Max Mathews. Max Mathews

Known as the "Father of Computer Music," Max Mathews is now a professor of music research at Stanford University. He invented several novel computer instruments, including the Mathews/Boie Radio Drum and more recently, the radio-baton. A performer holds a radio-baton in each hand -- the motion is tracked by a computer and intepreted into music.

He spent the majority of his career at Bell Labs as an engineer, conducting behavioral and acoustic research. Legend has it that in the 1950s Max Mathews would pipe the music of his late night computer noodling through the Murray Hill labs intercom system. There's no information on the effect it had on the custodial staff, but it would hardly have raised an eyebrow in the collaborative research community of the time. Mathews' music was not an "official" AT&T project -- but he was allowed free access to any equipment he wanted to use on his "socially desirable" side project.

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