He studied composition with Gilbert Amy, Earle Brown, Jacob Druckman, Richard Hervig, Fred Lerdahl, Donald Martino, and Robert Morris. His music is published by Dorn Publications, recorded by WGBH for National Public Radio, and performed by the Boston Musica Viva, members of the Boston Symphony, Tadeu Coehlo, David Felberg, the Del Sol Quartet, the Duo Alterno (Italy), Joan Heller, David Jolley, Carrie Koffman, Patrice Pastore, and Gordon Stout among others.
Ae is a frequent speaker at scholarly conferences, and his essays and reviews are published by Music Theory Online, Music Theory Spectrum, Perspectives of New Music, Sonus, Theoria, and Theory and Practice. He is a contributing co-editor of Concert Music, Rock, and Jazz since 1945, University of Rochester Press,1995. He has done prepublication reviews for publishers such as W.W. Norton, Oxford University Press, and others, serves on editorial boards, and is twice a fellow of the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory.