Publications by Brian Hayes

Books

Infrastructure: A Guide to the Industrial Landscape. Revised and updated edition. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company. 2014. ISBN 978-0-393-34983-2. Publication date: October 27, 2014. [For more information, see the Infrastructure web site.]

Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions. New York: Hill and Wang, 2008. ISBN-10 0-8090-5219-9. ISBN-13: 978-0-8090-5219-6. Publication date: April 1, 2008. [For more information, see the GTiB web site.]

Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company. 2005. ISBN 0-393-05997-9. Publication date: October 19, 2005. [For more information, see the Infrastructure web site.] Revised and updated edition released October 2014.

Computing Science columns and other works for American Scientist

Computing Science: Clarity in Climate Modeling. American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 6, November–December 2014, pages 422-425. [Computational models are a key part of the climate-change debate. Can nonexperts hope to understand how they work?] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Pencil, Paper, and Pi. American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 5, September–October 2014, pages 342-345. [On William Shanks's attempts to compute hundreds of digits of pi in the 19th century.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Belles lettres Meets Big Data. American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 4, July–August 2014, pages 262-265. [On two 19th-century predecessors of digital humanities.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Delving into Deep Learning. American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 3, May–June 2014, pages 186-189. [On the renaissance of multilayer neural networks.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Uniquely Me! American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 2, March–April 2014, pages 106-109. [On the combinatorics of uniqueness and its effect on privacy and anonymity.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Programming Your Quantum Computer. American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 1, January–February 2014, pages 22-25. [On two programming languages for quantum computation.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: New Dilemmas for the Prisoner. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 6, November-December 2013, pages 422-425. [On new strategies for the game of Prisoner’s Dilemma.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Math of Segregation. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 5, September-October 2013, pages 338-341. [On analytic solutions of the Schelling model of residential segregation.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: What’s in Brian’s Brain? American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 4, July-August 2013, pages 256-259. [On why the most familiar computing device is the least understood.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Crinkly Curves. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 3, May-June 2013, pages 178-183. [On the Hilbert curve and other space-filling curves.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: First Links in the Markov Chain. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 2, March-April 2013, pages 92-97. [On the centenary of A. A. Markov's probabilistic analysis of Eugene Onegin.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Imitation of Life. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 1, January-February 2013, pages 10-15. [On a simulation of a complete living cell.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Science of Sticky Spheres. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 6, November-December 2012, pages 442-449. [How many spheres can touch one another in a dense cluster?] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Alice and Bob in Cipherspace. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 5, September-October 2012, pages 362-367. [On fully homomorphic encryption.] HTML, PDF

Computing Science: The Manifest Destiny of Artificial Intelligence. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 4, July-August 2012, pages 282-287. [AI meets Big Data.] HTML, PDF

Computing Science: Computation and the Human Predicament. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 3, May-June 2012, pages 186-191. [Looking back on The Limits to Growth, 40 years on.] HTML, PDF, World3 model in Javascript

Computing Science: Pixels or Perish. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 2, March-April 2012, pages 106-111. [On the changing nature of scientific illustration as publications leave behind the ink-on-paper tradition.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: A Box of Universe. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 1, January-February 2012, pages 10-15. [On cosmological n-body simulation.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: An Adventure in the Nth Dimension. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 6, November-December 2011, pages 442-446. [On what happens to the volume of a ball in higher-dimensional spaces.] HTML PDF (Reprinted in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012, Mircea Pitici, editor, Princeton University Press, 2012.)

Computing Science: Leave the Driving to It. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 5, September-October 2011, pages 362-366. [On cars and trucks that drive themselves.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Quasirandom Ramblings. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 4, July-August 2011, pages 282-287. [On simulations driven by pseudorandom and quasirandom numbers.] HTML PDF [French translation published as Excursions quasi-aléatoires, Pour la Science no. 410, Décembre 2011, pages 54–60.] [German translation published as Spiel mit dem Zufall, Spektrum der Wissenschaft Februar 2012, pages 88–94. ]

Computing Science: Bit Lit. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 3, May-June 2011, pages 190-194. [On a database of words extracted from five million digitized books.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Memristor. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 2, March-April 2011, pages 106-110. [On a new passive electronic circuit element.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Flights of Fancy. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 1, January-February 2011, pages 10-14. [On an algorithmic approach to understanding bird flocks.] HTML PDF [German translation published as Rätselhafte Koordination in Vogelschwärmen, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Januar 2012, pages 90–96.]

Computing Science: Hip-Hop Physics. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 6, November-December 2009, pages 438-442. [On the Hubbard model of cooperative behavior in electrons.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Higher Arithmetic. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 5, September-October 2009, pages 364-368. [On computing with very large numbers.] HTML PDF (Reprinted in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2010, Mircea Pitici, editor, Princeton University Press, 2011.)

Computing Science: The Best Bits. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 4, July-August 2009, pages 276-280. [On compressive sensing.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Everything Is Under Control. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 3, May-June 2009, pages 186-191. [On applying ideas from control theory to the world economy.]. HTML PDF

Computing Science: Writing Math on the Web. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 2, March-April 2009, pages 98-102. [On the difficulty of displaying mathematical notation on the web.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Automation on the Job. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 1, January-February 2009, pages 10-14. [On the social and economic effects of automation since the 1950s.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Getting Your Quarks in a Row. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 6, November-December 2008, pages 450-454. [On the physical theory called lattice quantum chromodynamics.] HTML PDF Python source code

Computing Science: Calculemus! American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 5, September-October 2008, pages 362-366. [A manifesto celebrating programming for answers (as opposed to programming as software development).] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Britney Spears Problem. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 4, July-August 2008, pages 274-279. [On stream algorithms.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Wagering with Zeno. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 3, May-June 2008, pages 194-199. [Exploring a game played with coins of value 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8....] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Computational Photography. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 2, March-April 2008, pages 94-98. [On what comes next after the digital camera.] HTML PDF [German translation published as Die Zukunft der Digitalfotografie, Spektrum der Wissenshaft, August 2008, pages 78-83.]

