I would like to express my deep appreciation to the many scientists with whom I have worked over the past six years. It all started with Paea LePendu, who first taught me about databases when I was naively knocking on doors in the University of Oregon computer science department. This book would never have been written if Tristan Nguyen and Dave Balaban had not noticed my work and encouraged me to continue. Dave Balaban and Peter Gates have been my scientific partners since the beginning, working hard to understand what I am offering and working just as hard to help me understand all that I am missing. Peter Gates has deepened my understanding of data in profound ways.
I have also been tremendously lucky to know Haynes Miller, who made it possible for me to settle at MIT, with the help of Clark Barwick and Jacob Lurie. I knew that MIT would be the best place in the world for me to pursue this type of research, and it consistently lives up to expectation. Researchers like Markus Buehler and his graduate students Tristan Giesa and Dieter Brommer have been a pleasure to work with, and the many materials science examples scattered throughout this book are a testament to how much our work together has influenced my thinking.
I would also like to thank the collaborators and conversation partners with whom I have discussed subjects written about in this book. Besides the people mentioned previously, these include Steve Awodey, Allen Brown, Adam Chlipala, Carlo Curino, Dan Dugger, Henrik Forssell, David Gepner, Jason Gross, Bob Harper, Ralph Hutchison, Robert Kent, Jack Morava, Scott Morrison, David Platt, Joey Perricone, Dylan Rupel, Guarav Singh, Sam Shames, Nat Stapleton, Patrick Schultz, Ka Yu Tam, Ryan Wisnesky, Jesse Wolfson, and Elizabeth Wood.
I would like to thank Peter Kleinhenz and Peter Gates for reading an earlier version of this book and providing invaluable feedback before I began teaching the 18-S996 class at MIT in spring 2013. In particular, the first figure of the book, Figure 1.1, is a slight alteration of a diagram Gates sent me to help motivate the book for scientists. I would also like to greatly thank the 18-S996 course grader Darij Grinberg, who not only was the best grader I have had in my 14 years of teaching, but gave me more comments than anyone else on the book itself. I would like to thank the students from the 18-S996 class at MIT who found typos, pointed out unclear explanations, and generally helped improve the book in many ways: Aaron Brookner, Leon Dimas, Dylan Erb, Deokhwan Kim, Taesoo Kim, Owen Lewis, Yair Shenfeld, and Adam Strandberg, among others. People outside the class, V. Galchin, K. Hofmeyr, D. McAdams, D. Holmes, C. McNally, P. O’Neill, and R. Harper, also contributed to finding errata and making improvements.
I’d also like to thank Marie Lufkin Lee, Marc Lowenthal, Katherine Almeida, and everyone else at MIT Press who helped get this book ready for publication. And thanks to Laura Baldwin, who helped me work through some painful LaTeX issues. The book is certainly far better than when I originally submitted it. I also appreciate the willingness of the Press to work with me in making a copy of this book publicly available.
Thanks also to my teacher Peter Ralston, who taught me to repeatedly question the obvious. My ability to commit to a project like this one and to see it to fruition has certainly been enhanced since I studied with him.
Finally, I acknowledge my appreciation for support from the O?ce of Naval Research and Air Force O?ce of Scientific Research1 without which this book would not have been remotely possible. I believe that the funding of basic research is an excellent way of ensuring that the United States remains a global leader in the years to come.
1Grant numbers: N000140910466, N000141010841, N000141310260, FA9550-14-1-0031.