Geek Of The Week: Stephen Hawking

Geek Of The Week: Stephen Hawking

This geek of the week is truly a legend in the world of science. Stephen Hawking is a British theoretical physicist. His books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity, and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. He has also achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; these include the runaway best seller A Brief History of Time (ABHT). It is this book that really got me interested in what he does. He is one of those few people who aren’t just smart, but revolutionary thinkers. He thinks on a level that few others can even comprehend, much less attain. He has taken Einstein’s work and expanded on it in ways that I think not even Einstein himself could have imagined. Despite this, with books like ABHT, he is able to communicate these very complex theories and ideas in terms the layperson can understand.

He is also known because he suffers from a variant of ALS (AKA: Lou Gehrig’s disease) that has left him bound to a wheelchair, unable to speak except through his computer. He has a great sense of humor and has even appeared on The Simpsons. The picture associated with this story was taken a few years ago when he took a ride on NASA’s “vomit comet.” This ride allowed him to get out of his chair and experience zero-gravity. He was quoted afterward as saying “It was amazing. . .  I could have gone on and on. Space, here I come.”

Stephen Hawking, the man, the legend, the Geek of the Week.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.