2023 News

December 2023: The journal American Catholic Studies published my article, Cattell’s Catholics: Who were these American Men (and Woman) of Science?, in their Winter 2023 issue (link to the article here).

November 2023: As one of the over 14,000 attendees at the SC23 Supercomputer Conference in Denver, I played a unique role as a historian by helping to prepare the 35th Anniversary exhibit area, particularly three display cases with a trio of historical artifacts connected with supercomputing in the past where I wrote the accompanying text and arranged the objects and labels for display.

October 2023: My member-contributed editorial, Computer Benchmarks: 50 Years Ago and Now, appeared in the October 2023 issue of CONNECT, the ACM SIGHPC newsletter (just in time for the SC23 conference in Denver).

September/October 2023: I returned to Japan for the first time in 18 years where I enjoyed two weeks travelling from Tsukuba to Tokyo to Ishinomaki for a mix of research and pleasure activities. Highlights included going to KEK in Tsukuba and taking a tour of their high-energy physics systems in addition to spending time in their archives, looking at the Nagaoka Hantaro materials in the National Science Museum archives in Tsukuba, reuniting with my 2005 NSF Summer in Japan host Prof. Okamoto Takuji at the University of Tokyo, meeting with other friends and colleagues, checking out the cats at Tashirojima (or ‘Cat Island’) off the coast from Ishinomaki, and ending with my attending the Artefacts XXVIII conference hosted by the National Science Museum in Tokyo. It was great to be back and I hope to return soon with the help of a JSPS postdoc fellowship.

August 2023: I wish to acknowledge the recent passing of Ronald L. Numbers who was my dissertation advisor from start to finish. His patient guidance, terrific insights, forceful editorial feedback, and honest comments made it all possible for me to reach the end of that long project. It is hard to believe that a year ago he walked with me across the June 2022 UW commencement stage. I express my sincere condolences to his family on their loss. On September 2, I attended a memorial service for Ron held at the Loma Linda University Church (video here).

June 2023: I enjoyed giving my talk titled Work So Difficult that It Could Give the Computer a Headache at the 15th Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop at Notre Dame University this past June.

Coming up next will be my assisting at the SC23 Supercomputer Conference in November in Denver, Colorado, as I have become a member of the SC23 35th Anniversary committee.

May 2023: My member-contributed editorial, Processing & Production of Scientific Data: An historical marriage, now in a permanent divorce?, appeared in the May 2023 issue of CONNECT, the ACM SIGHPC newsletter.

I am revising a chapter from my 2022 dissertation for publication in American Catholic Studies to appear sometime next year. Titled Cattell’s Catholics: Who were these American Men (and Woman) of Science?, I probe the 1910 second edition of J. McKeen Cattell’s American Men of Science: A Biographical Directory with the aim of identifying individuals who, through their institutional affiliation, education, and other details, could be classified as likely being Catholic to gauge the gauge American Catholic higher education’s range and effectiveness during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Otherwise, I continue to weave a balance between my interests in history of science and supercomputing. In January my review of The Lab Book: Situated Practices in Media Studies appeared in H-Net Reviews in Humanities & Social Sciences. About the same time the December 2022 issue of CONNECT, the digital newsletter of the Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM SIGHPC), came out with my short column that offered a historical contrast between a 1922 hand-cranked calculator and the modern EXAFLOP supercomputer Frontier located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Future plans include attending the upcoming Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop to be held 21-25 June 2023 at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.