Work or Pleasure
Dr. Elwyn Berlekamp died in 2019. The Wall Street Journal in his obituary that when he was a grade-school student in Ohio in the 1940s he realized that math wasn’t a torment. It was a great game.
Playing the game gave way to some of the technology we carry in our pockets, the money in our Venmo account, and remarkable images from space telescopes.
His main contribution was removing the noise from data transmission which could then be applied to more than just the transfer of 1s and 0s. It aided financial transactions, investment strategy, and commodity trading.
Always been a fan of mathematics which made Berlekamp one of the people I would like to have known.
That idea of a friendship was cemented when at the end of his obituary in the WSJ read:
On one trip, en route to a conference in Australia, Dr. Berlekamp was asked by a border-control agent whether he was traveling for work or pleasure. He replied that he had arranged his life “such that there shall be no distinction between the two.
He would have been a great photographer.
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