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My life list: Build and create


My life list: Writing and publishing
W Daniel Hillis Scientist
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Writing and publishing. You know, I've always wanted to publish a poem. I've never done that. Or publish a cartoon. Or write a script of some kind. I've never done that. I've never published a science fiction story, although I've written a few. And of course everybody wants to write a novel, and so one of these days. Fiction, piece of fiction novel. I've never really published a good theorem. Not that I felt any good about... I had a good theorem once, but I didn't publish it, and then it became widely known about sets and multisets. But I have written a book and I've written lyrics for songs and actually gotten paid royalties for them. So there are some things like that. I've been a press guy with a press pass covering a news story. Those are pretty fun.

W Daniel Hillis (b. 1956) is an American inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While doing his doctoral work at MIT under artificial intelligence pioneer, Marvin Minsky, he invented the concept of parallel computers, that is now the basis for most supercomputers. He also co-founded the famous parallel computing company, Thinking Machines, in 1983 which marked a new era in computing. In 1996, Hillis left MIT for California, where he spent time leading Disney’s Imagineers. He developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney's theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet and consumer product businesses. More recently, Hillis co-founded an engineering and design company, Applied Minds, and several start-ups, among them Applied Proteomics in San Diego, MetaWeb Technologies (acquired by Google) in San Francisco, and his current passion, Applied Invention in Cambridge, MA, which 'partners with clients to create innovative products and services'. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices (including a 10,000-year mechanical clock), and has recently moved into working on problems in medicine. In recognition of his work Hillis has won many awards, including the Dan David Prize.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes George Dyson

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: publishing, writing, press, royalty, bucket list

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2016

Date story went live: 05 July 2017