Nick Collins

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Get in touch if you're interested in doctoral study around topics in composition, performance, musicology and technology for electronic and computer music. Current and past doctoral students include:


Nick Carlson is composing towards a doctorate, inspired by fractal music

James Tate is analyzing video game music, with an especial focus on music from the Final Fantasy series

Anne Veinberg is combining the piano and live coding (I'm an external supervisor for her docARTES)

Scott Bannister studies emotion and music, with a particular focus on the experience of chills

Annaliese Micallef-Grimaud studies emotion and music, including through analysis by synthesis

Rob King is a composer interested in algorithmic composition, new notations, and the sonification of sociopolitical data


For her composition doctorate Dr Shelly Knotts researched network music performance and laptop ensembles, and interactions of politics and computer music

Dr Chad Langford undertook a doctorate in composition, including elements of sonification and works for acoustic instrumentalists with live electronics

Dr Chad McKinney explored new practices in network music, creating and evaluating a series of multi-user works

Dr Pejman Mirza-Babaei's doctorate was on games user research, particularly with respect to the Biometric Storyboard

Dr Anna Jordanous completed a doctorate on evaluating computational creativity, after previously working on language and music, automatic accompaniment and voice allocation in polyphonic music.

Dr Thor Magnusson of ixi software is intensely concerned with issues in the creation and philosophy of digital interfaces for music.

Dr Matthew Yee-King explored genetic algorithms for sound synthesis, including aspects of live performance and automatic sound analysis arising from his research.

Dr Chris Kiefer investigated the application of Human Computer Interaction techniques in the design and evaluation of musical interfaces. Following an early case study around the Nintendo Wiimote as a musical controller, he built and assessed his own novel controllers supporting fine motor control of music, based on computer vision, and conductive foam.

Selected papers with doctoral students

Though I may have taken some role in the research, I was certainly not the research lead and the first author should be contacted about the work via the web links above. My doctoral students have written many more papers than appear here as their work has gained autonomy.

(2014) Shelly Knotts and Nick Collins "The Politics of Laptop Ensembles: A survey of 160 laptop ensembles and their organisational structures". Proceedings of NIME 2014, London

(2013) Mirza-Babaei, P., Nacke, L.E., Gregory, J., Collins, N., Fitzpatrick, G. "How Does It Play Better? Exploring User Testing and Biometric Storyboards in Games User Research." In Proceedings of CHI13, Paris

(2012) Mirza-Babaei, P., Nacke, L., Fitzpatrick, G., White, G., McAllister, G., Collins, N. "Biometric storyboards: visualising game user research data." In Proceedings of CHI12, Austin, Texas

(2008) Chris Kiefer, Nick Collins and Geraldine Fitzpatrick. "Evaluating The Wiimote As A Musical Controller." Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

(2008) Chris Kiefer, Nick Collins and Geraldine Fitzpatrick. "HCI Methodology For Evaluating Musical Controllers: A Case Study." Proceedings of New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Genova, Italy.