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Oregon State Everywhere: ‘Combining computer science and music is my passion’

Ecampus student shares her experience enhancing music and performance with code

Photo of Anousha Farshid, an Oregon State University Ecampus student who studies computer science online

Four passions drive Anousha Farshid: music, problem-solving, coding and building ideas from scratch. She finds ways to blend them all thanks partly to her online computer science studies with Oregon State.

By Anousha Farshid
OSU Ecampus computer science student
Sept. 16, 2019

I moved to Austria with the goal of earning a master’s degree in piano performance. While there, I took some computer music courses and worked on some projects that involved a bit of coding.

I loved problem-solving and transforming ideas into codes. I enjoyed the challenge so much that it made me do some self-study, and I began pursuing more projects with composers and performers in collaboration with computer science.

It was also during that time that I faced the reality of a musician’s life. I realized that there would be no job security even if I finished grad school. I decided to invest in going to school for a degree that would also secure my future financially.

Finding my fit online at Oregon State

I thought about several other majors, but the only thing I enjoyed doing beyond playing music was problem-solving, coding and building an idea from scratch. I had too many ideas that could be realized using technology.

That is the reason I chose to earn a postbaccalaureate degree in computer science online from Oregon State University Ecampus.

For people like me with a busy life, an online program was the smartest decision. I could never enroll in a traditional on-campus program because I work, teach piano and try to practice and stay active in music.

Learning online is very time-efficient, and I can learn when it best fits my schedule. Forums like Slack and Piazza make it very easy for me to get help for my basic issues quickly.

Collaborating with Austrian composers

A photo of a sound installation that Anousha Farshid designed for the Salzburg Museum in Austria in collaboration with a composer.

A sound installation at the Salzburg Museum in Austria that Anousha designed in collaboration with a composer.

While earning my computer science degree online, I was commissioned for a sound installation by the Salzburg Museum in collaboration with a composer. I was responsible for the realization of the composer’s ideas through programming.

The program I developed was designed to be played in a museum. It composes a real-time soundtrack by combining 12 simultaneous composed sound layers, each activated by random triggers in the environment. This results in unpredictable and diverse layered compositions.

Seeking innovation in music performance

I plan to use my knowledge in computer science to think of solutions for problems that musicians face. For example, building a custom-made metronome or tuner to be used in live performances.

Combining computer science and music is my passion. My goal is to be able to realize innovative ideas in music and performing arts using computer science.


The Oregon State Ecampus staff thanks Anousha for submitting her unique, inspiring story to share with others through the Oregon State Everywhere campaign.

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