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Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

February 24, 2012

turingscathedral

Author:
George Dyson
Publisher:
Pantheon (2012)

“It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” twenty-four-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936. In Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine.… read more

Living Architecture: How Synthetic Biology Can Remake Our Cities and Reshape Our Lives

February 24, 2012

livingarchitecture

Author:
Rachel Armstrong
Publisher:
TED Books

What will the city of the future look like? More like an ever-changing and vibrant garden than a static set of buildings and blocks. In ‘Living Architecture,’ British scientist and architect Rachel Armstrong re-imagines the world’s extensive urban areas and argues that in order to achieve sustainable development of the built environment — and help countries like Japan recover from natural disasters — we need to start… read more

The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

February 24, 2012

creativedestructionofmedicine

Author:
Eric Topol, M.D.
Publisher:
Basic Books (2012)

What if your cell phone could detect cancer cells circulating in your blood or warn you of an imminent heart attack? Mobile wireless digital devices, including smartphones and tablets with seemingly limitless functionality, have brought about radical changes in our lives, providing hyper-connectivity to social networks and cloud computing. But the digital world has hardly pierced the medical cocoon.

Until now. Beyond reading email and surfing… read more

Theo Gray’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can do At Home – But Probably Shouldn’t

March 1, 2012

MadScience

Author:
Theodore Gray
Publisher:
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (2011)

Amazon | In Mad Science, Theodore Gray launches a toy rocket using the energy released from an Oreo cookie, ignites a phosphorus sun by suspending half a gram of white phosphorus in a globe filled with pure oxygen and creates a homemade hot tub by adding 500 pounds of quicklime to water. These are just a few of the 54 experiments included in this astonishing book that demonstrates essential scientific principles… read more

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

March 7, 2012

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Author:
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2012)

A thought-provoking and humorous collection on NASA and the future of space travel.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold — with a five- or possibly ten-year delay until the next launch of astronauts from U.S. soil — Tyson’s views… read more

The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present

March 19, 2012

theageofinsight

Author:
Eric R. Kandel
Publisher:
Random House (2012)

A brilliant book by Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel, The Age of Insight takes us to Vienna 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind — our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions—and how mind and brain relate to art.

At the turn of the century, Vienna was the cultural capital of Europe. Artists and… read more

Nanotechnology Commercialization for Managers and Scientists

March 19, 2012

nanotechcomm

Author:
Wim Helwegen, Luca Escoffier
Publisher:
Pan Stanford Publishing (2012)

The nanotechnology industry is a fast growing industry with many unique characteristics. When bringing the results of nanotechnology research to the market, companies and universities run into unforeseen problems related to intellectual property rights and other legal and regulatory issues.

An effective commercialization of the results of research requires basic knowledge of the relevant issues and a well-defined strategy, while the absence of such knowledge and strategy can be… read more

Avogadro Corp

March 19, 2012

avogadrocorpcr1

Author:
William Hertling
Publisher:
Liquididea Press (2011)

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears is a techno-thriller about the accidental creation of an artificial intelligence.

David Ryan is the designer of ELOPe, an email language optimization program, that if successful, will make his career. But when the project is suddenly in danger of being canceled, David embeds a hidden directive in the software accidentally creating a runaway artificial intelligence.

David and… read more

Triggers

March 21, 2012

triggers-us-cover

Author:
Robert J. Sawyer
Publisher:
Ace Hardcover (2012)

Amazon | On the eve of a secret military operation, an assassin’s bullet strikes President Seth Jerrison. He is rushed to the hospital, where surgeons struggle to save his life.

At the same hospital, researcher Dr. Ranjip Singh is experimenting with a device that can erase traumatic memories.

Then a terrorist bomb detonates. In the operating room, the president suffers cardiac arrest. He has a near-death experience — but… read more

Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student

March 22, 2012

digitalteachingplatforms1

Author:
Chris Dede, John Richards
Publisher:
Teachers College Press (2012)

The Digital Teaching Platform (DTP) brings the power of interactive technology to teaching and learning in classrooms.

In this authoritative book, top researchers in the field of learning science and educational technology examine the current state of design and research on DTPs, the principles for evaluating them, and their likely evolution as a dominant medium for educational improvement.

The authors examine DTPs in… read more

Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies

March 22, 2012

ArtificialCulture_Cover1

Author:
Tama Leaver
Publisher:
Routledge (2011)

Amazon | Artificial Culture is an examination of the articulation, construction, and representation of “the artificial” in contemporary popular cultural texts, especially science fiction films and novels. The book argues that today we live in an artificial culture due to the deep and inextricable relationship between people, our bodies, and technology at large. While the artificial is often imagined as outside of the natural order and thus also beyond… read more

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

March 23, 2012

whynationsfail

Author:
Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
Publisher:
Crown Business (2012)

Amazon | Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how… read more

Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies

March 27, 2012

culturinglife

Author:
Hannah Landecker
Publisher:
Harvard University Press (2007)

Amazon | How did cells make the journey, one we take so much for granted, from their origin in living bodies to something that can be grown and manipulated on artificial media in the laboratory, a substantial biomass living outside a human body, plant, or animal? This is the question at the heart of Hannah Landecker’s book. She shows how cell culture changed the way we think about such central… read more

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

March 29, 2012

NakedConversations

Author:
Robert Scoble, Shel Isreal
Publisher:
Wiley (2006)

Amazon | From the creator of the number one business blog comes a powerful exploration of how, and why, businesses had better be blogging: Naked Conversations.

According to experts Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, blogs offer businesses something that has long been lacking in their communication with customers — meaningful dialogue. Devoid of corporate-speak and empty promises, business blogs can humanize communication, bringing companies and their constituencies together in a… read more

Neural Networks and Analog Computation: Beyond the Turing Limit

April 9, 2012

neuralnetworksandanalogcomputation

Author:
Hava T. Siegelmann
Publisher:
Birkhäuser Boston (1998)

Amazon | The theoretical foundations of Neural Networks and Analog Computation conceptualize neural networks as a particular type of computer consisting of multiple assemblies of basic processors interconnected in an intricate structure. Examining these networks under various resource constraints reveals a continuum of computational devices, several of which coincide with well-known classical models. On a mathematical level, the treatment of neural computations enriches the theory of computation but also… read more

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