Topic: University of California
Elwyn Ralph Berlekamp (September 6, 1940 – April 9, 2019) was an American mathematician known for his work in computer science, coding theory and combinatorial game theory. He was a professor emeritus of mathematics and EECS at the University of California, Berkeley.
Berlekamp was the inventor of an algorithm to factor polynomials, and was one of the inventors of the Berlekamp–Welch algorithm and the Berlekamp–Massey algorithms, which are used to implement Reed–Solomon error correction.
Berlekamp had also been active in money management. In 1986, he began information-theoretic studies of commodity and financial futures.
- "Elwyn Berlekamp has died" | 2019-04-10 | 125 Upvotes 17 Comments
Christopher Wolfgang Alexander (born 4 October 1936 in Vienna, Austria) is a widely influential British-American architect and design theorist, and currently emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His theories about the nature of human-centered design have affected fields beyond architecture, including urban design, software, sociology and others. Alexander has designed and personally built over 100 buildings, both as an architect and a general contractor.
In software, Alexander is regarded as the father of the pattern language movement. The first wiki—the technology behind Wikipedia—led directly from Alexander's work, according to its creator, Ward Cunningham. Alexander's work has also influenced the development of agile software development.
In architecture, Alexander's work is used by a number of different contemporary architectural communities of practice, including the New Urbanist movement, to help people to reclaim control over their own built environment. However, Alexander is controversial among some mainstream architects and critics, in part because his work is often harshly critical of much of contemporary architectural theory and practice.
Alexander is known for many books on the design and building process, including Notes on the Synthesis of Form, A City is Not a Tree (first published as a paper and re-published in book form in 2015), The Timeless Way of Building, A New Theory of Urban Design, and The Oregon Experiment. More recently he published the four-volume The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, about his newer theories of "morphogenetic" processes, and The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, about the implementation of his theories in a large building project in Japan. All his works are developed or accumulated from his previous works, so his works should be read as a whole rather than fragmented pieces. His life's work or the best of his works is The Nature of Order on which he spent about 30 years, and the very first version of The Nature of Order was done in 1981, one year before this famous debate with Peter Eisenman in Harvard.
Alexander is perhaps best known for his 1977 book A Pattern Language, a perennial seller some four decades after publication. Reasoning that users are more sensitive to their needs than any architect could be, he produced and validated (in collaboration with his students Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid King, and Shlomo Angel) a "pattern language" to empower anyone to design and build at any scale.
- "Christopher Alexander" | 2020-05-03 | 24 Upvotes 9 Comments
Theodore John Kaczynski (; born May 22, 1942), also known as the Unabomber (), is an American domestic terrorist, anarchist, and former mathematics professor. He was a mathematics prodigy, but he abandoned his academic career in 1969 to pursue a more primitive lifestyle. Between 1978 and 1995, he killed three people and injured 23 others in an attempt to start a revolution by conducting a nationwide bombing campaign targeting people involved with modern technology.
In 1971, Kaczynski moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water near Lincoln, Montana, where he lived as a recluse while learning survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient. He witnessed the destruction of the wilderness surrounding his cabin and concluded that living in nature was untenable; he began his bombing campaign in 1978. In 1995, he sent a letter to The New York Times and promised to "desist from terrorism" if the Times or The Washington Post published his essay Industrial Society and Its Future, in which he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom and dignity by modern technologies that require large-scale organization.
Kaczynski was the subject of the longest and most expensive investigation in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Before his identity was known, the FBI used the case identifier UNABOM (University and Airline Bomber) to refer to his case, which resulted in the media naming him the "Unabomber." The FBI and Attorney General Janet Reno pushed for the publication of Industrial Society and Its Future, which led to a tip from Kaczynski's brother David, who recognized the writing style.
After his arrest in 1996, Kaczynski tried unsuccessfully to dismiss his court-appointed lawyers because they wanted him to plead insanity in order to avoid the death penalty, whereas he did not believe that he was insane. In 1998, a plea bargain was reached under which he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
- "Ted Kaczynski" | 2020-06-04 | 24 Upvotes 6 Comments