Lerch Named Associate Dean of Research, Creative Practice

Alexander Lerch sits at his office desk.
Photo: School of Music
Alexander Lerch is an expert in Music Information Retrieval.
Ann Hoevel | July 11, 2023 — Atlanta, GA

Alexander Lerch has been named the Associate Dean of Research and Creative Practice for the Georgia Tech College of Design, effective August 1, 2023.

“I’m really excited to welcome Alexander Lerch into the leadership team of the College of Design,” said John Portman Dean’s Chair and College of Design Dean, Ellen M. Bassett. “Alexander brings to the role disciplinary-spanning experience and I’ve asked him to be an interdisciplinary matchmaker.”

“I look forward to our future research direction and continued expansion of our research excellence under his leadership.”

An associate professor in the School of Music, Lerch is the first faculty member of the School to join the College’s executive leadership team. He joins the College's recently appointed Associate Deans of Academics (Javier Irizarry) and Faculty Development (Russell Gentry). Prior to this appointment, Lerch directed the music technology graduate program.

Lerch joined Georgia Tech in 2013 and teaches music signal processing, computational music analysis, audio technology, and audio software engineering classes. He also contributes Center for Music Technology research.

“Music Technology at Georgia Tech is at the forefront of reinventing how technology can enhance and renew the music experience, whether it is by creating new music interfaces or researching new technologies to produce or process music,” Lerch said.

"My research is situated at the intersection of music, signal processing, and machine learning," he said. "I work on creating the next generation of technologies for creating, producing, discovering, and consuming music.”

Lerch specializes in Music Information Retrieval (MIR), researching ways to teach computers to listen to and comprehend music. His recently updated textbook "An Introduction to Audio Content Analysis" (IEEE/Wiley 2012) and the accompanying online materials at www.AudioContentAnalysis.org helped define educational practice in the field.

“Our College is unique in many ways. We have such incredible disciplinary diversity – from professionally trained and active architects and designers; to MFAs, composers, and world-class musicians; to quantitative and qualitative social scientists,” Bassett said, “not to mention our colleagues with doctorates in computing and various engineering fields.”

“The College of Design features an extraordinary variety of outstanding scholarship and creative work, indicating both the diversity and excellence of our faculty," Lerch said. “I am honored and excited to assume this role in our College's multi-faceted research and creative environment. I look forward to fostering a vibrant culture of innovation, collaboration, and boundary-pushing creativity as we shape the future of design."

Before his academic career, Lerch was Head of Research at his company zplane.development, an industry leader in music technology licensing. The research-focused company creates music processing/analysis technology, including algorithms such as time-stretching and automatic key detection. zplane apps are used by millions of musicians and producers worldwide.  

Lerch received his Diplom-Ingenieur (EE) and his Ph.D. (Audio Communications) from Technical University Berlin.

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Ann Hoevel
Director of Communications
College of Design
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