Paul Utgoff (1951-2008) earned a Bachelor of Music in pipe organ from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1974. While a student at Oberlin he became interested in the emerging field of computer science, earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1984. Following two years as a Research Scientist at Siemens Research and Technology Laboratories, he began his career as a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
He is recognized internationally as a pioneer and leader in the area of machine learning. His lifelong passion for music manifested itself in his ongoing studies in pipe organ and harpsichord; his delight in accompanying his daughters; his dedication as a church music director; and his scientific work on how artificial intelligence meets various topics in music, such as music perception, cognition, and understanding.
He studied pipe organ with John Woodworth, Garth Peacock, George Damp, Margaret Irwin-Brandon, and Larry Schipull. Paul also studied harpsichord with Fenner Douglas and Margaret Irwin-Brandon. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists.
Paul E. Utgoff died on October 11, 2008 at the age of 57 due to complications from surgery that he elected to undergo as part of his battle against appendiceal cancer. Paul was a contributing performer on Sounds of Solace.