Computing Science: Accidental Algorithms. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 1, January-February 2008, pages 9-13. [On the holographic algorithms of Leslie Valiant.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Computing in a Parallel Universe. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 6, November-December 2007, pages 476-480. [On multicore processor chips.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Sorting Out the Genome. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 5, September-October 2007, pages 386-391. [On sorting by reversals in bioinformatics.] HTML PDF See also a related bit-player item, and a Flash simulation.

Computing Science: How Many Ways Can You Spell V1@gra? American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 4, July-August 2007, pages 298-302. [On strategies of obfuscation in spam.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Fat Tails. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 3, May-June 2007, pages 200-204. [On the “factoidal” function and distributions without a well-defined mean.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Trains of Thought. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 2, March-April 2007, pages 108-113. [On mathematical puzzles in railroading.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Foolproof. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 1, January-February 2007, pages 10-15. [On mathematical proof.] HTML PDF [Dutch translation published as Foolproof in Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde 5/8 No. 2, Juni 2007. PDF]

Computing Science: Up a Lazy River. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 6, November-December 2006, pages 490-494. [On river meanders.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Connecting the Dots. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 5, September-October 2006, pages 400-404. [On computational aspects of government surveillance programs.] HTML PDF [German translation published as Terroristensuche in Telefonnetzen? in Spektrum der Wissenshaft, Februar 2007, pages 108-113. PDF]

Computing Science: The Semicolon Wars. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 4, July-August 2006, pages 299-303. [On the diversity and proliferation of programming languages.] HTML PDF [German translation published as Der Strichpunkt-Krieg in Spektrum der Wissenshaft, Juni 2007, pages 98-104. PDF]

Computing Science: Gauss’s Day of Reckoning. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 3, May-June 2006, pages 200-205. [On the many retellings of a famous story about the young Carl Friedrich Gauss.] HTML PDF See also three related bit-player items (1, 2, 3) and supplementary material: texts, table, bibliography.

Computing Science: Reverse Engineering. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 2, March-April 2006, pages 107-111. [On reversible computing technologies.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Unwed Numbers. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 1, January-February 2006, pages 12-15. [On the mathematics of Sudoku.] HTML PDF [Abridged version reprinted as The Science of Sudoku, The National Post (Canada), Vol. 8, No. 85, February 2, 2006, p. A19.]

Essay: Natural and Unnatural Disasters. American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 6, November-December 2005, pages 496-499. [On the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Group Theory in the Bedroom, American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 5, September-October 2005, pages 395-399. [On applications of group theory to household chores such as flipping a mattress.] HTML PDF [Republished in French translation as Le matelas et la théorie des groupes, Pour la science, Mars 2006, pages 62-66.] [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 12 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Life Cycles, American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 4, July-August 2005, pages 299-303. [On attempts to detect periodic fluctuations in biodiversity in the fossil record.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Rumours and Errours, American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 3, May-June 2005, pages 207-211. [Mathematical models of the spreading and extinction of rumors; a followup to “Why W?”.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in Italian translation as Errori e Dicerie, Le Scienze, No. 446, ottobre 2005, pages 86-92.] [Reprinted in German translation as Gerüchte und Vehler, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Dezember 2005, pages 116-121.]

Computing Science: Why W? American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 2, March-April 2005, pages 104-108. [On the Lambert W function, a candidate for a new “elementary” function in mathematics.] HTML PDF

Dennis Flanagan, 1919-2005 (obituary). American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 2, March-April 2005, page 109. HTML PDF

Computing Science: Naming Names. American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 1, January-February 2005, pages 6-11. [On the problem of overfull namespaces.] HTML PDF [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 9 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Ode to the Code. [Following up on "The Invention of the Genetic Code," a closer look at the question of whether the code is optimal in some sense.] American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 6, November-December 2004, pages 494-499. HTML PDF

Computing Science: Bugs That Count. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 5, September-October 2004, pages 401-405. [On periodic cicadas.] HTML PDF

Science Observer: Viva la Ciencia. (Coauthored with Rosalind Reid.) American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 5, September-October 2004, pages 416-418. [Reportage on science in Cuba.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Undisciplined Science. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 4, July-August 2004, pages 306-310. [On collaboration and competition across disciplinary boundaries, brought about in part by computational methods.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: g-ology. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 3, May-June 2004, pages 212-216. [On the long campaign to refine measurements and theoretical calculations of a physical constant called the g factor of the electron.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Small-Town Story. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 2, March-April 2004, pages 115-119. [Computational models of population dynamics in the rural landscape.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Qwerks of History. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 1, January-February 2004, pages 12-16. [Why are we still relying on so much computing technology from 1969?] HTML PDF

Computing Science: A Lucid Interval. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 6, November-December 2003, pages 484-488. HTML PDF

Computing Science: In Search of the Optimal Scumsucking Bottomfeeder. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 5, September-October 2003, pages 392-396. [An attempt to understand the fossilized trails left by ancient seafloor creatures.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in French translation as Le parcours du ver, Dossier Pour la Science, No. 44, July 2004.]

