A brain–computer interface, sometimes called a neural-control interface, mind-machine interface, direct neural interface, or brain–machine interface, is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. BCI differs from neuromodulation. BCIs are directed at researching, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. Research on BCIs began in the 1970s at the University of California, Los Angeles under a grant from the National Science Foundation, followed by a contract from DARPA; the papers published after this research mark the first appearance of the expression brain–computer interface in scientific literature. The field of BCI research and development has since focused on neuroprosthetics applications that aim at restoring damaged hearing and movement. Thanks to the remarkable cortical plasticity of the brain, signals from implanted prostheses can, after adaptation, be handled by the brain like natural sensor or effector channels.
Following years of animal experimentation, the first neuroprosthetic devices implanted in humans appeared in the mid-1990s. The history of brain–computer interfaces starts with Hans Berger's discovery of the electrical activity of the human brain and the development of electroencephalography. In 1924 Berger was the first to record human brain activity by means of EEG. Berger was able to identify oscillatory activity, such as Berger's wave or the alpha wave, by analyzing EEG traces. Berger's first recording device was rudimentary, he inserted silver wires under the scalps of his patients. These were replaced by silver foils attached to the patient's head by rubber bandages. Berger connected these sensors to a Lippmann capillary electrometer, with disappointing results. However, more sophisticated measuring devices, such as the Siemens double-coil recording galvanometer, which displayed electric voltages as small as one ten thousandth of a volt, led to success. Berger analyzed the interrelation of alternations in his EEG wave diagrams with brain diseases.
EEGs permitted new possibilities for the research of human brain activities. Although the term had not yet been coined, one of the earliest examples of a working brain-machine interface was the piece Music for Solo Performer by the American composer Alvin Lucier; the piece makes use of EEG and analog signal processing hardware to stimulate acoustic percussion instruments. To perform the piece one must produce alpha waves and thereby "play" the various percussion instruments via loudspeakers which are placed near or directly on the instruments themselves. UCLA Professor Jacques Vidal coined the term "BCI" and produced the first peer-reviewed publications on this topic. Vidal is recognized as the inventor of BCIs in the BCI community, as reflected in numerous peer-reviewed articles reviewing and discussing the field, his 1973 paper stated the "BCI challenge": Control of objects using EEG signals. He pointed out to Contingent Negative Variation potential as a challenge for BCI control; the 1977 experiment Vidal described was the first application of BCI after his 1973 BCI challenge.
It was a noninvasive EEG control of a cursor-like graphical object on a computer screen. The demonstration was movement in a maze. After his early contributions, Vidal was not active in BCI research, nor BCI events such as conferences, for many years. In 2011, however, he gave a lecture in Graz, supported by the Future BNCI project, presenting the first BCI, which earned a standing ovation. Vidal was joined by his wife, Laryce Vidal, who worked with him at UCLA on his first BCI project. In 1988, a report was given on noninvasive EEG control of a robot; the experiment described was EEG control of multiple start-stop-restart of the robot movement, along an arbitrary trajectory defined by a line drawn on a floor. The line-following behavior was the default robot behavior, utilizing autonomous intelligence and autonomous source of energy. In 1990, a report was given on a bidirectional adaptive BCI controlling computer buzzer by an anticipatory brain potential, the Contingent Negative Variation potential.
The experiment described how an expectation state of the brain, manifested by CNV, controls in a feedback loop the S2 buzzer in the S1-S2-CNV paradigm. The obtained cognitive wave representing the expectation learning in the brain is named Electroexpectogram; the CNV brain potential was part of the BCI challenge presented by Vidal in his 1973 paper. Neuroprosthetics is an area of neuroscience concerned with neural prostheses, that is, using artificial devices to replace the function of impaired nervous systems and brain related problems, or of sensory organs; the most used neuroprosthetic device is the cochlear implant which, as of December 2010, had been implanted in 220,000 people worldwide. There are several neuroprosthetic devices that aim to restore vision, including retinal implants; the difference between BCIs and neuroprosthetics is in how the terms are used: neuroprosthetics connect the nervous system to a device, whereas BCIs connect the brain with a computer system. Practical neuroprosthetics can be linked to any part of the nervous system—for example, peripheral nerves—while the term "BCI" designates a narrower class of systems which interface with the central nervous system.
