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James Gleick

James Gleick

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James Gleick is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 author, journalist, and biographer, whose books explore the cultural ramifications of science and technology. Three of these books have been Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

  and National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

  finalists, and they have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Biography


Born in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, USA, Gleick attended Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

, graduating in 1976 with a degree in English and linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

. Having worked for the Harvard Crimson
Harvard Crimson
The Harvard Crimson are the athletic teams of Harvard University. The school's teams compete in NCAA Division I. As of 2006, there were 41 Division I intercollegiate varsity sports teams for women and men at Harvard, more than at any other NCAA Division I college in the country...

and freelanced in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, he moved to Minneapolis, where he helped found a short-lived weekly newspaper, Metropolis. After its demise, he returned to New York and joined as staff of the New York Times, where he worked for ten years as an editor and reporter.

He was the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 in 1989-90. Gleick collaborated with the photographer Eliot Porter
Eliot Porter
Eliot Furness Porter was an American photographer best known for his color photographs of nature.-Early life:...

 on Nature's Chaos and with developers at Autodesk
Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that focuses on 3D design software for use in the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media and entertainment industries. The company was founded in 1982 by John Walker, a coauthor of the first versions of the company's...

 on Chaos: The Software. In 1993, he founded The Pipeline
The Pipeline
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...

, an early Internet service. Gleick is active on the boards of the Authors Guild and the Key West Literary Seminar
Key West Literary Seminar
The Key West Literary Seminar is a writers' conference and festival held each January in Key West, Florida. It draws an international audience for readings, panel discussions, and workshops.-History:...

.

On December 20, 1997, Gleick crashed while attempting to land his home-built Long-EZ airplane at Greenwood Lake Airport
Greenwood Lake Airport
Greenwood Lake Airport is a general aviation airport in West Milford, Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. This public-use airport is owned by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. It covers an area of and has one runway....

, in West Milford, New Jersey
West Milford, New Jersey
West Milford is a township in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 25,850.-History:...

. He was seriously injured, losing his left leg, and his 8-year old adopted son, Harry, was killed.

Work


His first book, Chaos: Making a New Science
Chaos: Making a New Science
Chaos: Making A New Science is the best-selling book by James Gleick that first introduced the principles and early development of chaos theory to the public...

, an international best-seller, chronicled the development of chaos theory
Chaos theory
Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including physics, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the...

 and made the Butterfly Effect
Butterfly effect
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions; where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state...

 a household phrase.

Among the scientists Gleick profiled were Mitchell Feigenbaum
Mitchell Feigenbaum
Mitchell Jay Feigenbaum is a mathematical physicist whose pioneering studies in chaos theory led to the discovery of the Feigenbaum constants.- Biography :...

, Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

, Douglas Hofstadter
Douglas Hofstadter
Douglas Richard Hofstadter is an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation, and discovery in mathematics and physics...

, Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics...

 and Benoit Mandelbrot
Benoît Mandelbrot
Benoît B. Mandelbrot was a French American mathematician. Born in Poland, he moved to France with his family when he was a child...

. His early reporting on Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 anticipated the antitrust
Antitrust
The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace. These competition laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both,...

 investigations by the U. S. Department of Justice and the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

. Gleick's essays charting the growth of the Internet included the "Fast Forward" column on technology in the New York Times Magazine from 1995 to 1999 and formed the basis of his book What Just Happened. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

, the Atlantic, Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

, and the Washington Post.

External links