Read From Judy Woodruff: Longtime PBS NewsHour Anchor and Co-Founder Jim Lehrer Has Passed Away at 85 (PBS NewsHour)
Washington, DC (January 23, 2020) -- It is with great sadness that I share the news that co-founder and longtime anchor of the PBS NewsHour Jim Lehrer died today, Thursday, January 23, 2020, peacefully in his sleep at home. Lehrer, born May 19, 1934, served as anchor of the NewsHour for 36 years before retiring in 2011. Lehrer and Robert MacNeil founded the program in 1975, out of their 1973 coverage of the Senate Watergate Hearings on PBS. "I'm
Bookmarked on January 23, 2020 at 06:52PM

👓 I.M. Pei, Master Architect Whose Buildings Dazzled the World, Dies at 102 | The New York Times

Read I.M. Pei, Master Architect Whose Buildings Dazzled the World, Dies at 102 (New York Times)
Mr. Pei, a committed modernist, was one of the few architects equally attractive to real estate developers, corporate chieftains and art museum boards.
I had the privilege of working in an I.M. Pei office building for about two years. It wasn’t a museum, but had so much modern art on its walls and Roy Lichtenstein’s massive “Bauhaus Stairway” in the lobby that it seemed like a museum.

angle on the lobby of the CAA building designed by IM Pei

👓 Solomon Golomb (1932–2016) | Stephen Wolfram

Read Solomon Golomb (1932–2016) by Stephen WolframStephen Wolfram (blog.stephenwolfram.com)

The Most-Used Mathematical Algorithm Idea in History

An octillion. A billion billion billion. That’s a fairly conservative estimate of the number of times a cellphone or other device somewhere in the world has generated a bit using a maximum-length linear-feedback shift register sequence. It’s probably the single most-used mathematical algorithm idea in history. And the main originator of this idea was Solomon Golomb, who died on May 1—and whom I knew for 35 years.

Solomon Golomb’s classic book Shift Register Sequences, published in 1967—based on his work in the 1950s—went out of print long ago. But its content lives on in pretty much every modern communications system. Read the specifications for 3GLTEWi-FiBluetooth, or for that matter GPS, and you’ll find mentions of polynomials that determine the shift register sequences these systems use to encode the data they send. Solomon Golomb is the person who figured out how to construct all these polynomials.

A fantastic and pretty comprehensive obit for Sol. He did miss out on more of Sol’s youth as well as his cross-town chess rivalry with Basil Gordon when they both lived in Baltimore, but before they lived across town from each other again in Los Angeles.

Many of the fantastical seeming stories here, as well as Sol’s personality read very true to me with respect to the man I knew for almost two decades.

👓 Robert J. McEliece, 1942–2019 | Caltech

Read Robert J. McEliece, 1942–2019 (caltech.edu)
Alumnus and engineering faculty member Robert J. McEliece has passed away.
May is apparently the month that many of the greats in information theory pass away. I was reminded of Sol Golomb’s passing in May 2016 the other day.

I didn’t know him well, but met Dr. McEliece a handful of times and at least a few of the books in my personal information theory library are hand-me-down copies from his personal library. He’ll definitely be missed.

Three open books piled on top of each other with McEliece's signature and dates in the top right hand of the first page and CalTech bookstore price stamps in them as well.

👓 Goro Shimura, a 'giant' of number theory, dies at 89 | Princeton

Read Goro Shimura, a 'giant' of number theory, dies at 89 (Princeton University)
Goro Shimura, Princeton's Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, died on Friday, May 3, at the age of 89. 

👓 Geneticist Sydney Brenner, who made tiny worm a scientific legend, dies | Nature

Read Geneticist Sydney Brenner, who made tiny worm a scientific legend, dies by Holly Else
Nobel-prizewinning biologist pioneered use of C. elegans as an animal model.

👓 Luke Perry, ‘90210’ and ‘Riverdale’ Star, Dies at 52 | Variety

Read Luke Perry, ‘90210’ and ‘Riverdale’ Star, Dies at 52 (Variety)
Actor Luke Perry, known for roles in “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Riverdale,” died on Monday after suffering a massive stroke on Wednesday. He was 52. “[Perry] was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends,” his rep said in a statement. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”

👓 Dr. Hubert Yockey of Bel Air, Director of APG Reactor; Manhattan Project Nuclear Physicist, Dies at 99 | The Dagger

Read Dr. Hubert Yockey of Bel Air, Director of APG Reactor; Manhattan Project Nuclear Physicist, Dies at 99 (The Dagger - Local News with an Edge)
Hubert Palmer Yockey, 99, died peacefully under hospice care at his home in Bel Air, MD, on January 31, 2016, with his daughter, Cynthia Yockey, at his side. Born in Alexandria, Minnesota, he was t…

👓 Elias M. Stein, Mathematician of Fluctuations, Is Dead at 87 | New York Times

Read Elias M. Stein, Mathematician of Fluctuations, Is Dead at 87 (New York Times)
Arriving from Europe with diamonds in his shoes (hidden there), he found renown in his field with real-world applications, like charting a stock market.
How many references to “Diamonds hidden in the soles of shoes” can there be? Suppose this story may have somehow influenced Paul Simon?

A nice overview of some of Stein’s work.

🎧 How Quickly We Forget | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to How Quickly We Forget from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Presidential eulogizing, special counsel speculation, immigration coverage, and forgotten Hanukkah history. 

The death of George H.W. Bush brought us a week’s worth of ceremony, eulogy and wall-to-wall coverage. This week, a look at the choices journalists made when they set out to memorialize the president. And, immigration stories in our media focus on the U.S.–Mexico border — but what about immigration elsewhere in Latin America? Is there a journalistic solution to the scale of global immigration? Plus, a baseball metaphor and a bit of forgotten Hanukkah history.

1. Anne Helen Petersen [@annehelen], senior culture writer at Buzzfeed, and David Greenberg [@republicofspin], historian at Rutgers University, on the history — and pitfalls — of presidential eulogies. Listen.

2. Bob on the speculation surrounding Robert Mueller's investigation. Listen.

3. Diego Salazar [@disalch], journalist, on the immigration crisis within Latin America.  Listen.

4. Masha Gessen [@mashagessen], staff writer at The New Yorker, on her modest proposal for immigration coverage. Listen.

5. Rabbi James Ponet, Jewish chaplain emeritus at Yale University, on the historical origins of Hanukkah. Listen.

The ideas of rosier pictures of past presidents is an interesting one.

Masha Gessen’s story makes me wish we had many more Masha Gessens.

I particularly liked the story and history of Hanukkah given here. Definitely something to think about.

👓 Michael Atiyah, Mathematician in Newton’s Footsteps, Dies at 89 | New York Times

Read Michael Atiyah, Mathematician in Newton’s Footsteps, Dies at 89 (New York Times)
One of the 20th century’s leading mathematical theorists, he revealed a connection between math and physics not seen since the 17th century.

👓 A tribute to former President of the Royal Society Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS (1929 – 2019) | Royal Society

Read A tribute to former President of the Royal Society Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS (1929 - 2019) (Royal Society)
Sir Michael Atiyah OM HonFREng FRS has passed away aged 89. First elected in 1962, he was President of the Royal Society 1990-1995.