Computer Science

Department staff

Professor James Alty BSc, PhD (Liverpool), FBCS, FIEE, CEng

Photo of Professor James Alty

Emeritus Professor of Computer Science

Professor Alty obtained his 1st Class (Hons) degree in Physics from the University of Liverpool in 1961 and was awarded the Oliver Lodge Prize. He then completed his PhD degree in Nuclear Physics at Liverpool in 1966. He was Leverhulme Research Fellow in Metallurgy at Liverpool between 1966 – 1968 and then spent four years working for IBM (UK) Ltd as a Systems Engineer and later as a Sales Executive. He was appointed Director of the Computer Laboratory at Liverpool University, a post he held until 1982. In 1982 he was appointed Professor of Computer Science at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Concurrently he was Executive Director of the Turing Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Glasgow and founded the Scottish Human Computer Interaction Centre. In 1990 he moved to Loughborough University as Professor of Computer Science. He was Head of the Department 1991-1996 and 1998–2000 taking up the post of Dean of Science 2000–2003. He continues to research into Human Computer interaction. He also composes music and carries out music research. He pioneered the introduction of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in the UK.

Professor Alty has attracted over £4 million of research money between 1986 and 2003 from Research Councils, and EU funding bodies to support his research work in Human Computer Interaction. He has acted as a reviewer for many esteemed journals, international grant awarding bodies and public sector organisations. He has been invited to give seminars on Musical Composition across the UK and abroad.

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Interface Design and Implementation in Process Control
  • Interactive Learning and Use of Music in HCI
  • Research into the uses of music in HCI

Professor Alty has also published over 100 research papers and 8 books.

Professor Alty has been a reviewer for a number of Journals and has given many Invited Keynote Addresses, Seminars and Courses internationally. He has Chaired Conferences and been on many Programme Committees.

He has written many music scores for piano, choirs and accompanied solo voice. One of his Fanfares opened a conference at the Edinburgh International Festival and his collection of Christmas Carols has been performed in the UK and abroad. The same fanfare opened DAB broadcasting in Leicestershire in 2006 on Radio Leicester.

List of recent musical composistions:


  • "Away in a Manger" (Dec 1979)
  • "Good King Wenceslas" (Dec 1999)
  • "Kings from an Eastern Land" (Dec 2003), Rev. 2010
  • "Jesus, Babe of Bethlehem" (Dec 2004)
  • "This Night Our Saviour is Born" (Dec 2005), Rev. 2012
  • "In a Manger Cold and Bare (Dec 2006)
  • "Long Ago In Nazareth" (Dec 2007)
  • "Born on Earth Christmas Morn" (Dec 2012)
  • "Twas Cool That Night In Bethlehem" (Dec 2013)