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Diana Dabby, Ph.D.

Diana Dabby

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Music
Music Program Director

Milas Hall 269


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
M.F.A., Music, Mills College
A.B., Music, Vassar College

Select Courses Taught

Olin Conductorless Orchestra
Digital Signal Processing
Wired Ensemble


Chaos Theory and Music Chaos Theory and Image Music and Letters


Diana Dabby has taught at MIT, Tufts and Juilliard, and holds degrees in music and electrical engineering from Vassar, Mills, C.C.N.Y., and MIT. She is Music Program Director and Electrical Engineering faculty at Olin where she teaches orchestration, composition, and signal processing, as well as interdisciplinary courses connecting art and science. In her doctoral research at MIT, Dabby combined music and engineering by devising a chaotic mapping for musical variation, as featured on NPR member station WBUR (2004), NPR’s Weekend Edition (2007), in Science (2008) and the Boston Globe (2013). Her work has also been presented at a number of invited concert/lectures sponsored by the National Association of Schools of Music, MIT, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Union, IEEE, FIRST Place of New Hampshire, New Horizons in Science, the International Conference on Complex Systems, Christopher Newport University, and Harvard.   A new webapp incorporating her algorithms for creating musical variations of original works is under development with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) program and was recently selected for MIT’s VMS Demo Day 2014.

As a concert pianist, Dabby has performed in Weill (Carnegie) Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Jordan Hall, Symphony Hall Boston, Tanglewood, and abroad.  As a composer, she has written for various ensembles and soloists.  Her recent works include Fuente y Variación (2013), Tre Studi di Colore (2012), and September Quartet (2011) which received its world premiere on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 at Tufts University’s Distler Performance Hall, Perry and Marty Granoff Music Center.  Pianist JongSun Lee gave the world premiere of Fuente y Variación as part of the Invited Artist Series at Youngsan Grace Hall in Seoul, Korea, in 2013.  All of the above can be heard on YouTube.  As an orchestrator, she has made 70 arrangements of pieces by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Smetana, Saint-Saens, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Holst, Bartok, Copland, Bernstein, Stravinsky, Lee Jisu, Arturo Marquez, and John Williams for various combinations of instruments ranging from 4 to 23 players.