Digital Art Museum
A. Michael NOLL    


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A. Michael Noll
Born 1939

A. Michael NOLL

A. Michael NOLL is Professor of Communications at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He teaches graduate courses in the fundamental science and technology of communication systems, and he studies the policy and social implications of communication technologies. He was Dean of the School for the 92/93 and 93/94 academic years, during which time he formulated a broader vision of communication that resulted in a merger of academic units at USC.

Before joining the Annenberg School in 1984, Dr. Noll had a varied career in basic research, telecommunication marketing, and science policy. From 1977 to 1984, he worked in the AT&T Consumer Products and Marketing Department where he performed technical evaluations and identified opportunities for new products and services. He has performed research to quantify the market for teleconferencing and has studied the market for videotex services.

Dr. Noll spent nearly fifteen years performing basic research at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, starting there in 1961. His research included work in such areas as: the effects of media on interpersonal communication, three-dimensional computer graphics, human-machine tactile communication, speech signal processing, and aesthetics. He is an early pioneer in the use of digital computers in the visual arts, and his computer art has been widely exhibited throughout the world. The exhibition of his computer art at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York City in 1965 was the earliest such exhibition in the United States. His computer-generated ballet was created in the early 1960's and was the first such use of computers. His study of aesthetic preferences for a computer-generated pattern versus a painting by Mondrian has become a classic. In the late 1960 and early 1970's, he constructed interactive three-dimensional input devices and displays and a three-dimensional, tactile, force-feedback ("feelie") device that were the forerunners of today's virtual-reality systems. He also was one of the first researchers to demonstrate the potential of scanned displays for computer graphics.

In the early 1970's, Dr. Noll spent two years in Washington as a Technical Assistant to the President's Science Advisor at the White House. In this position, Dr. Noll was involved with such issues as computer security and privacy, computer exports, scientific and technical information, educational technology, and Federal research programs. He served as the first Co-Chair of a joint USA/USSR program in the application of computers to management.

During summers, Dr. Noll has taught courses in basic communications technology and systems as an Adjunct Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Dr. Noll is a Senior Affiliated Research Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) at Columbia University's Business School and was Visiting Director of CITI during the first half of 1995. He is an Affiliated Scholar at the Media Center at the New York Law School.He also teaches courses for industry, consults on new technology and advises new venture firms in the telecommunications field.

Dr. Noll has published over eighty professional papers covering a wide variety of topics and in diverse journals. He was granted six patents for his inventions in speech processing and human-machine tactile communication while at Bell Labs. Dr. Noll is a seasoned analyst of the communication industry and is frequently quoted in the media. He is a frequent contributor to op-eds and columns in newspapers and trade magazines. He is the author of books on telecommunication electronics (second edition), telephone systems (third edition), and television, all published by Artech House, which explain the technical principles and workings of communications technology and systems to a nontechnical audience. He is the junior author with Dr. John R. Pierce of Signals, published by the Scientific American Library. He is the author of Highway of Dreams published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Dr. Noll received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1971, M.E.E. from New York University in 1963, and B.S.E.E. from Newark College of Engineering in 1961. Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical-engineering honor society, awarded him Honorable Mention as an Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to computer-generated stereographics and service to his community. In 1990, the Computer Graphics Pioneers of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) elected him a Pioneer in recognition of his early work in computer graphics. In 1994, New Jersey Institute of Technology awarded him a Distinguished Alumni Medal for Outstanding Achievement.


Computer Generated Animation:

Computer-Generated Ballet (1965).

Four-Dimensional Hyperobjects (1965).

4-D Hyper Movie.

Simulated Basilar Membrane Motion (3-D) with R.C. Lummis and M. M. Sondhi.

Incredible Machine (1968) - main-title animation sequence for award-winning movie by Owen Murphy Productions for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company.

The Unexplained (1970) - main-title animation sequence for Encyclopedia Britannica Special by Lee Mendelson Productions for NBC and colorcast on April 3, 1970.

Shows (1965-1975) :

Howard Wise Gallery, New York City: 1965 (with Bela Julesz) Computer-Generated Pictures (early USA computer-art exhibit).

Fall Joint Computer Conference, Las Vegas: 1965 (with Vaughn Mason) Computer-Art Exhibit.

Galarie im Hause Behr, Stuttgart, Germany: 1967 Computergrafik (organized by M. Krampen).

Studio f, Ulm, Germany: 1967 Computergrafik (organized by M. Krampen).

Summit Art Center, Summit, New Jersey: 1967 Computer Sight and Sound.

House of Art, Brno, Czechoslovakia: 1968 Computer Graphic.

Gallery, Jihlava, Czechoslovakia: 1968 Computer Graphic.

Gallery, Cottwaldov, Czechoslovakia: 1968 Computer Graphic.

Institute for Contemporary Arts, London, England: 1968 Cybernetic Serendipity.

Galerije Grada Zagreba, Zagreb, Yugoslavia: 1968 Tendencije 4.

Kubus Gallery, Hanover, Germany: 1969 Computer-Kunst (sponsored by Clarissa Contemporary Art and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Gellellseheft).

University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain: 1979 Generacion Automatica de Eormas Plasticas.

Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brasil: 1971 Arteonica.

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India: 1972 Computer Art.

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio: 1972 Computer Art.

Watson Art Gallery, Wheaton College, Amherst, Massachusetts: 1975 Computer Art Exhibit.

Permanent Collections:

Large prints of Gaussian-Quadratic and Computer Composition With Lines are in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Fisher Gallery at the University of Southern California.

Movie prints (16 mm) of computer animation are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York City) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Los Angeles).

Copies of various puplished papers by A. Michael Noll about his early computer art in the permanent collection of the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA.