Researcher, Musician, Educator, Entrepreneur

Neuroscience Professor

Jonathan is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He received his PhD in Mathematics from Boston University, where he worked with renowned neuro-mathematician Nancy Kopell on models of electrical oscillations in the brain, and has done postdoctoral research at Brandeis and MIT. His work on neural models has incorporated dynamical systems theory, control theory, information theory, and singular perturbation theory. More recently, he has focused on the role of the brain’s motor system in extracting and anticipating rhythmic structure in music. He is first author on ten publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented his work at universities and conferences internationally.

Research projects  CV

Music Performer and Teacher

Jonathan has studied a wide range of world musics, including Jewish, Romanian, Celtic, and American fiddling. He performs regularly on violin, sometimes as a member of award-winning Boston klezmer band Ezekiel’s Wheels. He is also in demand as a contra dance musician, both on fiddle and on guitar accompaniment, and has played for over 150 contra dances up and down the Eastern Seaboard. He has taught violin students across a wide range of ages and levels, both in private lessons and in workshops at camps, festivals, and schools.

More about Ezekiels Wheels


Game Designer / Entrepreneur

Working with partner Molly Zeff and graphic designer Yuliya Kim, Jonathan founded Flying Leap Games and designed “Wing It,” a card-based storytelling game that challenges the players to share how they would deal with a difficult situation using the random resources in their hand.

After a successful $10,000 Kickstarter, Wing It appeared at the GAMA retail convention and was embraced by an influential group of retailers. Flying Leap Games sold out of their remaining 2000 copies in a few months. Wing It is now carried by 13 distributors and over 80 retailers in the US and worldwide. Jonathan serves as the CCO, CFO, and CTO of Flying Leap Games.

More about Wing It


Math and Science Teacher

Jonathan spent three years as a full-time teacher at Meridian Academy, an independent project-based school serving grades 6-12 in Jamaica Plain. He taught math, biology, and engineering at the middle school level, and physics, calculus, and mathematical modeling for high schoolers. As an advisor for Meridian’s full-year capstone junior research projects, he guided students in their investigations of the evolution of blues music, the roles of music in the Vietnam war, and the history and science of swordmaking.

More about Meridian Academy


Music Organizer

Jonathan served for several years as program chair of the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), which draws 3000 people every year to celebrate traditional music, art, and dance. He led the committee that selects, schedules, and wrangles as many as 1000 volunteer performers, and wrote software to streamline this process.

More about NEFFA

Latest News

How to synchronize a Biosemi ActiveTwo EEG with a stimulus using audio instead of triggers

When I started my postdoc, my lab had been working on a paradigm where the participant taps a key in rhythm with a metronome in the EEG scanner. All it[…]

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December 20, 2021 0

The Hora picked up my article on how to foment a fabulous wedding hora! I’m hoping this will have at least a small positive impact on the Jewish wedding world —[…]

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July 22, 2019 0

Wing It: the game of Extreme Storytelling

Over the past four+ years, my childhood friend Molly Zeff and I have been creating a game called Wing It that provides a structure for silly storytelling and open-ended creativity, and is[…]

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August 26, 2017 0