Computing Science: The Spectrum of Reimannium. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 4, July-August 2003, pages 296-300. [On random-matrix theory and the Riemann zeta function.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in French translation as Le spectre du Riemannium in Pour la science, No. 312, October 2003.] [Reprinted in Spanish translation as El espectro di Riemannio in Investigacion y Ciencia, January 2004, pages 14-18.]

Computing Science: Spam, Spam, Spam, Lovely Spam. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 3, May-June 2003, pages 200-204. HTML PDF

Computing Science: The post-OOP paradigm. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 2, March-April 2003, pages 106-110. [What comes after object-oriented programming?] HTML PDF

Computing Science: On the Threshold. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 1, January-February 2003, pages 12-17. [On the survey-propagation algorithm.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in Italian translation as Ai limiti del calcolo. Le Scienze, Vol. 418, giugno 2003, pages 78-84.]

Computing Science: Science on the Farther Shore. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 6, November-December 2002, pages 499-502. [On the early American mathematician Robert Adrain.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Follow the Money. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 5, September-October 2002, page 400-405. [Economic models of wealth distribution.] HTML PDF [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 3 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: The World According to Wolfram. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 4, July-August 2002, page 308-312. [On Stephen Wolfram's proposal for "a new kind of science."] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Terabyte Territory. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 3, May-June 2002, page 212-216. [On the evolution of disk drives for data storage.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in German translation as Im Reich der Terabytes, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Spezial Omega, December 2003, pages 47-51.]

Computing Science: The Easiest Hard Problem. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 2, March-April 2002, pages 113-117. [On the number-partitioning problem.] HTML PDF [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 8 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Statistics of Deadly Quarrels. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 1, January-February 2002, pages 10-15. [On Lewis Fry Richardson's mathematical models of war and peace.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in Spanish translation as Estadí­sticas de los conflictos bélicos, Investigación y Ciencia, Mayo 2004, pages 8-14.] [Reprinted in French translation as Les morts á la guerre, in Pour la Science, No. 310, August 2003.] [Revised and abridged version reprinted as Killing by the Numbers, Wired, Vol. 10, No. 9, September 2002. HTML] [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 5 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Third Base. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 6, November-December 2001, pages 488-492. [On the ternary number system.] HTML PDF [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 10 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: The Computer and the Dynamo. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 5, September-October 2001, pages 390-394. [On the power consumption of computers and the Internet.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Randomness as a Resource. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 4, July-August 2001, pages 300-304. [On a shortage of disorder in the world.] HTML PDF [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 2 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Computing Comes to Life. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 3, May-June 2001, pages 204-208. [On biological computers.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: How to Count. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 2, March-April 2001, pages 110-114. [On errors in what ought to be the simplest of all mathematical processes.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Weatherman. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 1, January-February 2001, pages 10-14. [On the pioneering weather forecast of Lewis Fry Richardson.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Dividing the Continent. American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 6, November-December 2000, pages 481-485. [On algorithms for identifying a continental divide.] HTML PDF Animated map. [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 6 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: The World in a Spin American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 5, September-October 2000, pages 384-388. [On the Ising model of ferromagnets and other physical systems.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in French translation as Un monde de spins, Pour la Science, No. 280, Février 2001, pages 86-91.]

Computing Science: On the Teeth of Wheels American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 4, July-August 2000, pages 296-300. [On number theory and the history of gear trains.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in The Mart, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., Issue No. 314, October 2003, pages 50-54.] [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 7 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: “The Nerds Have Won.” American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 3, May-June 2000, pages 200-204. [On the commercialization of the Internet.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Graph Theory in Practice: Part II. American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 2, March-April 2000, pages 104-109. [Applications of mathematical graph theory to very large structures, especially the World Wide Web.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Graph Theory in Practice: Part I. American Scientist, Vol. 88, No. 1, January-February 2000, pages 9-13. [Applications of mathematical graph theory to very large structures, especially the World Wide Web.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Experimental Lamarckism. American Scientist, Vol. 87, No. 6, November-December 1999, pages 494-498. [If acquired traits could be inherited, would we be any better off?] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Computational Creationism. American Scientist, Vol. 87, No. 5, September-October 1999, pages 392-396. [Is the whole universe a computer?] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Vibonacci Numbers. American Scientist, Vol. 87, No. 4, July-August 1999, pages 296-301. [On a randomized version of the Fibonacci sequence.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Seeing between the Pixels. American Scientist, Vol. 87, No. 3, May-June 1999, pages 202-207. [On alternative ways of representing pictures.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Web of Words. American Scientist, Vol. 87, No. 2, March-April 1999, pages 108-112. [On the lexical database called WordNet.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: E Pluribus Unum. American Scientist, Vol. 87, No. 1, January-February 1999, pages 10-14. [On the StarLogo programming language.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Identity Crisis. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 6, November-December 1998, pages 508-512. [On the various meanings assigned to “=”.] HTML PDF [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 11 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Bit Rot. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 5, September-October 1998, pages 410-415. [On the evanescence of digital information.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: How to Avoid Yourself. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 4, July-August 1998, pages 314-319. [On self-avoiding walks.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Prototeins. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 3, May-June 1998, pages 216-221. [On lattice models of protein folding.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Collective Wisdom. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 2, March-April 1998, pages 118-122. [On cooperative computing over the Internet.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Invention of the Genetic Code. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 1, January-February 1998, pages 9-14. [What mathematicians and physicists thought the code ought to be, before biologists deciphered the real one.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in French translation as L’invention du code génétique, Dossier Pour la Science, No. 46, janvier 2005.] [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 4 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

Computing Science: Square Knots. American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 6, November-December 1997, pages 506-510. [Knot theory reformulated on a rectilinear lattice.] HTML PDF See also a letter to the editor with a correction.

