Honored Faculty - Honored Books Program

About the Program | Baskin School of Engineering Honorees
Division of Physical and Biological Sciences Honorees 

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Honored Faculty / Honored Books

April 7 - May 6, 2011
Science and Engineering Library

Celebrating Baskin School of Engineering faculty and Physical and Biological Sciences Division faculty who have received promotion and/or tenure during the 2009-10 academic year.

Baskin School of Engineering - 2011 Honorees

William Dunbar photo
William Dunbar
Associate Professor, Computer Engineering

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos” by Steven H. Strogatz

The book introduces deep mathematical phenomena in an amazingly accessible way,and made a huge impression on me as an undergraduate. It motivated me to pursue dynamical systems research, which I was fortunate to do at Caltech, and instilled in me the notion that fundamental mathematical truths can and should have a layperson's description.

Pascale Garaud photo
Pascale Garaud Associate Professor, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

  Relativity: the special and general theory” by Albert Einsten





John Musacchio Associate Professor, Technology and Information Management

Linear System Theory” by Frank M. Callier and Charles A. Desoer

This book introduces linear system theory with an emphasis on fundamental ideas, developing them in a rigorous yet accessible way. I had been exposed previously to linear systems, but when I studied this text as a first year graduate student, it was the first time I had explored the subject in such a systematic way. Studying this book made me better appreciate how important it is to reduce seemingly complex problems and phenomena to the basic principles that make them work.

My first visit to UC Santa Cruz was also in part due to this book. I needed an extra copy of the book, and I could only find it in the UCSC science library. That gave me the excuse to drive the 75 miles from Berkeley to see the UCSC campus for the first time.

Kenneth Pedrotti
Professor, Electrical Engineering

Men of Mathematics”by E.T. Bell

This is a book that may have saved me from a career in law.  Professor Bell's treatment of the history of mathematics through the lives and philosophy of the great mathematicians made this subject lively and exciting.  It inspired a deeper understanding of the place of mathematics in human endeavor and provided a meaningful context for the mathematics that I was learning in school.  Thus inspired I acquired the mathematical training that allowed subsequent focus on the science and engineering aspects of my studies unimpeded by a simultaneous struggle with math.

Hamid Sadjadpour Professor, Electrical Engineering

The subject tonight is Love: Sixty wild and sweet poems of Hafiz” by Daniel Ladinsky

I dedicate a book on Hafiz’s poems because it represents my culture and who I am. His great work that inspired generations, motivated me to work harder in my career and to seek greatness in life.


Noah Wardrip-Fruin Associate Professor, Computer Science

  Computer Lib / Dream Machines” by Theodor Nelson

I first encountered Ted Nelson's _Computer Lib / Dream Machines_ in my college bookstore in the early 1990s. I was amazed by the passion and clarity of the ideas, and also by its prescience -- especially given it is essentially the first book about personal computers (Nelson's book appeared in 1974, the year before the first personal computer kit). I took it home over spring break and my path was changed forever.

I believe the ideas of this book are as true and important now as in the 1970s or 1990s. In particular: Computation opens vast new expressive spaces for media, which we are only beginning to explore. Everyone should understand computers and be able to object when told, "The computer just works that way." We have a responsibility to design computer systems and media ethically.

Whoever you are, reading this, I hope you find inspiration here as well.

Division of Physical and Biological Sciences - 2011 Honorees

Shaowei Chen Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Functional Nanomaterials: A Chemistry and Engineering Perspective
Edited by Shaowei Chen and Wenbin Lin

This book was published as part of the festivities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Science and Technology of China, our alma mater. It includes contributions from some of the proud alumni who are on the faculty of varied universities in the USA and make significant contributions to the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

David Feldheim Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology


Melissa Jurica Associate Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology


Rohinton Kamakaka Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

Microbe Hunters” by Paul de Kruif

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz Associate Professor, Astronomy & Astrophysics

The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges

The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps an infinite, numbers of hexagonal galleries." So begins one of Borges' most complex, richly layered  tales, which introduced me to an easily notated but literally unimaginable number. And it was this that first captured my interest in the vast expanse of the universe.


Chad Saltikov Associate Professor, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

The Physiology and Biochemistry of Prokaryotes” by David White

Years ago, my postdoc mentor suggested I read chapters 3 and 4 because it would help me understand the complexities of electron transport and microbial respiration.  Since then I have delighted in the other chapters, but keep returning to chapters 3 and 4.

Hirotaka Tamanoi Professor, Mathematics

Characteristic Classes” by John Milnor and James Stasheff

In this masterfully written account by one of the great expositors of mathematics of the 20th century,  readers get a gentle ride straight to the colorful and yet powerful theories and methods in algebraic topology. This book really explains things well. One of the best mathematical classics.  I was fortunate to encounter this book as an undergraduate. 

About Honored Faculty, Honored Books

In celebration of the bond between the written word and the achievement of scholars, the UCSC Library, the Jack Baskin School of Engineering, and the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences are proud to sponsor the Honored Faculty, Honored Books Program. This joint initiative recognizes the achievements of faculty who have attained tenure and/or received promotion. To mark the occasion, we celebrate both the scholar and a book they select as having most influenced them as a scientist and educator. The faculty and their books are celebrated with a gala reception held in the Science & Engineering Library. The book is added to the library collection and inscribed with a personalized bookplate in their honor. This commemorative Web site showcases the significance of the book to their lives and careers.