The Forever Disc

Article as it appears in CACM's digital library

An article in the May 2014 issue of CACM about data storage for very long times, e.g. a million years.

Aluminum: Common Metal, Uncommon Past

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about how Aluminum went from being a precious metal (in its elemental form) to being cheap enough to use as a construction material, focusing on the 1880’s work of two chemists who discovered, almost simultaneously, the process to extract it.

Introduction: “In the mid-1800s aluminum was more valuable than gold. Napoléon III’s most important guests were given aluminum cutlery, while those less worthy dined with mere silver; fashionable and wealthy women wore jewelry crafted of aluminum. Today aluminum is a critical component of modern life, found in airplanes, automobiles, soft drink cans, construction materials, cooking equipment, guardrails, and countless other products. The difference between scarcity and abundance (and between obscurity and ubiquity) of this metal depended solely on scientists’ ability to find the way to release it—the third most common element in the earth’s crust by weight—from its ore.”

Cannabinoids: A Secret History

Article as it appeared on the web

A feature article about the chemical history of cannabinoids — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — touching on medical and legal issues. No longer available on the Chemical Heritage site.

Interactive Tabletop Exhibits in Museums and Galleries

First page of article as it appeared in print

My first feature article for the “Applications” section of Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Abstract: “Just as online shopping is a bellwether of advanced online technologies, so are museum and gallery showcases for the best in computer display and interface technology. In the first case, commerce demands that speed and reliability get priority, in the latter, technological invisibility is foremost. The museum experience is an unusually tactile, sensual one, and the standard keyboard-mouse-and-screen setup might seem out of place. This trend toward sensual involvement is particularly noticeable in tabletop displays, as they appeal to two aspects of familiar daily life: the horizontal surface as a workspace, and hand gestures (or common objects) as tools for manipulating information.”

Rebuilding for Eternity

First page of "Rebuilding for Eternity" article

Article about “e-heritage”, digitization of large-scale historical sites such as the Bayon Temple in Cambodia.