No, Aristotle Did Not ‘Create’ The Computer

For the past few days, an essay titled “How Aristotle Created The Computer” (The Atlantic, March 20, 2017, by Chris Dixon) has been making the rounds. It begins with the following claim: The history of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breakingContinue reading “No, Aristotle Did Not ‘Create’ The Computer”

My First Academic Conference

The first academic conference I attended was the 1999 Annual Meeting of the Association of Symbolic Logic, held at the University of California at San Diego. I submitted an abstract for a presentation, which was accepted, and so off I went, hoping to gain ‘experience’ and ‘exposure.’ My paper was based on part of myContinue reading “My First Academic Conference”

A Small, Yet Beautiful Book Collection (And Its Scholarly Owner)

As an academic, I’m used to seeing large personal book collections in homes and offices. Many of my colleagues and friends–some very accomplished and smart folks–have, rather effortlessly, put mine to shame.  This is the story of, in contrast, a small book collection. But a very impressive one, one that revealed its owner to beContinue reading “A Small, Yet Beautiful Book Collection (And Its Scholarly Owner)”

Manil Suri on the Beauty and Beguilement of Mathematics

Manil Suri has an interesting Op-Ed on math–How To Fall In Love with Math–in The New York Times today. As befitting someone who is both a mathematician and a novelist, there are passages of writing in it that are both elegant and mathematically sound. The examples he provides of mathematical beauty–the natural numbers, n-sided regularContinue reading “Manil Suri on the Beauty and Beguilement of Mathematics”

Of Academic Genealogies

Yesterday, in a post on this blog, I wrote about the most familiar kinds of¬†genealogies, the familial, and the quest to uncover their details. Today, I want to make note of another kind of genealogy that sometimes obsesses folks like me: our academic ones. Some thirteen odd years ago, shortly after I had finished myContinue reading “Of Academic Genealogies”

Flying Solo, As Author, For a Change

Sometime this week or the next, my fourth book, Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket (HarperCollins India 2012), will make its way to bookstores and online book-sellers. My fourth book differs in one crucial regard from those that have preceded it: I have not co-authored it with anyone; its jacket lists but oneContinue reading “Flying Solo, As Author, For a Change”