Posted by: bluesyemre | November 22, 2013

Who are the innovators in academic publishing? by Ellen Collins

  • It’s been a while hasn’t it? Sorry to my avid readers who’ve been checking in every week in hopes of a new post (hello Mum!). And to the rest of you – welcome back to my occasional ramblings. I’ve been in America. Lucky me! One of the highlights of the trip was a flying visit to Stanford University, where I witnessed, with some awe, what an $18.7bn endowment will buy you. I was visiting a biologist friend, and once we’d finished poking gentle fun at the extravagent memorial to Mrs Stanford’s former tennis partner, I took her to the library. Turns out that it was her first visit, in almost three years as a post-doc. (That’s a subject for another time, perhaps.) Stanford Library is a wonderful set of buildings with outstanding facilities and collections, but that’s not what I want to blog about today. No, instead I am going to write about Donald Knuth. Knuth is a Stanford computer scientist and mathematician, who I am more and more impressed with as I learn (thank you, Google) that he is the subject of an xkcd comic who also owns a pipe organ. But neither of these wonderful facts are what first drew me to him. No, it was a few scraps of paper in a small archival cabinet in the Green Library at Stanford.

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