About Me

Last modified: Nov 11, 2016 @ 5:43 pm

Contact e-mail: donyaquick@gmail.com
Academic e-mail: dquick@smu.edu
Alternate e-mail: donyavq@netscape.net

I am currently a Visiting Professor at Southern Methodist University in the Center of Creative Computation. I am interested in research and teaching in the areas of computer music, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational linguistics, and programming languages. I am also interested in algorithmic and automated music composition.

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 linguistics. I am particularly interested in the relationship between music and language and have been exploring the use of grammars in music generation.

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.


  • Visiting Professor, Southern Methodist University, August 2016 – present
  • 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.

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.

Compositions, Concerts, and Commissions

  • Music composition: my more recent compositions, including algorithmic work, can be heard on SoundCloud and my older ones on Soundclick. My algorithmic compositions are also described in detail on this page of my site.
  • 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

  • Programming Musical Applications (fall 2015). 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.
  • 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.

Teaching Assistant Experience
Responsibilities: grading assignments and exams, some lectures, and aiding in development of course materials.

  • Object-Oriented Programming, fall 2009 and fall 2011.
  • Parallel Programming Techniques, spring 2010.
  • Computer Music: Algorithmic and Heuristic Composition, fall 2010 and spring 2013. Extra responsibilities for second half of the 2010 course: delivering all lectures, developing more course materials, and all grading.
  • Machine Learning, spring 2011.
  • Cryptography and Computer Security, spring 2012.
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence, fall 2012.


  • Programming languages: Haskell, Java, C++, C, SQL/MySQL, C#, ML, Verilog, Assembly.
  • Other skills: repository/version management, iterative software development with a
    programming team, algorithmic 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.