Daily Archives: March 11, 2009

A Comment on Ilya Piatetski-Shapiro by His Son, Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro

Whenever I write of someone who is no longer with us and then receive a comment from a family member, friend, or colleague, I reproduce the comment in full as a separate post to give it more visibility. Here is a comment from a son:

Dave,
Ilya Piatetski-Shapiro was my father and thank you for kind words you wrote about him. I was also very sorry to see on the same day obit for Jack Schwartz. What a coincidence!

I was Jack’s Research assistant during my first year of grad school at NYU in 1977, and the work I did for Jack was translating work from Ershov group from Russian to English. Jack came up with an elegant math-based computer language SETL (set language) and the group in Akademgorodok in Siberia had done interesting work on SETL. However, SETL was too powerful to be implemented efficiently, and did not spread beyond NYU.

Jack’s reputation at NYU was legendary, but he was very modest and very gracious.

I don’t recall meeting Ilya during 1977, though I hope that I did. I studied Russian for two years in High School, as I I have described in my post Thomas L Friedman – China: Scapegoat or Sputnik, so I expect Jack would have introduced us.

Several of my conversations in Russian stand out.

In late 1973, not far from Red Square, a man approached me and asked which bus went to Red Square. I replied,, “Dvadsit Cheeteri,” or “24.” He then said in a loud voice, “Ah! Vi Bulgarski!” by which he meant that from my accent he had deduced I was from Bulgaria.
I corrected him by saying, “Ya Amerikanski,” and realized my accent had been shaped by my teacher, who was from Serbia or Croatia.

During the same visit I gave a long speech, perhaps up to half an hour, trying to explain the benefits of democracy and capitalism to a room full of my wife’s Russian relatives. (Both her parents were born in Russia.)

My last visit to Russia was in December of 2004, six months after my previous visit to St. Petersberg. IBM than had a relationship with a major unversity in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”. IBM had funded the refurbishing of a computer laboratory and I gave a short speech in Russian.

During that visit I was part of a small group given a personal tour of the LETI museum by the LETI’s Rector, Professor Dmitry V. Puzankov, a wonderful man with great warmth and immense personal integrity. LETI’s first Rector was Alexander Stepanovitch Popov, the inventor of radio.

St. Petersburg is among the most beautiful cities I have ever visited, and none has matched the quality of the light the can be seen late in the Fall as it is reflected off the many buildings painted a particular shade of ocher, as can be seen in this image of the Peter and Paul Fortress .

I was first attracted to Russian when I was about twelve, courtesy of a course in Russian on records that I had checked out from the library. I was immediately captivated by the sounds of the language, as it has a sense of warmth and fluidity like no other language.

Though I speak Russian very poorly, I always love to hear it, usually in areas that now have many Russian residents; for example Forest Hills in Queens, the “Little Odessa” area in Brooklyn, and any street in Israel.

Advertisements

More Comments on Jack Schwartz from His Family, Friends, and Colleagues

Here are some of the recent comments from Jack’s family, friends, and colleagues, reproduced in full.

Jack’s third and last wife, Diana, wrote:

Dave,
Thanks for the wonderful blog. Jack would have loved it. Theodore means “gift of God” which Jack most certainly was. I look forward to seeing you at the memorial at Courant on March 27.
Best,
Diana

Our mutual friend and colleague Jeanine Meyer wrote:

Dave, thank you for your part in the obituary. It did capture much? some? of Jack’s depth and breadth. I worked with him on a project involving computer music for middle school students in NYC. This was after doing a thesis for him on GYVE. I wonder how many of us would rank him the smartest person we know.

I haven’t seen Diana in many years. I do recall she has a vibrant personality and is a musician, or at least has a particular interest in music. Though not a musician, and I never saw him carry a tune, Jack had a great fondness for music, as is evident from Jeanine’s comment.

DSAT Technology Test 2000-2050 (Answers)

Search.

Google.

DSAT Technology Test 2000-2050

Here is a test. It is an instance of a Dave Shields Achievement Test (DSAT). The answers can be found in the next post.

Consider the period 2000-2050.

What technology created or developed during this period will have greatest impact on the world?

Name the company that created that technology.

DSAT Technology Test 1950-2000 (Answers)

Computer

IBM

DSAT Technology Test 1950-2000

Here is a test. It is an instance of a Dave Shields Achievement Test (DSAT). The answers can be found in the next post.

Consider the period 1950 to 2000.

What technology created or developed during that period had the greatest impact on the world?

Name the major company associated with that technology during that period.

DSAT Technology Test 1900-1950 (Answers)

Automobile.

Ford Motor Company

DSAT Technology Test 1900-1950

Here is a test. It is an instance of a Dave Shields Achievement Test (DSAT). The answers can be found in the next post.

Consider the period 1900 to 1950.

What technology created or developed during that period had the greatest impact on the world?

Name the major company associated with that technology during that period.

  • Pages

  • March 2009
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb   Apr »
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
  • RSS The Wayward Word Press

  • Recent Comments

    mrrdev on On being the maintainer, sole…
    daveshields on On being the maintainer, sole…
    James Murray on On being the maintainer, sole…
    russurquhart1 on SPITBOL for OSX is now av…
    dave porter on On being the maintainer, sole…
  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

  • Top Posts

  • Top Rated

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Top Rated