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Ed Finn

Ed Finn is Founding Director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, where he is also Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering and the Department of English.

Titles by This Author

Imagination in the Age of Computing

We depend on—we believe in—algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It’s as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations—the marriage vow, the shaman’s curse—do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking.

Titles by This Editor

Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years. Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can been read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, “the modern Prometheus,” tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life.