Posts tagged ‘Scientist’

February 8, 2012

Grigori Perelman

Poincaré conjecture

Grigori Perelman (b. 1966) is a Russian mathematician who has made landmark contributions to geometry and topology (the study of geometric deformation). In 1992, Perelman proved the soul conjecture. In 2002, he proved Thurston’s geometrization conjecture. This consequently solved in the affirmative the Poincaré conjecture, posed in 1904, which before its solution was viewed as one of the most important and difficult open problems in topology.

In 2006, Perelman was awarded the Fields Medal, but declined to accept the award or to appear at the congress, stating: ‘I’m not interested in money or fame, I don’t want to be on display like an animal in a zoo.’ In 2010, it was announced that he had met the criteria to receive the first Clay Millennium Prize for resolution of the Poincaré conjecture. He turned down the prize ($1 million), saying that he considers his contribution to proving the Poincaré conjecture to be no greater than that of U.S. mathematician Richard Hamilton.

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February 2, 2012

Richard Feynman


Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988) was an American physicist known for his work in quantum mechanics. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams.

During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing, and introducing the concept of nanotechnology.

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January 26, 2012

K. Anders Ericsson

road to excellence

Dr. K. Anders Ericsson is a Swedish psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University who is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading theoretical and experimental researchers on expertise. He is the co-editor of ‘The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance,’ a volume released in 2006.

Dr. Ericsson’s research with Herbert Simon on verbal reports of thinking is summarized in a book ‘Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports as Data,’ which was revised in 1993. With Bill Chase he developed the Theory of Skilled Memory based on detailed analyses of acquired exceptional memory performance. Currently he studies the cognitive structure of expert performance in domains such as music, chess and sports, and how expert performers acquire their superior performance by extended deliberate practice.

December 8, 2011

John B. Watson

behaviorism by achi rapperzzz

John B. Watson (1878 – 1958) was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Through his behaviorist approach, Watson conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing, and advertising. In 1920 Johns Hopkins University asked Watson to leave his faculty position because of publicity surrounding the affair he was having with his graduate student-assistant Rosalie Rayner.

In addition, he and Rayner conducted the controversial ‘Little Albert’ experiment. After his divorce was finalized, Watson and Rayner married in 1921. They remained together until her death in 1935. In his post academic career, Watson worked for many years for J. Walter Thompson, a leading American advertising agency. He is credited with popularizing the ‘coffee break’ during an ad campaign for Maxwell House coffee.

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November 20, 2011

Rick Strassman

spirit molecule by alex grey

Rick Strassman (b. 1952) is psychiatrist and psychopharmacology researcher, and the first person in the US after twenty years of intermission to embark in human research with psychedelic, hallucinogenic, or entheogenic substances. During the intermission period, research was restricted by law to animals studies only.

Dr Strassman’s studies aimed to investigate the effects of DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a powerful psychedelic, that he hypothesizes is produced by the human brain in the pineal gland. DMT is found naturally in various natural sources, and is related to human neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin.

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October 19, 2011

Jordan Peterson

maps of meaning

Jordan B. Peterson is a tenured research and clinical PhD psychologist at the University of Toronto.

He frequently appears on TVO (an Ontario television network) to speak about his research interests including, self-deception, mythology, religion, narrative, neuroscience, personality, deception, creativity, intelligence and motivation. In student surveys his courses are regularly described as ‘life-changing.’

August 1, 2011

Stephen LaBerge

stephen laberge by jolyon troscianko

Stephen LaBerge (born 1947) is a psychophysiologist and a leader in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. In 1967 he received his Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in Psychophysiology at Stanford University in 1980.

He developed a technique to enable himself and other researchers to enter a lucid dream state at will, MILD (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams), which was necessary for many forms of dream experimentation. In 1987, he founded The Lucidity Institute, an organization that promotes research into lucid dreaming, as well as running courses for the general public on how to achieve a lucid dream.

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July 14, 2011

Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil by Sabrina Smelko

Ray Kurzweil (b. 1948) is an American author, inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.

Ray Kurzweil grew up in Queens, NY. He was born to secular Jewish parents who had escaped Austria just before the onset of World War II, and he was exposed via Unitarian Universalism to a diversity of religious faiths during his upbringing. His father was a musician and composer and his mother was a visual artist. His uncle, an engineer at Bell Labs, taught young Ray the basics of computer science.

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July 11, 2011

Alexander Shulgin



Alexander Shulgin (b. 1925), known as Sasha, is an American pharmacologist. Shulgin is credited with the popularization of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially for psychopharmaceutical use and the treatment of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In subsequent years, Shulgin discovered, synthesized, and bioassayed over 230 psychoactive compounds.

In 1991 and 1997, he and his wife Ann Shulgin authored the books ‘PiHKAL’ and ‘TiHKAL’ on the topic of psychoactive drugs. Shulgin discovered many noteworthy phenethylamines including the 2C family. Additionally, Shulgin performed seminal work into the descriptive synthesis of compounds based on the organic compound tryptamine.

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June 15, 2011

David Eagleman



David Eagleman (b. 1971) is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is best known for his work on time perception, synesthesia, and neurolaw. He is also an internationally bestselling fiction writer.

An early experience of falling from a roof raised his interest in understanding the neural basis of time perception. Eagleman’s scientific work combines psychophysical, behavioral, and computational approaches to address the relationship between the timing of perception and the timing of neural signals.

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May 31, 2011

Edward Tufte

envisioning information

tufte lecture by peter durand

Edward Tufte (b. 1942) is an American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University. He is noted for his writings on information design and as a pioneer in the field of data visualization.Tufte’s writing is important in such fields as information design and visual literacy, which deal with the visual communication of information. He coined the term ‘chartjunk’ to refer to useless, non-informative, or information-obscuring elements of quantitative information displays. Other key concepts of Tufte are the ‘lie factor,’ the ‘data-ink ratio,’ and the ‘data density’ of a graphic.

He uses the term ‘data-ink ratio’ to argue against using excessive decoration in visual displays of quantitative information. Tufte states, ‘Sometimes decorations can help editorialize about the substance of the graphic. But it’s wrong to distort the data measures—the ink locating values of numbers—in order to make an editorial comment or fit a decorative scheme.’

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May 19, 2011




Eratosthenes [er-uh-tos-thuh-neez] of Cyrene (276BCE–194BCE) was a Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer. He was head of the Library of Alexandria from 240BC until his death: this was the most important library of the ancient world.

According to the Suda (a 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia) his contemporaries nicknamed him Beta, (the second letter of the Greek alphabet), because he was the second best in the world in almost any field. Eratosthenes was a friend of Archimedes, who also lived and worked in Alexandria. Archimedes was the greatest mathematician and inventor of the age, so perhaps the Beta nickname was not unjust.

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