Kris Shaffer, Ph.D. (Yale University, 2011), is a data scientist with a background in computational musicology, a digital media specialist, a software developer, and a published author. Kris currently works as an Instructional Technology Specialist and Adjunct Instructor of Computer Science and Digital Studies at the University of Mary Washington, and serves as a volunteer researcher for Data for Democracy. He is also a Contributing Editor and Board member for Hybrid Pedagogy and the lead author and editor of Open Music Theory ― an open-source, interactive textbook for undergraduate music theory courses.
Recently, Kris has been developing open-source software and analytics tools for education, particularly in the context of critical digital pedagogy, open educational resources (OER), and UMW's Domain of One's Own initiative. He has also been actively researching political propaganda and extremist disinformation on the web. This work has been featured in the New York Times, Bloomberg News, Buzzfeed News, Slate, Quartz, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See Media Mentions for a complete list.) Visit Kris's GitHub profile and the CorpusMusic GitHub organization for his research and development projects, and see his Publications page for a complete list of published books and articles.
Kris's academic work appears in Hybrid Pedagogy, Empirical Musicology Review, Digital Humanities Now, Music Theory Online, Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy (for which he served as coordinating editor), and Educating Modern Learners. He has presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory, Emerging Technologies for Online Learning, THATCamp Southeast, Yale University, the University of Colorado–Boulder, the University of Texas–Austin, the University of Delaware, and numerous regional conferences in music theory. Kris has also written on technology for Linux Journal and the Open Source Technology Group.
From 2005 to 2008, Kris served as the editor of Am Steg, an online community and resource for young music theorists and composers, which included co-authoring a blog on music cognition and co-hosting a podcast interviewing composers, theorists, and discussing significant topics for graduate students in music.
Kris is also an active performer and church musician. He most recently has freelanced in the Charleston area, performing with the Charleston Symphony, Opera Charleston, the Savannah Philharmonic, North Charleston Pops, and popular artists such as Jay Clifford. From 2008 to 2011, he directed the Sunday morning music ministry at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Conn. He has also performed with the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra (Williamstown, Mass.), the Illinois Symphony (Springfield, Ill.), and the Green Bay Symphony (Wis.).
Kris previously held the positions of Instructor of Music Theory (and adjunct instructor of psychology and computer science) at the University of Colorado–Boulder and Assistant Professor of Music at Charleston Southern University.
In addition to the Ph.D., Kris holds a Master of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in music theory from Yale University, a Master of Music in orchestral performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and a Bachelor of Music in performance (with an honors thesis in music theory) from Lawrence University in Wisconsin.
He also knows how to drive a Zamboni.