Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic & Space Sciences in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander

Doctoral Student
Composer / Intermedia Artist

Office: 2435 Space Research Building
[ Link to website ]


M.A., Media Arts, University of Michigan
B.A., Performing Arts Technology, University of Michigan


Data Sonification Specialist, Solar Heliospheric Research Group

Specializations and Research Interests

My research lies at the intersection of technology and creativity.  As a Design Science Ph.D candidate,  I am working to construct software interfaces for exploring scientific data in new ways.  The core of my research lies in data sonfication with the Solar Heliospheric Research Group.   Sonification is a process through which any kind of non-auditory data is translated as sound. We're transforming space data into the sonic realm such that we can gain a new perspective, and begin to ask new questions.

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • NASA-Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Project (JPFP)  Award
  • International Community for Auditory Display: Outstanding Achievement Award
  • CEDO Ph.D. Candidate Achievement Award.
  • University of Michigan Dean's Named Fellowship 2010-2011
  • Imagine Science Films, Artist in Residence 2011
  • MiND Ensemble Director 2010-2011
  • Yahoo! Campus Innovations Award
  • Yahoo! Boost Award
  • Rackham Summer Research Grant, 2011
  • Computer Music Instructor, Interlochen Youth Arts Camp, Summer 2009-2010


VICE Documentary: Using the Sun to Make Music

NPR Interviews: All Things Considered, Stateside More than Meets the Eye: NASA Scientists Listen to Data

TEDx Presentation: Two Turn Tables and a Satellite

Scientific American: Hearing Astronomical Data Can Lead to Scientific Insights

Michigan Engineering: Listening to Solar Storms

Scienceline: Listening to the Sun on a Loop

IEEE Earthzine: Sonification: Data like you've never heard before


Updated: 2015-01-04