I had started out as an Art/Painting major at another school.  During my freshman year I got a job in graphic design, and I knew that's what I wanted to do...
Melissa Mykal Batalin '06
EMAC gave me a breadth of study which became invaluable to me in my current job at DreamWorks Animation...
Eli Bocek-Rivele '06
The EMAC program taught me some of the necessary software to succeed in the field, along with many new ways of visualizing things and creating new ideas...
Christina Ciani '10
Certain courses taught me to look at everything from different perspectives, and that ... a situation may call for a non-traditional approach...
Kirk Duwel '03
I had the opportunity to work with feature animation right through graduation...
Adam Gaige '07
EMAC gave me an understanding of concepts and theories that I use every day in my career...
Josh Goldenberg '10
The diversity of classes I took while attending RPI as an EMAC student allowed me to discover my ideal career path...
Chris LaPointe '10
The EMAC program definitely prepared me for graduate school because it gave me an excellent foundation for a graphic design career...
Steve Lucin '08
It is unique that we receive a B.S. rather than a B.A. I think this opens a lot more opportunities...
Kimberly Gomboz '09
Being an EMAC major gave me the communication background needed for my job...
Emelie Hegarty '09
News Icon for RPI Celebrates Launch of New Music Degree with the Rensselaer Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

Rensselaer celebrated the launch of a new Bachelor of Science degree program with a debut performance by the Rensselaer Orchestra.

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Michael Century

This is a representative list of faculty teaching EMAC core courses. For a comprehensive list, please see the specific departmental websites at www.arts.rpi.edu/ and www.cm.rpi.edu/ .

Michael Century


Photo of Michael CenturyPhoto of Michael Century

Professor of New Media and Music

  • A.R.C.T., Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto
  • M.A. University of California Berkeley
  • B.A. University of Toronto


Michael Century, pianist and composer, is Professor of New Media and Music in the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which he joined in 2002.  Musically at home in classical, contemporary, and improvisational settings, Century has enjoyed a varied career as university teacher, new media researcher, inter-arts producer, and arts policy maker. He studied piano with Reginald Godden in Toronto, and theory/composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Most recently, his musical passion is playing the accordion.

“Though my creative work is both musical and scholarly, I like to think of the two as intertwined through a common question: ‘whither creativity in age of smart machines?’” Century said. “I perform a wide repertoire of solo and chamber music from the classical and contemporary traditions, always keeping in mind the need to constantly re-establish the contemporary relevance of these traditions in an age of digital media.” 

His compositional projects deal with the musical – as opposed to the merely technical – challenges of musical-computer interaction, and he states that “the deeply embodied traditions of performance and craft must be maintained even as we confront the sophisticated and ever growing capacities of programmable machines.

His recently completed musical creations include a series of new works for keyboards and accordion with and electronics: Small Infinities, Within and Without, and the Triple Duo for Accordion, Disklavier Piano.  With Arts Department colleague Shawn Lawson, he has designed and published a unique arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, available on iOS devices.   Century directed The Rensselaer Contemporary Music Ensemble from 2008 to 2013, which performed a wide repertoire of works from the 20th and 21st centuries, and is taking a lead role in the rise of a new undergraduate program in music at Rensselaer.

His latest scholarly articles are "Telidon, Another Panacea That Failed." Acoustic Space, "The Future of Interdisciplinary Music Studies." College Music Society-NAMM Generation Next Program and “Virtuosity as Creative Freedom” in The Emergence of Video Processing Tools, and “Encoding Motion in the Early Computer: Knowledge Transfers Between Studio and Lab”, in Place Studies in Art, Media, Science and Technology: Historical Investigations on the Sites and the Migration of Knowledge.  In 2012, he presented “Extraordinary Freedom Machines:  Vignettes in the History of a Multimedia Century,” a three-part lecture series on 20th century art and technology at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Art Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY.  

EXTENDED BIOGRAPHY:  http://www.nextcentury.ca/bio.html 

For videos of music performance, see https://vimeo.com/user1962311 




Contact info:
Office number: West Hall115b
Phone number: 518.276.2302
Fax number: 518.276.4370
Email Address: century@rpi.edu