Computing Science: CAFEBABE. American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 4, July-August 1997, pages 304-308. [On the Java programming language.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Infrastructure of the Information Infrastructure. American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 3, May-June 1997, pages 214-218. [On the physical layer of the Internet.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Can’t Get No Satisfaction. American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 2, March-April 1997, pages 108-112. [On the observation of phase transitions in the NP-complete problem called SAT, or satisfiability.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Reinventing the Computer. American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 1, January-February 1997, pages 16-20. [On notions of computing that go beyond the concepts of files, programs and the desktop metaphor.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Machine Politics. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 6, November-December 1996, pages 522-526. [On manual and automated procedures for Congressional redistricting.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Way the Ball Bounces. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 4, July-August 1996, pages 331-335. [On some conceptual difficulties of simulating classical physics.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Digital Diffraction. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 3, May-June 1996, pages 210-214. [On a program for simulating optical diffraction.] HTML PDF Source code

Computing Science: Speaking of Mathematics. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 2, March-April 1996, pages 110-113. [On T. V. Raman's AsTeR system for audio formatting of mathematical writing.] HTML PDF LaTeX

Computing Science: A Question of Numbers. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 1, January-February 1996, pages 10-14. [On Neil Sloane's sequence server and Simon Plouffe's Inverse Symbolic Calculator.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Pleasures of Plication. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 6, November-December 1995, pages 504-509. [On the paper-folding program of Michael Eisenberg and Ann Nishioka.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Debugging Myself. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 5, September-October 1995, pages 404-408. [On how people respond when computers misbehave.] HTML PDF [Reprinted in Here and Now: Current Readings for Writers, edited by Gilbert H. Muller. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 1998. Pages 90-99.]

Computing Science: The Square Root of NOT. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 4, July-August 1995, pages 304-308. [On quantum computers.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Space-Time on a Seashell. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 3, May-June 1995, pages 214-218. [On Hans Meinhardt's simulations of seashell patterns.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: A Computer with Its Head Cut Off. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 2, March-April 1995, pages 116-120. [On the computer architecture called VLIW, or Very Wide Instruction Word.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Waiting for 01-01-00. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 1, January-February 1995, pages 12-15. [The Y2K problem, as seen from five years in advance.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Scanning the Heavens. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 6, November-December 1994, pages 512-516. [On the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The World Wide Web. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 5, September-October 1994, pages 416-420. [Back when the web was a novelty.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Magic Words Are Squeamish Ossifrage. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 4, July-August 1994, pages 312-316. [On the factoring of RSA-129.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Nature’s Algorithms. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 3, May-June 1994, pages 206-210. [On algorithms for studying aggregation and similar forms of growth.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Network Newsstand. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 2, March-April 1994, pages 108-112. [On online publications.] HTML PDF [Revised version reprinted as The Economic Quandary of the Network Publisher, in Scholarly Publishing: The Electronic Frontier, edited by Robin P. Peek and Gregory B. Newby, The MIT Press, 1996, pages 121-132.]

Fermat’s Last Theorem and Modern Arithmetic. (Coauthored with Kenneth A. Ribet). American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 2, March-April 1994, pages 144-156. HTML PDF

Computing Science: The Counting House. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 1, January-February 1994, pages 10-14. [On computing at Fermilab.] HTML PDF

Computing Science: Balanced on a Pencil Point. American Scientist, Vol. 81, No. 6, November-December 1993, pages 510-516. [On system dynamics and The Limits to Growth.] HTML PDF

The Science of Computing: The Wheel of Fortune. American Scientist, Vol. 81, No. 2, March-April 1993, pages 114-118. [On pseudo-random-number generators. Guest column, filling in for Peter Denning.] HTML PDF

Science Observer: Trails in the Trackless Sea. American Scientist, Vol. 81, No. 1, January-February 1993, pages 19-20. PDF

Science Observer: Have You Seen This Particle? American Scientist, Vol. 80, No. 6, November-December 1992, pages 533-535. PDF

Information Age columns for The Sciences

The Information Age: Eureka! The Sciences, Vol.40, No. 6, November-December 2000, pages 11-15. [On search algorithms and search engines.] PDF (2 MB)

The Information Age: Clock of Ages. The Sciences, Vol. 39, No. 6, November-December 1999, pages 9-13. (Received National Magazine Award for Best Essay of 1999.) PDF [Reprinted in The Best American Magazine Writing 2000, edited by Clay Felker. New York: American Society of Magazine Editors, 2000, pages 98-112.] [Reprinted in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000, edited by David Quammen; Burkhard Bilger, series editor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000, pages 97-108.] [Revised and updated version reprinted as Chapter 1 of Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions.]

