My background and personal interests encompass a commitment to the symbiotic fusion of art and science, music and electronics, the rational and the subjective.

I was born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, but currently reside and work in the wonderful San Francisco Bay Area.

Education:

Stanford University, Stanford, CA
M.S., Electrical Engineering, April 2006

North Carolina State University
, Raleigh, NC
B.S., Computer Engineering, December 2002, Summa Cum Laude
Minor: Music Composition

Relevant Coursework: Electric Circuits I, II; Fundamentals of Logic; Advanced Programming in C++; Physics for Engineers I, II; Data Structures; Discrete Math; Linear Systems; Microelectronics; Design of Complex Digital Systems; Signal Processing; Elements of Control; Embedded Systems Design; Machine Learning; Piano; Music Theory I, II; Music Literature I, II; Twentieth Century Music; Music Composition with Computers

Senior Design Project: Gestural MIDI Controller

Work Experience:

Staff Engineermh acoustics, LLC
San Francisco, CA October 2011 to Present

Senior Audio DSP Engineer, Sennheiser Research Laboratory
Palo Alto, CA April 2006 to August 2011
Research in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) applied to transducers

Design Engineer I
, Analog Devices, Inc.
Greensboro, NC January to December 2003
San Jose, CA January to December 2004
Digital design of optical DVI extender; hardware and algorithm design of high-resolution graphics card;FPGA design prototyping

Co-op
, Analog Devices, Inc.
Greensboro, NC January 2000 to August 2001
Provided support for the application, design, and manufacture of high-speed A/D converters

Drafter / Surveyor
, Anderson & Associates
Greensboro, NC August 1997 to June 1999
Civil Engineering: Drafting of land surveys in AutoCAD

Park Attendant, Greensboro Parks & Recreation
Country Park, Greensboro, NC August 1994 to June 1996
Various responsibilities including boating dock supervision and roller hockey referee

Publications:

Gary W. Elko, Jens Meyer, Steven Backer, J├╝rgen Peissig
Electronic Pop Protection for Microphones
IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics
October 21-24, 2007 - New Paltz, New York

E. Berdahl, S. Backer, J.O. Smith III
If I Had A Hammer: Design and Theory of an Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano
International Computer Music Conference
September 5-9, 2005 - Barcelona, Spain
Patent


Activities:

Member of:
In my "spare time": surfing, snowboarding, playing with my cat "Fluppha",
hearing live music, and of course, ripping away on a guitar!

The computer can't tell you the emotional story.
It can give you the exact mathematical design,
but what's missing is the eyebrows. -FZ


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