Research

Ben performing at Soundscapes #21, Photo by Adam Thomas

Research interests

I am a multidisciplinary researcher and Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. I’m interested in computational art & music, human-computer interaction, AI/machine learning (particularly in pursuit of creative ends) and the intersection of code, creativity and culture as those boundaries dissolve in the modern world. I’m the director of the code/creativity/culture studio at the ANU Research School of Computer Science.

I am a livecoder, and have performed at both local and international arts festivals—you can find recordings of some of my sets on my livecoding page. I’m the vice president of the Australasian Computer Music Association (ACMA) (plug: you should submit a paper or creative work to our annual conference, which we’re hosting at the ANU in July 2020). I’m also one of the inaugural ANU Reimagine Fellows, part of a $300m+ investment from the ANU charged with re-thinking (and re-doing) what it is to be a computer scientist in the 21st century.

I love building things, and one thing I’m particularly excited about is the potential of liveness (real-time human-in-the-loop interactivity) in programming tools and workflows. I have made significant open-source code contributions to the international research and livecoding communities, especially through my work on Extempore: the state-of-the-art in livecoding languages.

Come study with me: if you’re interested in doing Honours/Masters/PhD research with me, send me an email. I always have a few project ideas kicking around, but I’m also open to hearing about the project/big idea that excites you. Send me

  1. a one-paragraph description of the project you’re interested in doing, and
  2. a link to something you’ve made: a livecoding video, a project on GitHub, an academic paper—even a blog post

I get a lot of emails about this sort of thing, so including these two things is a great way to show that you’ve thought a bit about what sort of research project you’re interested in (and why I’d be a good fit). You should think hard about how to make your email stand out from the crowd.

Peer-reviewed conference/journal papers & book chapters

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007

2019

Reducing Latency in a Collaborative Augmented Reality Service (2019)

by He, Wennan and Swift, Ben and Gardner, Henry and Xi, Mingze and Adcock, Matt

in VRCAI '19: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/3359997.3365699

Two Perspectives on Rebooting Computer Music Education: Composition and Computer Science (2019)

by Swift, Ben and Martin, Charles Patrick and Hunter, Alexander

in ACMC '19: Proceedings of the 2019 Australasian Computer Music Conference (pdf)

Analysis and Visualization of Narrative in Shanhaijing Using Linked Data (2019)

by Wang, Qian and Nurmikko-Fuller, Terhi and Swift, Ben

in DH '19: Proceedings of the International Conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (pdf)

2018

Critical Challenges for the Visual Representation of Deep Neural Networks (2018)

by Browne, Kieran and Swift, Ben and Gardner, Henry

in Human and Machine Learning: Visible, Explainable, Trustworthy and Transparent ({Springer International Publishing}) (pdf)

doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-90403-0_7

The Other Side: Algorithm As Ritual in Artificial Intelligence (2018)

by Browne, Kieran and Swift, Ben

in Alt.CHI '18: Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/3170427.3188404

Thoughts on an ANU Laptop Ensemble: Where Do New Media Creators Fit in the Modern University? (2018)

by Swift, Ben and Hunter, Alexander

in Code2k18: A Media Conference of Platforms, Devices and Screens

2017

High-resolution study of the 3D collagen fibrillary matrix of Achilles tendons without tissue labelling and dehydrating (2017)

by Wu, Jian-Ping and Swift, Ben and Becker, Thomas and Squelch, Andrew and Wang, Allan and Zheng, Yong-Chang and Zhao, Xuelin and Xu, Jiake and Xue, Wei and Zheng, Minghao and Lloyd, David and Kirk, Thomas Brett

in Journal of Microscopy 266(3) (pdf)

doi: 10.1111/jmi.12537

2016

InfiniCloud 2.0: Distributing High Performance Computing across Continents. (2016)

by Chrzeszczyk, Jakub and Howard, Andrew and Chrzeszczyk, Andrzej and Swift, Ben and Davis, Peter and Low, Jonathan and Tan, Tin Wee and Ban, Kenneth

in Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations 3(2) (pdf)

doi: 10.14529/jsfi160204

Intelligent Agents and Networked Buttons Improve Free-Improvised Ensemble Music-Making on Touch-Screens (2016)

by Martin, Charles and Gardner, Henry and Swift, Ben and Martin, Michael

in CHI '16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2858036.2858269

Live Programming in Scientific Simulation (2016)

by Swift, Ben and Sorensen, Andrew and Gardner, Henry and Davis, Peter and Decyk, Viktor K.

in Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations 2(4) (pdf)

doi: 10.14529/jsfi150401

2015

Music of 18 Performances: Evaluating Apps and Agents with Free Improvisation (2015)

by Martin, Charles and Gardner, Henry and Swift, Ben and Martin, Michael

in ACMC '15: Proceedings of the 2015 Australasian Computer Music Conference (pdf)

Tracking Ensemble Performance on Touch-Screens with Gesture Classification and Transition Matrices (2015)

by Martin, Charles and Gardner, Henry and Swift, Ben

in NIME '15: Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (pdf)

doi: 10.5555/2993778.2993870

Texture Analysis of the 3D Collagen Network and Automatic Classification of the Physiology of Articular Cartilage AU - Duan, Xiaojuan (2015)

by Wu, Jianping and Swift, Ben and Kirk, Thomas Brett

in Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 18(9) (pdf)

doi: 10.1080/10255842.2013.864284

2014

Exploring Percussive Gesture on iPads with Ensemble Metatone (2014)

by Martin, Charles and Gardner, Henry and Swift, Ben

in CHI '14: Proceedings of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2556288.2557226