The Information Age: The Electronic Palimpsest. The Sciences, Vol. 33, No. 5, September-October 1993, pages 10-13. [Some thoughts on the ease of erasing and altering computer documents.] PDF [Reprinted as The Electronic Palimpsest: Digital Documents for All Occasions, in The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Expository Prose. Ninth edition. pages 1065-1073. W. W. Norton 1996.] [Reprinted in Literacy, Technology, and Society: Confronting the Issues, edited by Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe, pages 286-293. Prentice-Hall, 1997.] [Reprinted in The Uses of Language, Oxford University Press, 1999.]

The Information Age: The Discovery of Debugging. The Sciences, Vol. 33, No. 4, July-August 1993, pages 10-13. [On Martin Campbell-Kelly's simulator for the EDSAC computer.] PDF

The Information Age: The Numbering Crisis in World Zone 1. The Sciences, Vol. 32, No. 6, November-December 1992, pages 12-15. [On the impending shortage of telephone numbers.] PDF (1.8 MB)

The Information Age: Reassembly Required. The Sciences, Vol. 32, No. 3, May-June 1992, pages 12-15. [On inverse mappings.] PDF (1.4 MB)

The Information Age: Paradox Lost. The Sciences, Vol. 31, No. 5, September-October 1991, pages 12-15. [Musings on how computer programs ought to respond when they are asked questions that have no answers.] PDF (1.4 MB)

The Information Age: Do It Yourself. The Sciences, Vol. 31, No. 2, March-April 1991, pages 13-15. [On computer-aided artisanship.] PDF (1.2 MB)

The Information Age: No Forwarding Address. The Sciences, Vol. 30, No. 5, September-October 1990, pages 8-11. [On the concept of indirect addressing.] PDF (1.6 MB)

Theory and Practice columns and other works for Computer Language

Theory & Practice: Mutant languages from the LISP lab. Computer Language, April 1987, pages 23-26. [On innovations in formal languages derived from Lisp.] PDF

Theory & Practice: Eight diversions to keep your Cray out of mischief on a cold winter’s night. Computer Language, February 1987, pages 21-26. [On some computationally hard problems.] PDF

Theory & Practice: Scissors, paper, stone: a tournament of Schemes. Computer Language, December 1986, pages 19-29. [On a game in which random play is ideal. Also discusses first-class procedures in Scheme.] PDF

Theory & Practice: On the bathtub algorithm for dot-matrix holograms. Computer Language, October 1986, pages 21-32. [On patterns generated by severely oversampled signals.] PDF (4.6 MB)

Theory & Practice: Tag—You’re It. Computer Language, August 1986, pages 21-28. [On Emil Post's tag systems.] PDF (4.6 MB)

My Life as a Forth Interpreter. Computer Language, April 1986, pages. 27-33. [Fiction] PDF

A Mechanic’s Guide to Grammar: Part III: A Homemade Compiler. Computer Language, December 1985, pages 49-64. PDF

A Mechanic’s Guide to Grammar: Part II: Climbing the Tower of Babel. Computer Language, November 1985, pages 51-60. PDF

A Mechanic’s Guide to Grammar: Part I: Language in Man and Machine. Computer Language, October 1985, pages 27-35. PDF

Computer Recreations columns for Scientific American

Computer Recreations: The cellular automaton offers a model of the world and a world unto itself. Scientific American, Vol. 250, No. 3, March 1984, pages 12-21. PDF

Computer Recreations: Turning turtle gives one a view of geometry from the inside out. Scientific American, Vol. 250, No. 2, February 1984, pages 14-20. [On turtle graphics and turtle geometry.] PDF

Computer Recreations: On the ups and downs of hailstone numbers. Scientific American, Vol. 250, No. 1, January 1984, pages 10-16. [On the 3X+1 problem, or Collatz problem.] PDF

Computer Recreations: On the finite-state machine, a minimal model of mousetraps, ribosomes and the human soul. Scientific American, Vol. 249, No. 6, December 1983, pages 19-28. PDF

Computer Recreations: A progress report on the fine art of turning literature into drivel. Scientific American, Vol. 249, No. 5, November 1983, pages 18-28. [On randomly generated text.] PDF [Reprinted in German translation as Leere Phrasen, Spektrum Der Wissenschaft, February 1984.]

Computer Recreations: Introducing a department concerned with the pleasures of computation. Scientific American, Vol. 249, No. 4, October 1983, pages 22-36. [On novel applications of spreadsheet programs.] PDF

Book Reviews

Review of Doing Data Science, by Rachel Schutt and Cathy O’Neil. Notices of the American Mathematical Society Vol. 61, No. 9, October 2014, pages 1068-1071. PDF

The Monodromy of Love. A review of Love And Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality, by Edward Frenkel. American Scientist, Vol. 102, No. 1, January-February 2014, pages 68-69. HTML

Review of Figures of Thought: A Literary Appreciation of Maxwell’s Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, by Thomas K. Simpson. Notices of the American Mathematical Society Vol. 60, No. 9, October 2013, pages 1173-1176. PDF

Sparring with the Great Geometer. A review of The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements, by David Berlinski. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 2, March-April 2013, pages 144-145. HTML

Father of Fractals. A review of The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick, by Benoit Mandelbrot. American Scientist, Vol. 101, No. 1, January-February 2013, pages 60-62. HTML

A Portrait of the Economy. A review of Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, by Sylvia Nasar. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 5, September-October 2012, pages 426-427. HTML

Mathematical Road Trips. A review of In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation, by William J. Cook. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 3, May-June 2012, page 252. HTML

