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Who Was David Wessel?

“He was an amazing researcher and musician and will be incredibly missed by all of us.”

“He was a genius at merging art and science, play and rigor, life and ideas.” 

“David conducted pioneering research in music perception, audio signal processing, and computer music, and he mentored dozens of students and postdocs. He had a clear head, a tremendous sense of humor, and a big heart.”

“His impact at Berkeley was enormous. As the first director of CNMAT, David was responsible for bringing music research with computers and technology to the university for the first time.”

“We would never know what nascent idea he would want to brainstorm with us next – each class discussion would simply develop a mind of its own and the 50 minutes would be done before we knew it. A truly brilliant mind – he always stopped to exchange a few words when we crossed paths.”

“…my heart aches for his family and everyone whose lives have been touched by David’s talent, intellect, generosity, and mentorship. I have so many fond memories of, and with, David, and I’m really shocked and saddened to learn about the loss. I’m holding all the memories with David especially close to my heart today.”

David Wessel, a pioneer at the intersection of music, technology and cognitive studies who spent more than a quarter of a century as part of the UC Berkeley music faculty, died of a heart attack on Oct. 13 in Berkeley. He was 72.

Learn more about David Wessel and his work at CNMAT, how he touched the lives of others, or read his obituary in the SF Chronicle.