School of Interactive Games and Media
Faculty Affiliate with
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Golisano Building, Bldg 70 - Room 2559
102 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
Phone: (585)475-4149 (Not there much. Email is better.)
Fax: (585)475-7680 (Might get to me. Email is better.)
Office: Golisano Building, 70-2559
Fall Office Hours: MWF 12:30-1:30
Photo taken by Joe Hornak at
Jazz Zone, Lima, Peru
How to get to me
The best way to contact me is via email. If I'm in my office and the phone rings, I'll answer it, but I get so few phone calls that I seldom check for messages. I definitely will be in my office during office hours, but I'm around at other times as well. If I'm in my office with the door open, I'm fair game.
- GenJam, my genetic algorithm that learns
to improvise jazz, and the software sideman in my Virtual Quintet.
I've been performing with GenJam for over 20 years now, and it's become a major aspect of my identity - musically, academically and even personally.
- Collaborative New Media Projects:
Here are the slides from
Sounds from the Garden: Butt Music from Hell,
my breakout session on producing audio assets for interactive pieces,
given at the
2016 New Media Consortium Summer Conference in Rochester.
Here is the actual
Butt Tune referred to in the subtitle,
whose production is described in the slides.
Here are the slides from
the breakout session
I gave at the 2014 New Media Consortium Summer Conference.
- Evolutionary Computer Music,
the title of the book I co-edited for Springer,
which was launched in April, 2007
(available at Amazon).
Also the subject of my
tutorial on Evolutionary Music
at GECCO-2004 and 2005.
- Use of sequences in composition
(Read about and hear PGA-1 from Fibonacci '98)
- Computer Music in general
- Creativity, especially the nature of creativity and what it means to be
For instance, is GenJam creative?
I'm exploring this and other fun questions as a member of the
Creativity and Invention Working Group (CIWG).
One byproduct of this group is the cool photo to the right by
who photographed the members of the CIWG as part of his "Colleagues" project.
- Computer Games, not as a player, but as an observer of the
impact games is having on the computing world and society in general.
One game I do participate in is
Just Press Play,
IGM's achievement-based game that enriches our curricula for students.
- Human Factors and User Interaction/Interface Design -- I used to teach all the HCI courses, but I've been away from them for a while.
However, I still view life as a metaphor for interaction design.
- IT Curriculum Development -- Less of an interest these days,
but read my paper on
the Importance of Synergy, given at CITC-3,
and The Role of Programming in IT,
given with Dianne Bills at SIGITE '05.
Classes (Fall, 2016)
IGME-101 New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving II
IGME-570/670 Digital Audio Production
Al's Audio Workshop
(given by request)
Out on the Web
A note on style
You may have noticed that this Web site reflects a minimalist,
almost retro style with respect to the level of technology that is employed.
This is a conscious decision reflecting the author's design philosophy
that "less is more."
He believes that content must be presented as transparently as possible
and must not be obscured by elaborate and often gratuitous displays
This Web site also demonstrates the author's utter lack of knowledge
about any but the most rudimentary "features" and amply
displays his embarrassing lack of skill in creating compelling Web presentations.
The best that can be said is that this is a time capsule of what Web sites
looked like in the early days of the Internet.
Needless to say, it's not optimized for smart phones!
Addendum from November 2016:
Thanks to a visit to RIT by
Andrew Raffo Dewar, who performed his really cool live saxophone/biofeedback/analog electronic piece
Anabolism, I can now feel less guilty about my troglodism.
Over drinks after his concert, I made my standard apology for this website as expressed above (unchanged in about 10 years except for the crack about smart phones).
He countered by saying that it was a really hip "brutalist" website.
I thought he was kidding at first, but it seems that "brutalism" on the web has acquired a web-design connotation to accompany its undeniable characterization of most of the language and actions in the social networking space.
Not only is brutalist web design
a thing, there's a website devoted to worthy examples:
Needless to say, I have just submitted this now vindicated site to be included in the above gallery.
It just goes to show that discarded technology, like ties, cycle back into favor in about 20 years.
Al Biles <
Last modified: 3 December, 2016