Murkiness in Numerical Computing. A review of Handbook Of Floating-Point Arithmetic, by Jean-Michel Muller, Nicolas Brisebarre, Florent de Dinechin, Claude-Pierre Jeannerod, Vincent Lefèvre, Guillaume Melquiond, Nathalie Revol, Damien Stehlé and Serge Torres. American Scientist, Vol. 100, No. 1, January-February 2012, pages 84-86. HTML

Review of Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure, by Craig Robinson. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 6, November-December 2011, page 507. HTML

Making Sense of the World. A review of Pattern Theory: The Stochastic Analysis of Real-World Signals, by David Mumford and Agnès Desolneux. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 5, September-October 2011, pages 420-422. HTML

A Life of Serial Self-Invention. A review of The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness, by Oren Harman. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 4, July-August 2011, pages 337-339. HTML

Machines, Minds and Madness. A review of The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future, by Andrew Pickering. American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 1, January-February 2011, pages 78-81. HTML

Electrifying Language. A review of A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution, by Dennis Baron. American Scientist, Vol. 98, No. 6, November-December 2010, pages 506-507. HTML

The Paisley Leopard. A review of Nature’s Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts, by Philip Ball. American Scientist, Vol. 98, No. 4, July-August 2010, pages 351-352. HTML

Never a Dull Number. A review of Those Fascinating Numbers, by Jean-Marie De Koninck. American Scientist, Vol. 98, No. 1, January-February 2010, page 88. HTML

Viva Voce. A review of Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music, by Greg Milner. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 6, September-October 2009, pages 513-515. HTML

Family Album. A review of Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World, by Marianna Cook. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 5, September-October 2009, page 427. HTML

Crosshatching in the Crosshairs. A review of The Grid Book, by Hannah B. Higgins. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 4, July-August 2009, page 338. HTML

An Epistolary Episode. A review of The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter That Made the Modern World, by Keith Devlin. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 3, May-June 2009, pages 257-258. HTML

Books-A-Million. A review of The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel, by William Goldbloom Bloch. American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 1, January-February 2008, pages 78-79. HTML

Postscript: Monty Hall Redux. Commentary on Programs and Probabilities, review of Digital Dice: Computational Solutions to Practical Probability Problems, by Paul J. Nahin. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 5, September-October 2008, pages 434-435. HTML

Programs and Probabilities. A review of Digital Dice: Computational Solutions to Practical Probability Problems, by Paul J. Nahin. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 4, July-August 2008, pages 334-336. HTML

Art in Code. A review of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, by Casey Reas and Ben Fry; and Vizualizing Data, by Ben Fry. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 3, May-June 2008, pages 252-254. HTML

Semiconductor Real Estate. A review of Understanding Moore’s Law: Four Decades of Innovation, edited by David C. Brock, Chemical Heritage Press, 2006. American Scientist, Vol. 96, No. 2, March-April 2008, page 167. HTML

A Mathematician’s Trajectory. A review of The Volterra Chronicles: The Life and Times of an Extraordinary Mathematician, 1860-1940, by Judith R. Goodstein. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 4, July-August 2007, pages 362-364. HTML

Calculating the Weather. A review of The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson’s Dream, by Peter Lynch. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 3, May-June 2007, pages 271-273. HTML

A Paradise of Choice. A review of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling More of Less, by Chris Anderson. American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 1, January-February 2007, pages 78-79. HTML

Review of The Structure and Dynamics of Networks, edited by Mark Newman, Albert-László Barabási and Duncan J. Watts. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 6, November-December 2006, page 571. HTML

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Gaia. A review of The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity, by James Lovelock. American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 5, September-October 2006, pages 458-461. HTML

Review of Negative Math: How Mathematical Rules Can Be Positively Bent, by Alberto A. Martínez, American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 3, May-June 2006, page 283. HTML

Review of Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games (CD-ROM edition), American Scientist, Vol. 94, No. 1, January-February 2006, page 88. HTML

Coping with Selfishness. A review of Selfish Routing and the Price of Anarchy, by Tim Roughgarden. American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 6, November-December 2005, pages 567-568. HTML

Interview: Scientist’s Nightstand. American Scientist online, November-December 2005. HTML

Genius Unappreciated. A review of János Bolyai, Non-Euclidean Geometry, and the Nature of Space, by Jeremy J. Gray. American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 3, May-June 2005, pages 275-276. HTML

Anthropology for Mathematicians. A review of Symmetry Comes of Age: The Role of Pattern in Culture, edited by Dorothy K. Washburn and Donald W. Crowe, and Embedded Symmetries, Natural and Cultural, edited by Dorothy K. Washburn. American Scientist, Vol. 93, No. 2, March-April 2005, pages 180-192. HTML

Structures. A review of Typologies by Bernd Becher and Hilla Becher. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 6, November-December 2004, pages 572-573. HTML

It or Bit? A review of Information: The New Language of Science by Hans Christian von Baeyer. Natural History, Vol. 113, No. 8, October 2004, pages 60-66.

Brief review of Classics on Fractals (edited by Gerald A. Edgar) and Fractals and Chaos: The Mandelbrot Set and Beyond, by Benoit Mandelbrot. American Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 3, May-June 2004, page 278.

Review of Road Ecology: Science and Solutions, edited by Richard T. T. Forman and Daniel Sperling. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 5, September-October 2003, page 454.

