Elaine Chew


  • Becket House, 1 Lambeth Palace Road

    SE1 7EU London

    United Kingdom

  • Strand

    WC2R 2LS London

    United Kingdom

  • James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road

    SE1 8WA London

    United Kingdom

  • 191

Personal profile

Research interests (short)

  • Music and Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Music Structure Analysis
  • Music-heart-brain Interactions
  • Computational Arrhythmia Research

Biographical details

Elaine Chew is Professor of Engineering joint between the Department of Engineering (Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences) and the Department of Cardiovascular Imaging in the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences (Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine) at King's College London.

An operations researcher and pianist by training, Elaine is a leading authority in music representation, music information research (MIR), and music perception and cognition, and an established performer. A pioneering researcher in MIR, she is forging new paths at the intersection of music and cardiovascular science. Her research focuses on the mathematical and computational modelling of musical structures in music and in electrocardiographic traces, with application to music-heart-brain interaction and computational arrhythmia research.

Her work has been recognised by the US Presidential Early Career Award in Science & Engineering (PECASE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early CAREER Development Award, and Fellowships at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is an alum (Fellow) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Kavli, and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Science/Engineering Symposia.

A transdisciplinary scholar, Elaine's outputs span both STEM and arts/humanities traditions. She is centre of one of 9 publication clusters having ≥5 women in the international Music Information Retrieval community (ISMIR 2016 infometric study). She has also recorded music on Albany (Doubles) and Neuma (Child's Play) Records. She is a frequent invited keynote/plenary speaker, and often integrates interactive scientific visualisations and lab-grown compositions in her live demonstrations and concert-conversations.

Prior to joining King's, she was a senior CNRS researcher in the STMS Lab at IRCAM (Paris: 2019-2022), Professor of Digital Media at QMUL (2011-2019), Assistant then tenured Associate Professor at USC (Los Angeles, CA: 2001-2011) where she held the inaugural Viterbi Early Career Chair, and Visiting Professor at King's (2020-2022), Harvard (Cambridge, MA: 2008-2009) and Lehigh (Bethlehem, PA: 2000-2001).

Elaine received PhD and SM degrees in Operations Research at MIT, a BAS in Mathematical & Computational Sciences (honours) and Music (distinction) at Stanford, and FTCL and LTCL diplomas in Piano Performance from Trinity College, London. 

Current Projects

ERC ADG COSMOS : Computational Shaping and Modeling of Musical Structures (data analytics/citizen science to decipher the functions and mechanisms of music expressivity)

ERC POC HEART.FM : Maximizing the Therapeutic Potential of Music through Tailored Therapy with Physiological Feedback in Cardiovascular Disease (deploying music expressivity for autonomic modulation)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Operations Research, Doctor of Philosophy, Towards a Mathematical Model of Tonality, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Award Date: 1 Feb 2000

Operations Research, Master in Science, Multiperiod Portfolio Optimization: Approximate Dynamic Programming & Feynman Diagrams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Award Date: 1 Feb 1998

Mathematical & Computational Sciences (honors) and Music Performance (distinction), Bachelor of Science, Testing a Polynomially Bounded Algorithm Derived from a Converging Algorithm, Stanford University

Award Date: 15 Jun 1992

Piano Performance, Postgraduate Diploma, Fellowship of Trinity College London (FTCL), Trinity College London and Arts Council England

Award Date: 1 Jul 1987

External positions

Senior Researcher, Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Sons (STMS) Laboratoire – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique / Musique (IRCAM), Sorbonne Université, Ministère de la Culture

1 Jun 201930 Jun 2022

Professor of Digital Media, Queen Mary University, Centre for Digital Music, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, London, UK.

1 Sept 201131 May 2019

Associate Professor, University of Southern California

15 Aug 200731 Aug 2013

Viterbi Early Career Chair, University of Southern California

15 Apr 200514 Aug 2007

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California

15 Aug 200114 Aug 2007

Visiting Assistant Professor, Lehigh University

15 Aug 200014 Aug 2001


  • QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
  • operations research
  • computational mathematics
  • human-computer interaction
  • M Music
  • music representation
  • music prosody
  • musical structures
  • music and mathematics
  • music perception and cognition
  • computational music structure analysis
  • music performance
  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • heart-brain interactions
  • music-based therapeutics
  • autonomic modulation
  • RB Pathology
  • computational arrhythmia research


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