Dr. Andrei Coronel: Music and Technology

Written by Rodge Chanco. Edited by Denise Joaquin and Matthew Yuching.

Photo Header by Patricia Dy.

Should you be a student under the Department of Information Systems and Computer Sciences (DISCS), Dr. Andrei D. Coronel ought to be a familiar name to you. As his student, you might immediately recall his charisma, his cool demeanor, and his stories that he incorporates with his lessons that he teaches remarkably. Otherwise, you might have seen his name written in a sign that says “Please do not bring food or drinks” near the computer rooms in CTC or Faura.

Dr. Coronel has taught sixteen CS classes during his tenure in the Ateneo de Manila University. He achieved his doctorate in Computer Science in Ateneo as well, and has been a part of numerous research papers, including “Building a Fitness Function for Automated Classical Melody Evaluation” and “Bottom up Approach and Devolved Design of a Health Information System: eHealth TABLET.”

A man of many achievements throughout his stay in the Ateneo, I reached out to him for an interview, eager for others, as well as myself, to learn more about him.

On his views on teaching:

Dr. Coronel (AC): “I always wanted to teach, so I entered Ateneo liking to teach. I like to teach, so that hasn’t changed. In fact, if there’s too much admin[istrative] work, it’s actually saddening because it takes my time out of teaching, and I would rather teach.”

Rodge Chanco (RC): “So in your position now, you’re able to teach more?”

AC: “No, not really. I still teach, but not as much. Not that I am complaining, but I still miss it one hundred percent of the time.”

On his memorable moments as a teacher:

AC: “There are a lot, especially in class discussions. The best experiences for me, in the context of teaching, is when the energy of the class goes back. It’s much like performing on stage, di ba? Kapag blank sila, it has an effect on the teaching. I actually prefer a noisy class. I can’t name one, but it’s always when the class is very alive.”

On his memorable professors:

AC: “Dr. John Paul Vergara was my teacher when I was still a grad student. He is a colleague now, but I did enjoy his classes. We’re friends now.”

On his influence in choosing to be a professor:

AC: “I would say it’s the pillars of [DISCS]. I could name Dr. John Paul Vergara, Dr. Regina Estuar and Dr. Didith Rodrigo. They were here before I was here, so I followed them. They lead by example.”

On his go-to vacation spots or most memorable vacation:

AC: “My go-to vacation spot is our barkada’s hangout in Tagaytay. Doon automatic since college, kasi bahay niya, so punta kami doon. That’s the go-to vacation spot, but that’s not the favorite vacation spot. London would be my vacation spot. I’ve been to Europe more than once, but not London per se.

So, from the countries I’ve been around there, relatively, doon [Europe] ako pinaka nag-enjoy. I actively compare, so Geneva, Italy, London, Paris. Whenever I present there, I do active comparisons. I expected the cliché that the most fun would be Paris, but I didn’t have as much fun in France as I did in London.”

On his favorite video game genre:

AC: “Retro-gaming ako eh, so I never really got past… pinakabago ko na siguro… I’ll just mention them to you. Atari, Nintendo, SNES, Sega Genesis. Hanggang doon. Anything after that, I still play. But my favorites were SNES and Sega Genesis paatras. Probably because of my age.”

Dr. Coronel has been known to be a musician, even winning an award from Celadon back in 2005 for being an outstanding musikero. Knowing this, and his work with music and A.I., I asked him some questions related to music.

On what sparked his interest in music:

AC: “I was always into music because of my musically-inclined family. It’s a very enriching family; every family member is a musician. So it’s in my roots. I was the bunso, so lahat ng kapatid ko, lima kami, so iba-iba yung taste ng apat na yun, and I was exposed to each and everyone, being the youngest. There’s New Wave, there’s the Beatles, one of them likes to dance a lot, my parents are Classical, and of course I had my own thing growing up in the 90’s to mix them all together.”

On his favorite genre of music:

AC: “I am anti-Purist. I think being selective of genres is limiting. Like, if I only play this genre, or listen to this particular genre, it stunts your growth. That’s why hindi ko masasagot yung mga tanong na ‘What’s your favorite song?’, or ‘What’s my favorite genre?’”

RC: “So the question should be: ‘What is your favorite song in a specific genre?’, or what are you listening to at the moment?”

AC: “There is this band called the [The] Dead Weather. Do you know Jack White? So, Jack White of The White Stripes teamed up with the guitarist of Queens of the Stone Age. It’s a superband*, and they call themselves The Dead Weather. I say that just because ‘yun yung nakasalang sa plaka sa bahay.”

*A superband is a band formed by two bands.

That has been Dr. Andrei Coronel, Department Chair of the Department of Information Systems and Computer Sciences. If you ever find yourself by Faura and see him around, feel free to drop by and say hello! He’ll be more than delighted to greet you.

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