Apr 24, 2015 | Atlanta, GA
Jason Freeman is an associate professor in the School of Music at Georgia Tech. Recently, the Office of Faculty Affairs had the opportunity to learn more about Freeman and his time at Tech. Here’s what he said.
Tell us a little about your research.
My training is as a composer, and much of my research and creative practice is concerned with using technology to create new kinds of connections among composers, performers, and audiences in live concert performances, whether it be mobile phone applications that let audiences influence the music being performed or specialized software that generates music notation on-the-fly for ensembles of musicians to sight-read in concert. I am also engaged in K-12 education research, where I create learning environments to broaden participation in computer science by using music as an “in” to engage diverse student populations.
What made you decide to work at Georgia Tech?
I came to Georgia Tech straight from graduate school — in fact I defended my dissertation one afternoon, and the movers arrived the next morning. At the time, music technology was a new field at Georgia Tech, and the university was just starting a new degree program. I saw an exciting opportunity to impact education and research in the field, both at the university and beyond, and Georgia Tech seemed ideally situated to become an international leader in this area. I’ve been here for 10 years, and I’m proud to say it now has.
What are the top three reasons you’d recommend Georgia Tech to other faculty?
The Institute values interdisciplinary research and has an organizational structure that facilitates and encourages it. It’s also very much an outwardly facing institution that is deeply engaged with the city, region, and the world through service, outreach, arts, and entrepreneurship. And Georgia Tech has a beautiful, open, walkable campus right in the middle of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
What are a few things every faculty member should do while at Georgia Tech?
I think everyone, at some point, should get involved in faculty governance at the Institute level in order to get a broader perspective on and contribute to a dialog about the issues and challenges facing the campus community. Also, Georgia Tech’s campus in Metz, France, is a treasure, and though it’s not practical for every faculty member to spend a semester there, I do think GT-Lorraine is a must-visit place for faculty passing anywhere near it on their travels. Lastly, I encourage every faculty member to come and see the annual Guthman Musical Instrument Competition on campus. It’s pretty amazing. The Center for Music Technology invites 20 of the most innovative new musical instruments (and their designers) to campus to compete for prizes in front of a panel of celebrity judges and an ecstatic audience.