Consulting, Publishing, Engineering

“The man who changed everything”

I’ve been a member of IEEE/PCS for a while, but unlike STC with its local chapters all over the place, PCS is smaller and does not have many local meetings. They do have a great annual conference–in Ireland last year and next year in Saratoga Springs, NY–but not so many local meetings. PCS also differs from STC in that it is backed by structure of the larger IEEE organization, which does indeed have local meetings.

I went to my first-ever IEEE Tucson section meeting, mostly because I thought the topic was interesting. It was “The Life of James Clerk Maxwell” presented by Dr. James C. Rautio, the founder of Sonnet Software. How about that, history and microwave engineering in the same talk!

It was a real pleasure meeting Dr. Rautio, he is not only an expert on James Clerk Maxwell, but he also has a good handle on the business outlook in his industry–specifically microwave engineering software–which, like many others, has been undergoing a spate of acquisitions lately.

There are only two biographies of Maxwell at the moment–The Man Who Changed Everything : The Life of James Clerk Maxwell by Basil Mahon, published in 2003 and pretty widely available, and The life of James Clerk Maxwell by Lewis Campbell and William Garnett, published in 1882. The IEEE presentation was based mostly on the book by Campbell, who was a childhood buddy of Maxwell’s. Campbell’s book can be bought through services like Amazon or ABEbooks for $300 and up, or you can download an electronic copy thanks to the preservation efforts of Dr. Rautio.

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