Review of Fibonacci’s Liber Abici: A Translation into Modern English of Leonardo Pisano’s Book of Calculation. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 4, July-August 2003, page 361. HTML

Resistance is feudal. A review of Against the Machine: The Hidden Luddite Tradition in Literature, Art, and Individual Lives by Nicols Fox. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 3, May-June 2003, pages 261-264. HTML

Review of Knots, by Alexei Sossinsky. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 2, March-April 2003, page 170. HTML

On the Complex Plane. A review of Indra’s Pearls: The Vision of Felix Klein, by David Mumford, Caroline Series and David Wright. American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 2, March-April 2003, page 182. HTML

The Search for Rigor. A review of Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 4, July-August 2002, pages 382-384. HTML

Review of How the Other Half Thinks: Adventures in Mathematical Reasoning, by Sherman Stein. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 3, May-June 2002, page 271. HTML

Review of Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About, by Donald E. Knuth. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 3, May-June 2002, page 271. HTML

Matter in Motion. A review of Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics, by Gerald Jay Sussman and Jack Wisdom with Meinhard E. Meyer. American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 3, May-June 2002, pages 278-279. HTML

From Motricity to Mentality. A review of I of the Vortex, by Rodolfo Llinás. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 4, July-August 2001, page 370. HTML

In Postmodernist Territory. A review of Mathematics as Sign: Writing, Imagining, Counting, by Brian Rotman. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 3, May-June 2001, pages 280-281. HTML

Review of The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie: The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots, by Thomas Fink and Yong Mao. American Scientist, Vol. 89, No. 2, March-April 2001, page 170. HTML

Review of The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size, by Tor Nörretranders. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 5, September-October 1998, page 477.

Review of I Wish I’d Made You Angry Earlier: Essays on Science, Scientists and Humanity, by Max F. Perutz. American Scientist, Vol. 86, No. 5, September-October 1998, page 480.

Odd Numbers. A review of A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar; The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, by Paul Hoffman; and My Brain Is Open, by Bruce Schechter. The Sciences, Vol. 38, No. 5, September-October 1998, pages 35-40. PDF (2.5 MB)

Review of The Java Programming Language and seven other volumes on Java. American Scientist, Vol. 85, No. 4, July-August 1997, pages 389-390.

The End of Science Writing? A review of The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age, by John Horgan. American Scientist, Vol. 84, No. 5, September-October 1996, pages 495-496.

Review of Mathematical Go: Chilling Gets the Last Point, by Elwyn Berlekamp and David Wolfe. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 4, July-August 1995, pages 381-382.

Review of Artificial Life IV, edited by Rodney A. Brooks and Pattie Maes. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 3, May-June 1995, pages 284-285.

Review of Macmillan Encyclopedia of Computers, edited by Gary G. Bitter. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 4, July-August 1994, pages 390-391.

Review of Probability and Algorithms, by the National Research Council Panel on Probability and Algorithms. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 3, May-June 1994, pages 291-292.

Review of Darwin Multimedia CD-ROM, compiled by Peter Goldie and Michael T. Ghiselin. American Scientist, Vol. 81, No. 5, September-October 1993, page 482.

Review of Systat statistics and graphics software. American Scientist, Vol. 81, No. 3, May-June 1993, pages 303-304. PDF

Review of The Whole Internet User’s Guide and Catalog, by Ed Krol. American Scientist, Vol. 81, No. 2, March-April 1993, pages 194-195.

Review of From Animals to Animats: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior. American Scientist, Vol. 80, No. 3, May-June 1992, pages 294-295. PDF

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematica. Review of Mathematica version 2.0. American Scientist, Vol. 79, No. 5, September-October 1991, pages 474-475.

Desktop Tabletop Physics. Review of Interactive Physics. American Scientist, Vol. 79, No. 4, July-August 1991, pages 378-379. PDF

Mr. Wizard’s Workshop. A review of Exploring Mathematics with Mathematica, by Theodore W. Gray and Jerry Glynn; and Mathematica for the Sciences, by Richard E. Crandall. The Mathematica Journal. Vol. 1, No. 4, Spring 1991. PDF

Review of LISP, Lore and Logic: An Algebraic View of LISP Programming, Foundations and Applications, by W. Richard Stark. American Scientist, Vol. 78, No. 5, September-October 1990, pages 474-475. PDF

Review of The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity, by Heinz Pagels. The New York Times Book Review, August 14, 1988, page 18. PDF

Review of Quarks: The Stuff of Matter, by Harald Fritzch. The New Republic, July 4, 1983, pages 37-38. PDF

Review of The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels. The American Scholar, Summer 1980, pages 423-428. PDF (1.4 MB)

Review of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas R. Hofstadter. The New York Times Book Review, April 29, 1979, pages 13-18. PDF

Review of The Nature of Maps: Essays Toward Understanding Maps and Mapping, by Arthur H. Robinson and Barbara Bartz Petchenik. The American Scholar, Spring 1977, pages 262-264. PDF

Chapters in Collections and Anthologies

An Adventure in the Nth Dimension. In The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012, Mircea Pitici, editor, Princeton University Press, 2013, pages 30–42. (Originally published in American Scientist, Vol. 99, No. 6, November-December 2011, pages 442-446.)

The Higher Arithmetic: How to Count to a Zillion without Falling Off the End of the Number Line. In The Best Writing on Mathematics 2010, Mircea Pitici, editor, Princeton University Press, 2011, pages 134-144. (Originally published as Computing Science: The Higher Arithmetic, American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 5, September-October 2009, pages 364-368.)

