Aaron D. Lanterman grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended Washington University, where he finished a triple major in 1993, consisting of a B.A. in music, a B.S. in computer science, and a B.S. in electrical engineering. His graduate work focused on target recognition for infrared imagery as part of the U.S. Army Center for Imaging Science. After graduation, Lanterman joined the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he managed a large project on covert radar systems which exploited "illuminators of opportunity" such as commercial television and F.M. radio signals. He joined the Georgia Tech faculty in the fall of 2001. Additionally, Lanterman has worn many hats in the music industry, including concert promoter, recording engineer, and soundman. While in St. Louis, he worked as a writer, photographer, typesetter, and eventually managing editor for a local music publication. He plays keyboard and guitar.