Santa Monica CA

When I graduated in May 1995, academic jobs were scarce and I wasn't emotionally up to teaching. My sister-in-law, actress Miriam Kouzel Billington, helped me find a small apartment in Santa Monica, California, where I am now living. I devoted the next nine months to improving my computer skills.

In June 1996 I participated with my father in an experimental program at New York University to develop a prototype CD-ROM for educational use. This used content from a slide-lecture course that my dad gave at Princeton University on the history of engineering in the modern world. In October 1996, a foundation gave him some money to produce a CD and I got part of the work. I cannot say that my aptitude for multimedia authoring was equal to my aptitude for research, and we were very fortunate that a small multimedia firm in Seattle, Mindsai, helped us finish the project in the spring of 1998.

Over the next two decades, I worked mainly for my father doing research and writing in support of the slide-lecture course, one of two that he gave until his retirement in 2013. I also co-authored a book with him in 2006 that explains the great innovations of the late 1800s and early 1900s (eg. telephone, electric power, aviation, automobiles). Ten years later I completed a sequel on my own to bring the story up to the present. I also wrote an engineering history of the Golden Gate Bridge for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District that will be released when a seismic retrofit of the bridge now underway finishes. The aim of these books is to make key technical events accessible while still explaining them in an engineering (ie. numerical) sense.

In 1998 I provided research assistance to a scientific team organized by the Ocean Conservancy that visited Navassa Island in the Caribbean Sea on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior. I also provided a map to a 1999 mapping mission conducted by NASA's planetary geodynamics research program. I have more information about the island on my Navassa page.

My dissertation is also now in print (although priced only for libraries). I still have an interest in world affairs and occasionally comment on other people's weblogs. But my principal calling now is to disseminate the methods and content of my dad's teaching and to contribute through my own writing and research.

Here is a photo of me and my two nieces, Zoe and Francesca, sister-in-law Miriam, and sister Sarah.

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