2007 Honored Faculty & Honored Books

Marco Atzori
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
by Jared Diamond
"Collapse is a masterful study of the causes which brought several societies of the past and of the present to an end. It is not just an interesting book for a historian or a sociologist, but it is a "must-read" for anybody making institutional or otherwise large-scale decisions concerning the environment. Diamond thoroughly discusses the potential conflict of interest at the interface between the society and the individual, with examples which left deep and yet forgotten scars in human history. The book describes in touchingly humane terms the glory and misery of the adventure of human societies, with worrisome implications for our present."

Indranil Bardhan
School of Management

My Life
by Bill Clinton
"My Life is a remarkable portrait of the life of our forty-second President, William Jefferson Clinton. It is the story of a man who rose from very humble beginnings to the pinnacle of political power as the leader of the free world. It documents the unlikely journey of a man whose presidency transformed the status of the United States as the sole superpower in the cold-war era and was instrumental in forging deep cultural and economic ties between the US and emerging economies in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. His presidency was also notable for his hands-on approach to uplift the plight of the middle class and the working poor, and lay the groundwork for economic opportunities that could arguably be considered the brightest in the last half-century. Last, but not the least, the book provides an enticing account of the personal details of President Clinton's life from his upbringing in rural Arkansas, to his ascendancy to the Presidency and global leader, while providing intimate details of the human being who many of us have come to deeply admire - even more so after he left the Oval Office."

Sergey Bereg
Erik Johnson School of Engineering and Computer Science

Computational Geometry: An Introduction
by Franco P. Preparata and Michael Ian Shamos
"This book opened up the field of computational geometry to me. It is well organized and lucidly written by two founders of the field. It inspired me so that I choose the computational and combinatorial geometry for my research. It is certainly a special book to me."

Homer Montgomery
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

The Life You Save May be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage
by Paul Elie
"Steeped in the Augustinian tradition of discovering God through sin, Elie presents the lives of literary greats Thomas Merton, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Dorothy Day as uniquely American characters who, from troubled beginnings, became great American writers at a time when great writing really mattered. At a moment when this country is ostensibly religious, is clearly self-centered, and is undoubtedly devoted slavishly to Mammon, I find their stories inspiring and spiritually refreshing."