(Brenner, Sydney) Trakhtenbrot, B. A. | Topics in Mathematics
First English language edition, based on the text of the second Russian edition published in 1960. From the library of Nobel Prize-winning biologist and early computing proponent Sydney Brenner, with his ownership signature to the title in red pencil, and what may be a pencilled note in his hand across a small part of the printed title. With the original receipt loosely inserted at the rear.
Sydney Brenner (1927 - ) has been a leader in the field of genetics almost from the moment he received his doctorate at Oxford in 1954. He joined Francis Crick’s laboratory in 1956, and they did groundbreaking research on how DNA is decoded by cells. Brenner proposed that the nucleotides which comprise DNA (adenine, guanine, thiamine and cytosine) are read by the cell in sets of three called codons, with each codon representing an amino acid (for example, three adenines in a row is the codon for the amino acid lysine). A gene is simply a string of codons that directs the production of a protein molecule from individual amino acids. He also correctly predicted the existence of messenger RNA, the molecule that carries the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes, where the translation process occurs.
Following this work, it was Brenner’s efforts to establish a new laboratory organism for the study of genetics that led to his Nobel Prize. “Beginning in 1965, he began to lay the groundwork to make C. elegans, a small, transparent nematode, into a major model organism for genetics, neurobiology and developmental biology research. As a direct result of his original vision, this tiny worm became the first animal for which the complete cell lineage and entire neuronal wiring were known. Today, more than 1,000 investigators are studying C. elegans, and Brenner’s work was further honored when a closely related nematode was named Caenorhabditis brenneri” (Salk Institute biography).
Author Boris Avraamovich Trakhtenbrot (1923 - 2016) was a prominent Russian and Israeli computer scientist, best known for discovering and proving the Gap theorem and Trakhtenbrot’s theorem. The present volume, “gives some of the historical aspects of algorithms and goes on to outline the development of the theory of algorithms that has taken place in the twentieth century. in defining the term algorithm, the author considers the close relation between algorithms and computing machines. The reader will need no specific mathematical background beyond intermediate algebra, but he should be able to follow a rather complex train of logical thought” (blurb). This book would have been of particular interest to Brenner, who was a proponent of computing from early in his career. He taught himself the TRAC language in the 1960s and used it to write the first program to compare nucleic acid sequences. Soon he had “become so skilled at assembly language programming that I didn’t think twice about altering a Fortran compiler to use with our disc operating system... All this work became valueless when this machine — by then slow, small and obsolete — was junked... I resolved never to become so involved with computers again, but I knew they were going to be essential tools in biology... Some years ago, when I took up computing again, I decided to do better than the first time around. So I learnt the C language and wrote an interpreter for TRAC in C. I have a large suite of programs written in an even flashier TRAC language that I use to study sequences.” (Loose Ends column, Current Biology vol. 5, no 11, 1995).
...Algorithms and Automatic Computing Machines Translated and Adapted from the Second Russian Edition (1960) by Jerome Kristian, James D. McCawley, and Samuel A. Schmitt. Survey of Recent East European Mathematical Literature. A Project Conducted by Alfred L. Putnam and Izaak Wirszup.
Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1963.
101 page booklet, stapled. Original red and white wrappers. Small pencilled note to the title. Wrappers lightly rubbed and a little toned along the spine. An excellent copy.
Burr, G. D. [George Dominicus] | Instructions in Practical Surveying, Topographical Plan Drawing, and Sketching Ground Without Instruments
Second edition with additions, first published in 1839. An attractively bound prize copy awarded by the Royal Military College at Sandhurst to Henry George White for “attention to, and progress in, military drawing”. With White’s later bookplate giving his rank as Major General.
Author George Dominicus Burr (d. 1855), was for forty years an esteemed professor of military surveying at the Royal Military College, and it is presumably he himself who presented this prize volume. The contents cover practical surveying and military drawing for students with no prior knowledge of the art, “confidently recommending to [them] a practice founded upon long experience, and certain in its results, within the limits we have assigned to it” (introduction).
The recipient, Major General Henry George White (1835 - 1906) “had a distinguished career in the British Army serving at the Crimean War (1854-56), in the Indian Mutiny (1858-59), in Cyprus (1878-79) and Bechanaland in South Africa in the 1880s” (Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage ).
...With Plates and Woodcuts. Second Edition.
London: John Murray, 1847.
Octavo (183 x 115 mm). Contemporary prize binding of green morocco, spine gilt in compartments, title, single-line rules, elaborate crests to boards, acorn and oak leaf roll to turn-ins, and all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. 5 folding plates on tissue, diagrams within the text. Prize and ownership bookplates to the front endpapers. Binding lightly rubbed with a few mild scuffs and some light wear at the extremities, a little faint spotting to the folding plates. Very good condition.
NASA | From Here, Where? A Source Book in Space Oriented Mathematics
First edition and an excellent copy of this book of space-related mathematics for high school teachers.
This volume was published as part of NASA’s drive to incorporate space science into American curriculums during the Space Race. As Michael J. Vaccaro, chairman of the Committee on Space Science Oriented Mathematics, writes in the introduction, “Surrounded by a changing world, the teacher of today must relate new knowledge and new experiences to his students. However, there is a gap between teacher needs and available textbook material. This problem is particularly acute in the areas affected by our efforts in the scientific exploration of space due to the exponential growth of scientific and technical information. Until the results of this research can be incorporated into textbooks for classroom use, supplemental material must provide a partial solution to meeting these needs.” The contents begin with lesson plans on the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems, the solar system, and observing the stars and planets, and go on to cover basic rocketry, gravity and motion, navigation, and studying the weather from space.
...for Secondary Levels. Prepared from materials furnished by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in cooperation with the United States Office of education by a Committee on Space Science Oriented Mathematics. Washington D. C.: NASA and the US Office of Education, 1965.
Large octavo, 192 pages. Original green wrappers printed in black. Illustrations and diagrams throughout the text. Lightly rubbed at the extremities, spine toned. An excellent copy.