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According to http://conferences.oreillynet.com/cs/os2001/view/e_spkr/937: Jim Tisdall worked as a studio musician in Philadelphia, LA, and New York for several years. An interest in computer music led him to a degree in Mathematics from City College of New York, and to Unix and C, in 1980. Then he worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill for six years, with Max Mathews, the inventor of digital signal processing and of computer sound. He discovered the formal language of musical rhythm while at Bell Labs. He also worked with Alan Gittler, the inventor of a marvelous, award-winning guitar with 10 patents. While at Bell Labs he earned a MS in Computer Science from Columbia University. His interests centered on computer science theory, and he left Bell Labs to pursue a PhD at the University of Michigan, and then at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Human Genome Project at UPenn in 1991 – where, as far as he knows, he was the first to use Perl in bioinformatics – then spent a year at Mercator Genetics in 1995. In 1996 joined Fox Chase Cancer Center. He is the author of the O'Reilly book "Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics", expected in retail stores in September. He teaches computer music at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, publishes the occasional bit of poetry, and just made his acting debut in a film version of Chekhov's plays.