|B.S. Biological Science, California State University at Hayward, 1971.|
|Engineering Science Master's program at University of California, Berkeley, 1973 studied electrical engineering.|
|M.A. Biological Science, California State University at Hayward, 1978.|
|I have always been interested in science and technology. Since biology is a discipline that requires many of the physical sciences in order to explain the function of biological systems, I found that a very appealing way of applying my varied interests. I have had an interest in electronics since childhood and played with simple circuits to build FM transmitters and amplifiers before getting serious about studying electronics. After obtaining a Bachelor's degree in biology, I went to U.C. Berkeley to study engineering science, especially neuroscience. Unfortunately, at the time, the program was not well planned and would have required several years to get the required courses. After taking some undergraduate electrical engineering courses, I decided to go back to Cal State Hayward and finish the M.A. in biology I had started. After a couple of aborted attempts at a team-oriented thesis research project, I decided to work by myself on the electrical transmission system of the sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica. Fortunately, Professor Norman Goldstein was willing to sponsor my project and contribute his background in electrophysiology to my education. In addition to his interests in neurophysiology and electronics, he had a love of music which I shared. I owe him my later successes in both fields. I only hope I may have the same positive influence on my students.
Even before I finished the Master's program, I was fortunate to be hired by the Neurology Research Laboratories at the Stanford University Medical School, where I worked as a research assistant for Dr. David Prince, a world-renowned epilepsy researcher. It was a chance to put to use the background I had in electronics and physiology in a world-class research lab, pretty much my dream job! Not only that, they had computers and 14-track FM tape recorders to maintain. The lab did intracellular recording from in-vivo animals when I began, a most difficult and demanding type of research. Soon, the lab moved to the newly-invented in-vitro brain-slice technique, in which thin sections of functioning brain tissue could be studied directly. This proved to be a revolutionary technology which immediately furthered our understanding of how brain cells communicate and function. I not only designed electronic test equipment and wrote a data acquisition/analysis software package for the PDP-11/23 computer but participated in studies of extracellular ionic alterations measured with ion-selective microelectrodes. I learned a lot about analog and digital circuit design for test and measurement. In addition, I learned photographic techniques to produce illustrations for scientific papers. I worked there for 12 years before becoming audio engineer at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.
Since moving to CCRMA, I have had the opportunity to greatly further my education in music technology. I finally got a chance to explore fine microphones and acoustically-perfected spaces not accessible to the average garage recordist. I have had the chance to work with musicians and composers of great talent and began a course series on audio recording in 1991 (Music 192a, Music 192b). Since then, I've maintained the audio equipment and outfitted studios, presented concerts of electroacoustic music, taught recording classes, unplugged the occasional backed-up toilet, and generally made myself as indispensable as I could. I must have done something right, as I've had two chances at a dream job and I still love what I am doing. I would recommend that you pursue what you love and prepare yourself for the opportunities that may present themselves.