• Barry Simon to receive AMS Steele Lifetime Achievement award

    Those of you who remember the “Mother of all Windows” and “Mother of All PCs” books might be tickled to discover that Barry Simon – Mom’s co-author and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met – has just been announced as this year’s American Mathematical Society Steele award winner, for lifetime achievement.

    Barry’s an amazing guy. I “met” him when I posted a complaint about the mathematics behind a PC Magazine article. (The author of the article implied that a solution to an optimization problem in integers is passably close to a non-integer solution. Nevermind.) Barry disagreed with me. And if you’ve ever disagreed with Barry Simon, lemme tell ya, it’s an education unto itself. Like arguing with an encyclopedia. Barry won — although I still maintain my position was tenable — and we struck up a conversation that lasted through five enormous books.

    Although he’s probably best known, even now, as the co-author of “Methods of Modern Mathematical Physics” (no, his first name isn’t “Reed”), he’s about to release a new five-volume set “A Comprehensive Course in Analysis.” 

    Whenever I hear the term “smart,” I think “Barry.”

    It was a real honor and privilege to work with him and Mom.

    Wonder what Barry’s going to do for an encore?