees in piano and mathematics, and a Masters degree in computer science from Southern Illinois University.  He received his Ph.D. in computer science from UNC-Chapel Hill, with a focus on natural behavior and software engineering. He was named a Distinguished Graduate Alumnus at the UNC Graduate School’s centennial.

NOTE: To access examples of music in this talk in better quality, click here. For a video that complements this talk, click here.

Host: Steve Weiss, Computer Science, UNC

To access the video of this talk, click here.

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Video Presentation:

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