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Professor of Music Technology, Penn State

Mark Ballora joined the Penn State faculty in 2000. He held a joint appointment in the School of Music and the School of Theatre. Ballora taught courses in music technology, history of electroacoustic music, musical acoustics, and software programming for musicians. He received degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles, New York University, and McGill University. He was the author of Digital Audio and Acoustics for the Creative Arts (Oxford University Press, 2016), and a number of "Square One" columns written for Electronic Musician magazine from 2004 to 2008. Early work includes sound designs and electroacoustic scores for modern dance, theatre, animated films, and radio dramas. His compositions have been played at international electroacoustic music festivals, and his piece for flute choir, Squid Sarabande, was a finalist in the 2012 National Flute Association's newly published music competition. He has also written articles describing uses of sonification (rendering scientific datasets with sound) in the areas of cardiology and computer network security. His sonifications of astronomical and physiological datasets have been used by percussionist/ethnomusicologist Mickey Hart as part of performances of the Mickey Hart Band, and on their albums Mysterium Tremendum and Superorganism, the film Rhythms of the Universe, which Hart conceived with cosmologist George Smoot. In June 2017, he was co-recipient of two interdisciplinary seed grants awarded by The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) and the Gulf Research Program that involved working with marine biologists to create sonifications of ocean-related data.


  • –present
    Professor of Music Technology, Pennsylvania State University