Live-coding and academics

I am currently doing a PhD in Computer Science (in optimal transport applied to computer graphics), and, judging by how it is doing, I will probably more or less change domains in my post-doctoral studies, and I was wondering if I could get it to meet my interest for live-coding.
Are there people here who have experience in doing academic work related to live-coding? I know there is yaxu, but is he the only one? Could you tell me about what you study, and how it relates to more general fields of study? Do you have any idea how I could relate it to my current topic of research?

There are quite a few of us, yes, although one of the really nice elements of the live-coding community is that it encompasses a wider audience than academia alone. Going through a Google Scholar search and looking through references might be one quick way to start getting a sense of the scholarly research:

You could also look through the ICLC proceedings (look specifically for entries that include pdf links):

The overlap between academia and the live-coding graphics community is a bit smaller than the overlap between live coding and audio/music (currently), but there is certainly interesting work being done!

Much of the livecoding system of supercollider was extended and polished with support of the German Research Foundation (DFG). It was part of a large research project on media theory and cultural studies.

I’m in my PhD in CS as well, working on not live coding, but trying to get as much overlap as possible. A few years ago I helped my advisor write a grant on the intersection of program synthesis and live programming

I’d be very interested in knowing if anyone has had success getting NSF funding or similar for work in the live coding space. My guess would be the PL community would have overlap but I haven’t seen much. There is also a neat call for proposals out that might have overlap with live coding. Alas as a lowly PhD student I can’t submit anything myself yet

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@thaega I don’t know much about “optimal transport” but it might be worth looking into “computational steering” - a CS turn of phrase that you might get some traction with (with some assumptions on my part about what optimal transport might be).

I’ve published a few livecoding papers in CS (PL & HPC). You might find my thesis worth a look, although it’s more PL related.


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@mark.santolucito FYI EarSketch at Georgia Tech is a system that has had success with NSF grants (grants are listed at the bottom of the splash page):

I’m working on some writings about this, one source I’ve really found useful is Wolfgang Jonas:

He helps organise a conference called NERD (, hw can you not like that? :slight_smile:

Is there any research done on live-coding, but not from a computer science perspective? I am a french student in musicology. I recently finished my last research and I’m more and more attracted by the idea of writing about live-coding. I can’t really say now what form it will take, but I think that it would be great to start with writing an article about live-coding approached from a musicological / philosophical perspective. If I feel confident about it, I may even try to do a more long-term research about it.

Is there anyone currently writing on the subject in Europe / USA ?

@Bubo This special journal issue devoted to live coding (International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media) might be a good place to read about aspects of live coding that aren’t purely technical:

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Have you read Thor Magnussen’s new book? I’ve not got ahold of it yet, but it sounds like what he’s writing about. It would be great to see more of that.

Thank you, I guess that it’s now time to read all of it!

Andrew Sorensen (Extempore) definitely has done a lot of work in academia with Live Coding. I’m not sure what he’s doing now, though. Ben Swift also (again, Extempore) has as far as I know. I’m interested in delving into some philosophical frameworks for live coding, but it’s a few years away at least.

Andrew’s thesis is a great read, I’ve been deep into it:

Lots of good explanation of liveness, livecoding systems design and architecture, etc.