Carnegie Mellon University

Tom Sullivan

Tom Sullivan

Teaching Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Lecturer, Music

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213




Ph.D., 1996 
Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Carnegie Mellon University

M.S., 1988 
Computer Music 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S., 1985 
Electrical Engineering 
Carnegie Mellon University


Though there is currently no funded research at CMU in this area, Dr.Sullivan's interests lie in the areas of signal processing for audio and music systems.

Audio Signal Processing

As the professional recording industry has grown, so has the complexity and quality of sound recording equipment. Research in audio signal processing serves the advancement of digital audio recording. From the need for lossless data compression, to higher quality filtering for A/D and D/A conversion, to better error correction coding for digital hard disk and magnetic tape systems (and compact discs), the research areas where electrical engineers can aid the entertainment industry are great.

Music Signal Processing

Signals from musical instruments are very complex waveforms. As the professional recording and performance industries demand higher quality synthesis of existing musical instruments, the study of new methods of instrument synthesis has increasing importance. In addition, the greater quality of films and television have increased the need for more realistic generation of sound effects. The use of digital sampling in the creation of music and sound effects merges the music and professional audio signal processing areas.

In addition, there is increasing desire for the control of music synthesizers by other existing musical instruments and new, non-standard "instruments" or "controllers". Pitch and expressive tracking of these instruments are vital to obtaining information from a performer that is capable of giving the performer high-level control over a music synthesizer.


  • Audio signal processing
  • Music and sound recording applications