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Diana Dabby, Ph.D.

Professor Diana Dabby

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Music
Music Program Director

Milas Hall 269


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
M.F.A., Music, Mills College
A.B., Music, Vassar College

Select Courses Taught

Olin Conductorless Orchestra
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
Wired Ensemble
Signals & Systems


Chaos Theory and Music
Chaos Theory and Image
Music and Letters


Diana Dabby has taught at MIT, Tufts and Juilliard, and holds degrees in music and electrical engineering from Vassar, Mills, C.C.N.Y., and MIT. She is Music Program Director and Electrical Engineering faculty at Olin where she teaches orchestration, composition, performance and signal processing, as well as interdisciplinary courses connecting art and science. In her doctoral research at MIT, Dabby combined music and engineering by devising a chaotic mapping for musical variation, as featured on NPR member station WBUR (2004), NPR’s Weekend Edition (2007), in Science (2008) and the Boston Globe (2013). Her work has also been presented at a number of invited concert/lectures sponsored by the National Association of Schools of Music, MIT, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Union, IEEE, FIRST Place of New Hampshire, New Horizons in Science, the International Conference on Complex Systems, Christopher Newport University, and Harvard. A new web app, Cantovario, is currently under development with the MIT Venture mentoring Service (VMS) program. The app incorporates her algorithms for creating musical variations of original works. Awarded three patents, this work was selected for MIT’s VMS Demo Day 2014 and Entrepreneurial Edge Showcase 2017.

As a concert pianist, Dabby has performed in Weill (Carnegie) Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Jordan Hall, Symphony Hall Boston, Tanglewood, and abroad.  As a composer, she has written for various ensembles and soloists.  Her recent works include Who was Wissam Eid? (2017), Fuente y Variación (2013), Tre Studi di Colore (2012) and September Quartet (2011) which received its world premiere on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  As an orchestrator, she has created 110 arrangements of works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, Suk, Tchaikovsky, Smetana, Wagner, Saint-Saens, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Holst, Bartok, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Gershwin, Copland, Shostakovich, Piazzolla, Bernstein, Lee Jisu, John Williams, John Powell, Arturo Marquez, and Ramin Djawadi, for the Olin Conductorless Orchestra, ranging from 4 to 26 players (2002 – present).  In January 2017, a book chapter (“The Engineers’ Orchestra—a conductorless orchestra for our time”) was published by Springer Nature in Creative Ways of Knowing in Engineering (Baraiktarova and Eodice, eds.).