The donor has supplied the following
statement about himself:
I have always loved solving mathematics
and science puzzles. I crave very deep understanding of both technical and non-technical
subjects. I enjoy playing various sports (ultimate frisbee).
I am an avid reader, reading about
50 non-technical books per year. I read history, politics, religion, biography,
science fiction, classics, and other fiction and non-fiction. Some of my favorite
titles are: Underboss ... Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia
by Peter Mass, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand,
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin, The Bible (in English, Catholic
version), The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, 1984 by George Orwell, The
Private Life of Chairman Mao by Dr Li Zhisui, A Brief History of Time by Stephen
Hawking, The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, Inside the Bible by Richard Sewell,
Winston Churchill's 6 volume set on World War II, Hannibal by Ernle Bradford,
Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson
I believe my physical health is
the most important asset I have and I therefore try to preserve it as best I
can. I eat a balanced, healthy diet, watch my weight, and follow a moderate
exercise program involving jogging, walking, and other exercise.
I believe mankind's greatest achievement
is the creation of forms of society that enable individuals to live and work
productively in relative freedom without fear. This has made possible the formidable
scientific and engineering achievements of the past few centuries. I believe
our greatest challenge for the future is preserving and improving our system.
I believe the most important open
problems of mathematics and science are the following:
- The P?=NP question. This is a
strictly mathematical question in its narrow form, but its answer determines
how easy it will be for us to make true computer intelligence.
- The nanotechnology problem. How
can we build machines that are the size of molecules? How do we build computer
tools to help us design these molecule-sized machines?
- Cheap plentiful energy. How can
we generate cheap, plentiful energy? From hydrogen fusion? By converting matter
directly into energy (say by dropping it into a black hole?).