About Brian Hayes

BPH 1967-02-13

The Senior Writer as a senior, circa 1967. Drawing by June Rundgren.

I am Senior Writer for American Scientist, the bimonthly magazine of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. I write the magazine’s Computing Science column, which focuses on the use of computation and mathematics as tools for understanding how the world works. (But it’s really not as serious as all that!) In years past I have written on similar themes for Scientific American, for Computer Language, for The Sciences and occasionally for other publications. Most of my American Scientist columns are available online, along with a smattering of other works. Here is a partial listing of publications, with links to documents available on the web.

Still more about me

In my first full-time job after high school, I was hired as an angle trisector—but that’s a story for another place and time. My real professional life began in 1973 when Dennis Flanagan gave me a job as an editor on the staff of Scientific American, and then taught me how to do it. I stayed with Scientific American until 1984. Since then I have made my living as a writer, except for two years in the early 1990s when I was the editor of American Scientist.

In October 2005 my book Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape was published by W. W. Norton and Company. A revised and updated edition came out in October 2014. The book has its own web site. In 2008 a collection of my essays, Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions, was published by Hill and Wang. That book too has a web site.

Since 2010 I have held a courtesy appointment as an Associate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

How to reach me

email: brian@bit-player.org
postal: 11 Chandler Street #2, Somerville MA 02144, USA

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