Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara


Smartphone Privacy via Projective Geometry


Many of us use smartphones and rely on tools like auto-complete and spelling auto-correct to make using these devices more pleasant, but building these tools creates a conundrum. On the one hand, the machine-learning algorithms used to provide these features require data to learn from, but on the other hand, who among us is willing to send a carbon copy of all our text messages to device manufacturers to provide that data? In this talk, we show a surprising paradox discovered roughly 20 years ago: it is possible to learn from user data in the aggregate, while mathematically provably maintaining privacy at the individual level. We then present a recent private mechanism of our own for this task, based on projective geometry (popularized by Brunelleschi during the Italian Renaissance). This talk is based on joint work with Vitaly Feldman (Apple), Huy Le Nguyen (Northeastern), and Kunal Talwar (Apple).


Jelani Nelson is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley, and also a part-time Research Scientist at Google. His research interests include sketching and streaming algorithms, random projections and their applications to randomized linear algebra and compressed sensing, and differential privacy. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and Best Paper Awards at PODS 2010 and 2022. He is also Founder and President of AddisCoder, Inc., which has provided free algorithms training to over 500 Ethiopian high school students since 2011, and which is co-launching a similar "JamCoders" program in Kingston, Jamaica in Summer 2022.

For more information about the MAT Seminar Series, go to:

Musics of the Sphere by Dr. Robert Morris

October 13th: free performances at 6 pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm

October 14th: walk-in installation starting at 6 pm

The AlloSphere is located in the California NanoSystems Institute, Elings Hall, on the UCSB campus. The entrance is located on the second floor.


Dr. Robert Morris

The Musics of the Sphere is a spatial audio composition made expressly for the 54.1 channel sound system of the AlloSphere, with no visuals, featuring the unique audio resolution of the instrument. The work is a 57-minute, fixed-media computer music composition in six tracks of spatially modulated sounds. The Allosphere is the perfect venue to present the piece where loudspeakers are placed around and above and below the listeners.

This new work by Dr. Morris is a celebration of "musics" from all over the world. Over 150 excerpts of all types of music from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe comprise the sounds in each track. These "musics" are presented as such (without modification) to partial and complete transformation via a host of computer music techniques.


Dr. Robert Morris is an internationally known composer and music scholar, having written over 180 compositions including computer and improvisational music and music to be performed out of doors, as well as four books and over 70 articles and reviews. Since 1980, he has taught at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester as Professor of Composition and affiliate member of the Theory and Musicology Departments, and at present interim Chair of the Composition Department. His many compositions have been performed in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Morris's music is recorded on Albany Records, Attacca, Centaur, Composers Recordings Incorporated, Fanfare, Music and Arts, Music Gallery Editions, New World, Neuma, Open Space, and Renova.

Past Events  


Space Control is a multitrack workstation dedicated to the design, realization, and mixture of spatial gestures for electroacoustic music composition. With its simple interface and minimal learning curve, it makes quick and powerful spatialization available to users of all experience levels.

Released in June 2022, Space Control was created by the team of Professor João Pedro Oliveira, acting as project manager, and software developer Raphael Radna. Radna is a PhD candidate in Music Composition at UC Santa Barbara, and is also pursuing a Masters of Science degree from the Media Arts and Technology Graduate Program at UCSB.

Space Control runs on Apple Computers, and is available on GitHub. Use this link for direct access to the software download.

There is also a Quick Start video available on YouTube:

The project was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the UCSB Academic Senate.

Parasitic Signals - Coexistence with SARS-CoV-2

This project is to transform a nano-scale of a striking biological phenomenon, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 (Corona) virus and human molecules into an interactive audiovisual simulation. Especially, in this pandemic situation, the SARS-CoV-2 (Corona) virus is a key interest in all fields of science. By collaborating with scientists at Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in Linz, Austria, we are going to simulate the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 virus and human lectin proteins by using Atomic Microscopy (AFM), which can touch a single molecule to measure binding force between SARS-CoV-2 virus and human lectin protein. We are creating an interactive audiovisual installation and performance from an interaction data set of corona virus and human protein. The audience will be invited to an immersive space where they can control the two biomolecule’s behavior so that they can intuitively recognize the biological characteristics of Corona virus and human protein.

This project is not only a demonstration of scientific data and the development of a sonification tool, but also it tries to look at the interspecies relationship in parasitism, as a mutualistic and long-term relationship. Especially, in this pandemic situation, coronavirus brought huge impacts socially, as well as individually. Through this collaboration, this project is a continuous series of parasitism in humans that in particular deals with our current and future life with coronavirus, with various perspectives of social, political and cultural levels. Especially, as the corona virus is being extensively researched due to the pandemic circumstance all over the world, this project will be meaningful to demonstrate how we can possibly control our coexistence in virtual space.


Ars Electronica Center, Linz Austria.


Kepler’s Gardens at JKU Campus, Linz, Austria.

In addition, RAY will also be exhibited at the Siggraph Art Gallery 2022 in Vancouver, Canada.

Weidi's immersive film Astro_v2 won a Prix Trames Sonore Award at SAT Fest, and will be screened at the Satosphere, as part of the award-winning film program, May 3 - 27, 2022.




Professor Kuchera-Morin and Dr. Rincon will be joined by Jean Johnstone of UC Berkeley, and will evaluate the impact of arts, culture and entertainment to the future of California.

About the California 100 Research Grants

California 100 is a new statewide initiative being incubated at the University of California and Stanford University focused on inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable. The initiative will harness the talent of a diverse array of leaders through research, policy innovation, advanced technology, and stakeholder engagement. As part of its research stream of work, California 100 is sponsoring 13 research projects focused on the following issue areas:

  • Advanced technology and basic research
  • Arts, culture, and entertainment
  • Education
  • Economic mobility, inequality and workforce
  • Energy, environment and natural resources
  • Federalism and foreign policy
  • Fiscal reform
  • Governance, media, and civil society
  • Health and wellness
  • Housing and community development
  • Immigrant integration
  • Public safety and criminal justice reform
  • Transportation and urban planning

California 100 Initiative

Institute for the Future


JoAnn Kuchera-Morin


Gustavo Alfonso Rincon

EmissionControl2 is a granular sound synthesizer. The theory of granular synthesis is described in the book Microsound (Curtis Roads, 2001, MIT Press).

Released in October 2020, the new app was developed by a team consisting of Professor Curtis Roads acting as project manager, with software developers Jack Kilgore and Rodney Duplessis. Kilgore is a computer science major at UCSB. Duplessis is a PhD student in music composition at UCSB and is also pursuing a Masters degree in the Media Arts and Technology graduate program.

EmissionControl2 is free and open-source software available at:

The project was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the UCSB Academic Senate.

Past News  


Exhibition Catalogs

End of Year Show

About MAT

Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at UCSB is a transdisciplinary graduate program that fuses emergent media, computer science, engineering, electronic music and digital art research, practice, production, and theory. Created by faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Letters and Science, MAT offers an unparalleled opportunity for working at the frontiers of art, science, and technology, where new art forms are born and new expressive media are invented.

In MAT, we seek to define and to create the future of media art and media technology. Our research explores the limits of what is possible in technologically sophisticated art and media, both from an artistic and an engineering viewpoint. Combining art, science, engineering, and theory, MAT graduate studies provide students with a combination of critical and technical tools that prepare them for leadership roles in artistic, engineering, production/direction, educational, and research contexts.

The program offers Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Media Arts and Technology. MAT students may focus on an area of emphasis (multimedia engineering, electronic music and sound design, or visual and spatial arts), but all students should strive to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and work with other students and faculty in collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects and courses.

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