Metatravels and Metalonsdale: Ipad Apps for Percussive Improvisation (2014)

by Martin, Charles and Gardner, Henry and Swift, Ben

in CHI '14: Extended Abstracts of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2559206.2574805

Visualising a Live Coding Arts Process (2014)

by Purcell, Arrian and Gardner, Henry and Swift, Ben

in OZCHI '14: Proceedings of the 26th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2686612.2686634

The Many Meanings of Live Coding (2014)

by Sorensen, Andrew and Swift, Ben and Riddell, Alistair

in Computer Music Journal 38(1) (pdf)

doi: 10.1162/COMJ_a_00230

Coding Livecoding (2014)

by Swift, Ben and Sorensen, Andrew and Martin, Michael and Gardner, Henry

in CHI '14: Proceedings of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2556288.2557049

Networked Livecoding at VL/HCC 2013 (2014)

by Swift, Ben and Gardner, H. and Sorensen, A.

in VL/HCC '14: IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing

doi: 10.1109/VLHCC.2014.6883065

2013

Chasing a Feeling: Experience in Computer Supported Jamming (2013)

by Swift, Ben

in Music and Human-Computer Interaction ({Springer London}) (pdf)

doi: 10.1007/978-1-4471-2990-5_5

Visual Code Annotations for Cyberphysical Programming (2013)

by Swift, Ben and Sorensen, Andrew and Gardner, Henry J. and Hosking, John

in LIVE '13: 1st International Workshop on Live Programming at ICSE (pdf)

doi: 10.1109/LIVE.2013.6617345

2012

Becoming-Sound: Affect and Assemblage in Improvisational Digital Music Making (2012)

by Swift, Ben

in CHI '12: Proceedings of the 2012 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2207676.2208315

The Design of a Smartphone-Based Digital Musical Instrument for Jamming (2012)

by Swift, Ben

in ANU Library Open Research PhD dissertations() (pdf)

doi: 10.25911/5d5157b18b58f

2011

A Chasing After the Wind: Experience in Computer-Supported Group Musicmaking (2011)

by Swift, Ben and Gardner, Henry and Riddell, Alistair

in Proceedings of "When Words Fail: What Can Music Interaction Tell Us about HCI?" Workshop at British HCI (pdf)

Impish Grooves (2011)

by Swift, Ben

in Computer Music Journal 35(4)

2010

Engagement Networks in Social Music-Making (2010)

by Swift, Ben and Gardner, Henry and Riddell, Alistair

in OZCHI '10: Proceedings of the 22nd Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/1952222.1952244

2009

Distributed Performance in Live Coding (2009)

by Swift, Ben and Gardner, Henry J and Riddell, Alistair

in ACMC '09: Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Computer Music Conference (pdf)

2007

Mind-Modulated Music in the Mind Attention Interface (2007)

by Swift, Ben and Sheridan, James and Zhen, Yang and Gardner, Henry J.

in OZCHI '07: Proceedings of the 19th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/1324892.1324907

Curated/invited livecoding performances

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2009 | 2008

2019

Colour Coded (2019)

featuring Ben Swift, Kieran Browne and Charles Martin, curated by Lucy Chetcuti and Joanne Leong

02 Aug '19 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (video)

2018

National Invention Convention '18 Closing Ceremony (2018)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Elisha Deschamps

19 Jan '18 @ Questacon, Canberra

Soundscapes Concert Series #21 (2018)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Reuben Ingall

03 May '18 @ Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra (video)

National Science Week '18 ACT Launch Event (2018)

featuring Ben Swift and Kieran Browne, curated by Dan McCusker

10 Aug '18 @ Molo Bar, Australian National University (video)

Shirty Science Season 3 launch party (2018)

featuring Ben Swift and Kieran Browne, curated by Madison Hartill-Law

13 Aug '18 @ Doughnut Dept., Canberra

2017

National Science Week '17 ACT Launch Event (2017)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Madison Hartill-Law

11 Aug '17 @ National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

2015

Innovation ACT 2015 Launch (2015)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Natalija Nikolic

12 Aug '15 @ John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra

Collected Resonances: Session 2 (2015)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Chloë Hobbs

26 Aug '15 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra (video)

2014

"Art, Not Apart" Festival (2014)

featuring Ben Swift and Torben Sko, curated by David Caffery

15 Mar '14 @ Kendall Lane Theatre, New Acton, Canberra

"You Are Here" Festival - in case of sound: round one (2014)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Tom Swann

15 Mar '14 @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

John Hosking Farewell Reception (2014)

featuring Ben Swift

28 May '14 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (video)

ACMC '14: Australasian Computer Music Conference (2014)

featuring Ben Swift and Andrew Sorensen, curated by Tim Opie

10 Jul '14 @ Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne

2013

Musical Metacreation (MuMe) Algorave at ISEA 2013: International Symposium on Electronic Art (2013)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Ollie Bown

15 Jun '13 @ 107 Projects, Redfern, NSW, Australia (video)

Revenant Media: Theremin '75 Exhibition (2013)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Martyn Jolly

25 Oct '13 @ ANU School of Art Gallery, Canberra (video)

ICOMOS 2013: International Council on Monuments and Sites (2013)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Jean-Phillipe Demarais

02 Nov '13 @ Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra

2009

ACMC '09: Australasian Computer Music Conference (2009)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Andrew Sorensen

03 Jul '09 @ Queensland University of Technology

Beginning-Middle-End Festival (2009)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Martyn Jolly

24 Sep '09 @ ANU School of Art Gallery, Canberra (video)

2008

Transmissions in Sound (2008)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Luke Penders

15 Oct '08 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra

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