Edward Ashford Lee

Edward Ashford Lee is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught and researched digital technology and computer science for more than thirty years. He was born and grew up in Puerto Rico and studied at Yale, MIT, and Berkeley. He has coauthored several textbooks on topics including digital communication, signal processing, embedded systems, and software modeling. This is his first book for a general audience.

  • Plato and the Nerd

    Plato and the Nerd

    The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology

    Edward Ashford Lee

    How humans and technology evolve together in a creative partnership.

    In this book, Edward Ashford Lee makes a bold claim: that the creators of digital technology have an unsurpassed medium for creativity. Technology has advanced to the point where progress seems limited not by physical constraints but the human imagination. Writing for both literate technologists and numerate humanists, Lee makes a case for engineering—creating technology—as a deeply intellectual and fundamentally creative process. Explaining why digital technology has been so transformative and so liberating, Lee argues that the real power of technology stems from its partnership with humans.

    Lee explores the ways that engineers use models and abstraction to build inventive artificial worlds and to give us things that we never dreamed of—for example, the ability to carry in our pockets everything humans have ever published. But he also attempts to counter the runaway enthusiasm of some technology boosters who claim everything in the physical world is a computation—that even such complex phenomena as human cognition are software operating on digital data. Lee argues that the evidence for this is weak, and the likelihood that nature has limited itself to processes that conform to today's notion of digital computation is remote.

    Lee goes on to argue that artificial intelligence's goal of reproducing human cognitive functions in computers vastly underestimates the potential of computers. In his view, technology is coevolving with humans. It augments our cognitive and physical capabilities while we nurture, develop, and propagate the technology itself. Complementarity is more likely than competition.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £24.00
    • Paperback $17.95 £13.99
  • Introduction to Embedded Systems, Second Edition

    Introduction to Embedded Systems, Second Edition

    A Cyber-Physical Systems Approach

    Edward Ashford Lee and Sanjit Arunkumar Seshia

    An introduction to the engineering principles of embedded systems, with a focus on modeling, design, and analysis of cyber-physical systems.

    The most visible use of computers and software is processing information for human consumption. The vast majority of computers in use, however, are much less visible. They run the engine, brakes, seatbelts, airbag, and audio system in your car. They digitally encode your voice and construct a radio signal to send it from your cell phone to a base station. They command robots on a factory floor, power generation in a power plant, processes in a chemical plant, and traffic lights in a city. These less visible computers are called embedded systems, and the software they run is called embedded software. The principal challenges in designing and analyzing embedded systems stem from their interaction with physical processes. This book takes a cyber-physical approach to embedded systems, introducing the engineering concepts underlying embedded systems as a technology and as a subject of study. The focus is on modeling, design, and analysis of cyber-physical systems, which integrate computation, networking, and physical processes.

    The second edition offers two new chapters, several new exercises, and other improvements. The book can be used as a textbook at the advanced undergraduate or introductory graduate level and as a professional reference for practicing engineers and computer scientists. Readers should have some familiarity with machine structures, computer programming, basic discrete mathematics and algorithms, and signals and systems.