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Essential reading

By Joe Kullman

stack of books
Essential reading

By Joe Kullman

Convergence magazine > Essential reading

Need inspiration? Encouragement? A compelling story to engage your heart and mind?

Faculty and staff members in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering recommend these interesting reads that point the way to vital knowledge, teach useful or life-changing lessons, or tell absorbing stories that take readers to fascinating places and times.

“Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”
by Max Tegmark

Georgios Trichopoulos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, recommends this book where the author envisions that artificial intelligence, or AI, will enable the next version of life, or Life 3.0. In this interpretation of life, humans will be able to change their hardware — the biological body — rather than wait thousands of years for natural evolution to do it.

“The Overstory”
by Richard Powers

“Talking to Strangers”
by Malcolm Gladwell

Violet Syrotiuk, associate professor of computer science, recommends this novel that is ultimately a story about environmental activism as well as Malcolm Gladwell’s book where he describes a theory of human nature he describes as “default[ing] to truth.”

“Slaughterhouse Five” and “The Sirens of Titan”
by Kurt Vonnegut

Konrad Rykaczewski, associate professor of mechanical engineering, recommends Vonnegut’s works, which both reflect a deeply sarcastic take on life that is balanced by his sense of humor.

“Rocket Men”
by Craig Nelson

Kae Sawyer, Fulton Schools associate director of Diversity, Inclusion and International Student Initiatives, recommends this comprehensive history of the space race that culminated with the Apollo 11 moon mission.

“Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic”
by David Quammen

“The Founders Mentality”
by Chris Zook and James Allen

Kerry Hamilton, assistant professor of environmental engineering, recommends Quammen’s look at the causes of pandemics, and Zook and Allen’s in-depth study of the essential principles of management.

Joshua Loughman

“True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen: The Only Winner of Two Nobel Prizes in Physics”
by Lillian Hoddeson and Vicki Daitch

Jennie Si, professor of electrical engineering, recommends this biography of a man that defied the stereotype of a genius physicist by being an everyman who never sought the spotlight.

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”
by Yuval Noah Harari

This recommendation by Yang Wen, a research advancement administrator, gives keen insight into human history through entertaining stories of historical events.

“Pattern Recognition”
by William Gibson

Prescott Perez-Fox, lecturer in the graphic information technology program, thinks readers could learn more about observing and questioning the world around us from this novel than from four years of higher education.

Mounir El Asmar
Marco Santello

“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”
by Greg McKeown

Mounir El Asmar, an associate professor of construction engineering and management, and Marco Santello, a professor of biomedical engineering and director of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, recommend this book about better investing your time and energy and only focusing on what really matters to you.

Mounir El Asmar and Marco Santello“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”
by Greg McKeown

Mounir El Asmar, an associate professor of construction engineering and management, and Marco Santello, a professor of biomedical engineering and director of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, recommend this book about better investing your time and energy and only focusing on what really matters to you.