Measure Twice, Average Once. Chapter 4.1 in The Open Laboratory: The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007, edited by Reed A. Cartwright, pages 180-183. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Coturnix. [Derived from a bit-player blog item.] Book web site.

Writing Programs for “The Book.” Chapter 33 in Beautiful Code, edited by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson. Cambridge, Mass.: O’Reilly. 2007. [Essay derived from a bit-player blog item.] PDF preprint

Clock of Ages. In The Best American Magazine Writing 2000, edited by Clay Felker. New York: American Society of Magazine Editors, 2000, pages 98-112. [Original publication in The Sciences, Vol. 39, No. 6, November-December 1999, pages 9-13.]

Clock of Ages. In The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000, edited by David Quammen; Burkhard Bilger, series editor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000, pages 97-108. [Original publication inThe Sciences, Vol. 39, No. 6, November-December 1999, pages 9-13.]

The Electronic Palimpsest. In The Uses of Language, Oxford University Press, 1999.

Debugging Myself. In Here and Now: Current Readings for Writers, edited by Gilbert H. Muller. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 1998. Pages 90-99. [Originally published as Computing Science: Debugging Myself. American Scientist, Vol. 83, No. 5, September-October 1995, pages 404-408.]

The Electronic Palimpsest. In Literacy, Technology, and Society: Confronting the Issues, edited by Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe, pages 286-293. Prentice-Hall, 1997. [Originally published as The Information Age: The Electronic Palimpsest. The Sciences,Vol. 33, No. 5, September-October 1993, pages 10-13.]

The Economic Quandary of the Network Publisher, in Scholarly Publishing: The Electronic Frontier, edited by Robin P. Peek and Gregory B. Newby, The MIT Press, 1996, pages 121-132. [Revised version of Computing Science: The Network Newsstand. American Scientist, Vol. 82, No. 2, March-April 1994, pages 108-112.]

The Electronic Palimpsest: Digital Documents for All Occasions. In The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Expository Prose. Ninth edition. pages 1065-1073. W. W. Norton 1996. [Originally published as The Information Age: The Electronic Palimpsest. The Sciences, Vol. 33, No. 5, September-October 1993, pages 10-13.]

Selected Other Publications

Built for Speed: Designing Exascale Computers. Topics, Harvard Scool of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Summer 2014, pages 1–11. HTML

Economics, Control Theory and the Phillips Machine. Economia Politica a.XXVIII, numero speciale, dicembre 2011, pages 83–96. [Adaptation of “Computing Science: Everything Is Under Control.” American Scientist, Vol. 97, No. 3, May-June 2009, pages 186-191; based on a talk delivered 2010-12-07 at the Symposium on the 60th Anniversary of the Phillips National Income Electro-Hydraulic Analogue Machine, University of Trento, Italy.]

Cloud Computing. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2008, pages 9-11. PDF (1.7 MB)

Technopuzzlers. Muse, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2006, pages 20-28. See also Also responses to “Stump the Chump” photos, Muse, Vol 10, No. 5, pages 46-47.

The Ghosts in the Machines. Natural History, Vol. 114, No. 7, September 2005, pages 36-41. PDF (1.6 MB)

A Coincidence Problem. Chance News, Vol. 12, No. 3 (May 2, 2003 to July 20, 2003). HTML

Spin Glass Spinoff. News from ICTP, Winter 2003, No. 103, page 2. [Brief report on the survey-propagation algorithm.] HTML

Killing by the Numbers, Wired, September 2002, Vol. 10, No. 9. [Abridged version of Computing Science: Statistics of Deadly Quarrels, American Scientist, Vol. 90, No. 1, January-February 2002, pages 10-15.]

Debugging the Universe. International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Vol. 42, No. 2, February 2003, pages 277-295. [An essay on the notion that all physics might be a computational process, derived from a talk delivered at the Digitial Perspectives conference, Washington, DC, July 2001.] PDF preprint

Case Study: J. Lyons & Co. CIO Insight, October 2001, pages 4-9. [An essay on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Lyons LEO computer.] HTML

Aftermath. MSRI Emissary, Fall 1999, pages 12-13. [Musings on a semester spent as journalist-in-residence at the Mathematical Sciences Research Instsiute in Berkeley.] PDF

Garbage. Muse, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1999, pages 10-16. [A visit to the Fresh Kills landfill.]

Sequence A037245 in the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.

Turing’s Test. Muse, Vol. 2, No. 2, April 1998.

40,000 Points of Light. Pixel, Vol. 1, No. 2, May-June 1990, pages 36-41. [On a graphics language in which an image is defined as a locus of points.] PDF (2.4 MB)

Thoughts on Mathematica. Pixel, Vol. 1, No. 1, January-February 1990, pages 28-35. PDF (3.9 MB)

“Everything Is Under Control.” Scientific Honeyweller, Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 1989, pages 4-5. [Brief essay on control theory, introducing a special issue.] PDF (640 kB)

Machine Dreams. Discover, Vol. 10, No. 10, October 1989, pages 82-87. [On computing as a third way of doing science.] PDF (2.1 MB)

PC Scheme Tutorial. Texas Instruments, Inc. July 1987.

Rank-and-File Thinking. Lotus, June 1985, pages 73-77. PDF (1.8 MB)

The HP-41C: A Literate Calculator? Byte, January 1981, pages 118-138. PDF (3.3 MB)

1/500,000,000,000. The Baltimore Sun, July 3, 1979, page A-19. [Op-Ed essay on the fall of Skylab.]

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