Thomas F. DeFrantz is more than a professor. To his students, he is a fellow artist. He works alongside them to explore the symbiotic relationship between art and engineering.
The professor of African and African American studies and dance co-teaches “Live Processing and Live Art: Performance and Technology” with Martin Brooke, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. They teach students to create innovative technology that is functional and enhances the human experience. For example, students have coded computer-vision cameras that let dancers manipulate music by moving their hands or feet. The course is part of Bass Connections, an initiative that gives students the chance to tackle complex problems in research teams alongside faculty, other students from across Duke, and industry partners.
DeFrantz is one of many Duke faculty members integrating the arts with other disciplines.