About Me

Last modified: Sep 27, 2019 @ 8:27 pm

Contact e-mail: donyaquick@gmail.com
(Update 19-Aug-2019: please do NOT use my @stevens email address! Only use my @gmail address above.)

I am currently a Research Assistant Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology. I am interested in research and teaching in the areas of computer music, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational linguistics, and programming languages.

PDF Cariculum Vitae
My LinkedIn Profile

Current research area: since the spring of ’09, my research has involved modeling the compositional process through a combination of programming languages, artificial intelligence, machine learning, music theory, and computational linguistics. I am particularly interested in the relationship between music and language. Most recently, I have been exploring the use of natural language in musical settings and developing models for real-time jazz improvisation.

Previous research and academic experience: my background prior to coming to Yale was in computer science and environmental science at Southern Methodist University (SMU). My research involved visualization of DNA/RNA and seismic data as well as event cluster detection in seismic data.


  • Research Assistant Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology, June 2017 – present
  • Visiting Professor, Southern Methodist University, August 2016 – May 2017
  • Researcher, University of Arizona, June 2016 – August 2016.
  • Lecturer, Yale University Department of Computer Science, November 2014 – May 2016.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale University Department of Computer Science, September 2014 – October 2014.
  • Software development for Geotech Instruments, 2007.


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Yale University, December 2014.
  • M.Phil. in Computer Science, Yale University, December 2011.
  • M.S. in Computer Science, Yale University, December 2011.
  • M.S. in Computer Science, Southern Methodist University, July 2008.
  • B.S. in Computer Science and Environmental Science, Southern Methodist University, May 2008. Graduated summa cum laude.
  • A.A. in Science, Lord Fairfax Community College, May 2005.
  • Honor societies:
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Phi Theta Kappa



  • Empirical Evaluation of Kulitta. Donya Quick and Christopher Burrows. Northeast Music Cognition Group, 2015.
  • Empirical Assessment of Automated Composition Algorithms. Donya Quick and Christopher Burrows. Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association, October 2014.

Talks & Demos

Software Projects

  • MUSICA, contributor, spring 2016 – present. A system for interactive improvisation and musical communication funded by the Communicating with Computers DARPA grant.
  • Kulitta, creator and maintainer, spring 2009 – present. A framework for algorithmic and automated composition.
  • Euterpea, contributor and maintainer, fall 2009 – present. A library for music representation, algorithmic composition, and sound synthesis in Haskell.

Music Composition Performances, Concerts, and Commissions

  • HAILO, interactive system for guitar and generative AI. To be performed by Mario Diaz De Leon at Electronic Music Midwest in September 2019 (forthcoming).
  • Ugly Purse Dog, interactive jazz improvisation system implemented in Python with visuals created in Processing. Performed at the 2019 FARM Performance Evening at ICFP in Berlin.
  • Dot Matrix, algorithmic composition using Euterpea and Kulitta with visuals created in Processing. Shown at the 2018 FARM Performance Evening and forthcoming performance at Electronic Music Widwest 2018.
  • Tandava, algorithmic composition using Kulitta performed at Electronic Music Midwest, 2017.
  • Vesicularia, algorithmic composition performed at Electronic Music Midwest, October 2016.
  • Paul Hudak Symposium Listening Room, April 2016. Concert organization and presentation of multiple original and algorithmic compositions using Euterpea and Kulitta.
  • Algorithmic music commission, January 2016. Using Kulitta to produce performable piano compositions for Gartner.
  • Euterpea Studio Concert, November 2015. Concert organization and presentation of an algorithmic composition using Kulitta.

Courses Taught

  • Functional Creative Coding (spring 2017, SMU). Functional paradigms explored through musical applications using Haskell programming language and Euterpea library.
  • Sound and Code (spring 2017, SMU). Creating virtual instruments and signal processing programs with Pure Data.
  • AI and Creative Composition (fall 2016, SMU). Advanced course examining AI in creative fields, with a focus on automated music generation.
  • Creative Coding I (fall 2016 and spring 2017, SMU). Introduction to programming using Processing and Java.
  • Computer Music: Sound Representation and Synthesis (spring 2016). Advanced computer music course focused on low-level issues of representing sound and programming with streams. Software used: Haskell and Euterpea.
  • Programming Musical Applications (fall 2015, Yale). Introductory course exploring the basics of programming and computer science with music as an area of application. Software used: JythonMusic.
  • Computer Music: Algorithmic and Heuristic Composition, (spring 2015). Advanced computer music course focused on programming language representation for score-level musical features and algorithms for producing novel musical works. Software used: Haskell and Euterpea.

Teaching Assistant Experience (Yale University): Object-Oriented Programming, Parallel Programming Techniques, Computer Music, Machine Learning, Cryptography and Computer Security, and Advanced Artificial Intelligence.


  • Currently developing with: Haskell, Python, Processing, Java
  • Recent past development with: Pure Data
  • Familiar with: C++, C, SQL/MySQL, C#, PHP, ML, Verilog, Assembly.
  • Other skills: repository/version management, iterative software development with a programming team, algorithm engineering.

Hobbies and other interests:

  • Music: I currently play piano and guitar (classical, electric, and bass electric) and occasionally attempt theremin. In the past I played violin, recorder, and dumbec.
  • Origami and other forms of art. My work is hosted on Deviantart.
  • Aquatic gastropods, both freshwater and marine. My work on the subject can be found here.
  • Marine hermit crab behavior. My work on the subject can be found here.
  • Propagation of soft corals and sea anemones.
  • Freshwater and marine reef aquariums.

Origami Parasaurolophus, designed and folded by me. Instructions can be found HERE.