|Born||August 1, 1954|
New York City
|Alma mater||Harvard College|
|Notable works||The Information (2011), Genius (1992), Chaos (1987)|
James Gleick ( // ; born August 1, 1954) is an American author and historian of science whose work has chronicled the cultural impact of modern technology. Recognized for his writing about complex subjects through the techniques of narrative nonfiction, he has been called "one of the great science writers of all time". He is part of the inspiration for Jurassic Park character Ian Malcolm.
Gleick's books include the international bestsellers Chaos: Making a New Science (1987) and The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (2011).Three of his books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists; and The Information was awarded the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2012 and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2012. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.
A native of New York City, Gleick attended Harvard College, where he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson , graduating in 1976 with an A.B. degree in English and linguistics. He moved to Minneapolis and helped found an alternative weekly newspaper, Metropolis. After its demise a year later, he returned to New York and in 1979 joined the staff of the New York Times . He worked there for ten years as an editor on the metropolitan desk and then as a science reporter. Among the scientists Gleick profiled in the New York Times Magazine were Douglas Hofstadter, Stephen Jay Gould, Mitchell Feigenbaum, and Benoit Mandelbrot. His early reporting on Microsoft anticipated the antitrust investigations by the U. S. Department of Justice and the European Commission. He wrote the "Fast Forward" column in the New York Times Magazine from 1995 to 1999, and his essays charting the growth of the Internet formed the basis of his book What Just Happened. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker , the Atlantic , Slate , and the Washington Post , and he is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books .
His first book, Chaos: Making a New Science , reported the development of the new science of chaos and complexity. It made the Butterfly Effect a household term, introduced the Mandelbrot Set and fractal geometry to a broad audience, and sparked popular interest in the subject, influencing such diverse writers as Tom Stoppard ( Arcadia ) and Michael Crichton ( Jurassic Park ).
In 1993, Gleick founded one of the earliest Internet service providers, The Pipeline, in New York City. It was the first ISP to offer a graphical user interface, incorporating e-mail, chat, Usenet, and the World Wide Web, through software for Windows and Mac operating systems.The software, created by Gleick's business partner, Uday Ivatury, was licensed to other Internet service providers in the United States and overseas. Gleick sold the Pipeline in 1995 to PSINet, and it was later absorbed into MindSpring and then EarthLink.
On December 20, 1997, Gleick was attempting to land his Rutan Long-EZ experimental plane at Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford, New Jersey when a build-up of ice in the engine's carburetor caused the aircraft engine to lose power and the plane landed short of the runway into rising terrain.The impact killed Gleick's eight-year-old son and left Gleick seriously injured.
Gleick's writing style has been described as a combination of "clear mind, magpie-styled research and explanatory verve."After the publication of Chaos, Gleick collaborated with the photographer Eliot Porter on Nature's Chaos and with developers at Autodesk on Chaos: The Software. He was the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University in 1989–90. He was the first editor of The Best American Science Writing series.
His next books included two biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman , and Isaac Newton , which John Banville said would "surely stand as the definitive study for a very long time to come."
Gleick was elected president of the Authors Guild in 2017.
Benoit B. Mandelbrot was a Polish-born French and American mathematician and polymath with broad interests in the practical sciences, especially regarding what he labeled as "the art of roughness" of physical phenomena and "the uncontrolled element in life". He referred to himself as a "fractalist" and is recognized for his contribution to the field of fractal geometry, which included coining the word "fractal", as well as developing a theory of "roughness and self-similarity" in nature.
Dava Sobel is an American writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. Her books include Longitude, about English clockmaker John Harrison, and Galileo's Daughter, about Galileo's daughter Maria Celeste, and The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars.
Richard Phillips Feynman ForMemRS was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga.
Jeffrey Kent Eugenides is an American novelist and short story writer. He has written numerous short stories and essays, as well as three novels: The Virgin Suicides (1993), Middlesex (2002), and The Marriage Plot (2011). The Virgin Suicides served as the basis of a feature film, while Middlesex received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Médicis.
William John Banville is an Irish novelist, short story writer, adapter of dramas and screenwriter. Though he has been described as "the heir to Proust, via Nabokov", Banville himself maintains that W. B. Yeats and Henry James are the two real influences on his work.
Marilynne Summers Robinson is an American novelist and essayist. Across her writing career, Robinson has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, National Humanities Medal in 2012, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. In 2016, Robinson was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people. Robinson began teaching at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1991 and retired in the spring of 2016.
Junot Díaz is a Dominican-American writer, creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz's work is the immigrant experience, particularly the Latino immigrant experience.
A Feynman sprinkler, also referred to as a Feynman inverse sprinkler or as a reverse sprinkler, is a sprinkler-like device which is submerged in a tank and made to suck in the surrounding fluid. The question of how such a device would turn was the subject of an intense and remarkably long-lived debate.
Adolf Grünbaum was a German-American philosopher of science and a critic of psychoanalysis, as well as Karl Popper's philosophy of science. He was the first Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh from 1960 until his death, and also served as Co-Chairman of its Center for Philosophy of Science, Research Professor of Psychiatry, and Primary Research Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. His works include Philosophical Problems of Space and Time (1963), The Foundations of Psychoanalysis (1984), and Validation in the Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis (1993).
Laila Lalami is a Moroccan-American novelist, essayist, and professor. After earning her Licence ès Lettres degree in Morocco, she received a fellowship to study in the United Kingdom (UK), where she earned an MA in linguistics.
Chaos: Making a New Science is a debut non-fiction book by James Gleick that initially introduced the principles and early development of the chaos theory to the public. It was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and was shortlisted for the Science Book Prize in 1989. The book was published on October 29, 1987 by Viking Books.
Karen Russell is an American novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She was also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" in 2013. In 2009 the National Book Foundation named her a 5 under 35 honoree.
Ron Powers is an American journalist, novelist, and non-fiction writer. His works include No One Cares About Crazy People: My Family and the Heartbreak of Mental Illness in America; White Town Drowsing: Journeys to Hannibal; Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain, and Mark Twain: A Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. With James Bradley, he co-wrote the 2000 #1 New York Times Bestseller Flags of Our Fathers. The book won the Colby Award the following year. It was made into a movie in 2006, produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Clint Eastwood. With the Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, he co-wrote the late Senator's memoir, True Compass, published in 2009.
Dennis Overbye is a science writer specializing in physics and cosmology.
The Beauty of Fractals is a 1986 book by Heinz-Otto Peitgen and Peter Richter which publicises the fields of complex dynamics, chaos theory and the concept of fractals. It is lavishly illustrated and as a mathematics book became an unusual success.
The Pipeline was one of the earliest American Internet service providers. It was founded in December 1993 in New York City by the science and technology writer James Gleick and computer programmer Uday Ivatury, who had met at the Manhattan Bridge Club and shared an interest in online bridge. Both men believed that a graphical user interface would make the Internet more widely accessible than the command-line Unix commands that were then generally necessary.
T. J. Stiles is an American biographer who lives in Berkeley, California. His book The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt won a National Book Award and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. His book Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood is a book by science history writer James Gleick published in March 2011 which covers the genesis of our current information age. It was on The New York Times best-seller list for three weeks following its debut.
Kenneth Tucker is an American arts, music and television critic, magazine editor, and non-fiction book writer.
John A. Glusman is vice president and editor-in-chief of W. W. Norton and Company, the largest independent, employee-owned publisher in the United States, and the author of Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945.