The terms are sometimes, used interchangeably. Neuroprosthetics and BCIs seek to achieve the same aims, such as restoring sight, movement, ability
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an American science fiction magazine published under various titles since 1930. Titled Astounding Stories of Super-Science, the first issue was dated January 1930, published by William Clayton, edited by Harry Bates. Clayton went bankrupt in 1933 and the magazine was sold to Street & Smith; the new editor was F. Orlin Tremaine, who soon made Astounding the leading magazine in the nascent pulp science fiction field, publishing well-regarded stories such as Jack Williamson's Legion of Space and John W. Campbell's "Twilight". At the end of 1937, Campbell took over editorial duties under Tremaine's supervision, the following year Tremaine was let go, giving Campbell more independence. Over the next few years Campbell published many stories that became classics in the field, including Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, A. E. van Vogt's Slan, several novels and stories by Robert A. Heinlein; the period beginning with Campbell's editorship is referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
By 1950, new competition had appeared from Galaxy Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Campbell's interest in some pseudo-science topics, such as dianetics, alienated some of his regular writers, Astounding was no longer regarded as the leader of the field, though it did continue to publish popular and influential stories: Hal Clement's novel Mission of Gravity appeared in 1953, Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations" appeared the following year. In 1960, Campbell changed the title of the magazine to Analog Science Fact. At about the same time Street & Smith sold the magazine to Condé Nast. Campbell remained as editor until his death in 1971. Ben Bova took over from 1972 to 1978, the character of the magazine changed noticeably, since Bova was willing to publish fiction that included sexual content and profanity. Bova published stories such as Frederik Pohl's "The Gold at the Starbow's End", nominated for both a Hugo and Nebula Award, Joe Haldeman's "Hero", the first story in the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning "Forever War" sequence.
Bova won five consecutive Hugo Awards for his editing of Analog. Bova was followed by Stanley Schmidt, who continued to publish many of the same authors, contributing for years; the title was sold to Davis Publications in 1980 to Dell Magazines in 1992. Crosstown Publications remains the publisher. Schmidt continued to edit the magazine until 2012. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback launched the first science fiction magazine. Gernsback had been printing scientific fiction stories for some time in his hobbyist magazines, such as Modern Electrics and Electrical Experimenter, but decided that interest in the genre was sufficient to justify a monthly magazine. Amazing was successful reaching a circulation over 100,000. William Clayton, a successful and well-respected publisher of several pulp magazines, considered starting a competitive title in 1928. Clayton was unconvinced, but the following year decided to launch a new magazine because the sheet on which the color covers of his magazines were printed had a space for one more cover.
He suggested to Harry Bates, a newly hired editor, that they start a magazine of historical adventure stories. Bates proposed instead a science fiction pulp, to be titled Astounding Stories of Super Science, Clayton agreed. Astounding was published by Publisher's Fiscal Corporation, a subsidiary of Clayton Magazines; the first issue appeared with Bates as editor. Bates aimed for straightforward action-adventure stories, with scientific elements only present to provide minimal plausibility. Clayton paid much better rates than Amazing and Wonder Stories—two cents a word on acceptance, rather than half a cent a word, on publication —and Astounding attracted some of the better-known pulp writers, such as Murray Leinster, Victor Rousseau, Jack Williamson. In February 1931, the original name Astounding Stories of Super-Science was shortened to Astounding Stories; the magazine was profitable. A publisher would pay a printer three months in arrears, but when a credit squeeze began in May 1931, it led to pressure to reduce this delay.
The financial difficulties led Clayton to start alternating the publication of his magazines, he switched Astounding to a bimonthly schedule with the June 1932 issue. Some printers bought the magazines which were indebted to them: Clayton decided to buy his printer to prevent this from happening; this proved a disastrous move. Clayton did not have the money to complete the transaction, in October 1932, Clayton decided to cease publication of Astounding, with the expectation that the January 1933 issue would be the last one; as it turned out, enough stories were in inventory, enough paper was available, to publish one further issue, so the last Clayton Astounding was dated March 1933. In April, Clayton went bankrupt, sold his magazine titles to T. R. Foley for $100. Science fiction was not a departure for Street & Smith. They
The Last Question
"The Last Question" is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It first appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and was anthologized in the collections Nine Tomorrows, The Best of Isaac Asimov, Robot Dreams, The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov, the retrospective Opus 100, in Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Vol. 1. It was Asimov's favorite short story of his own authorship, is one of a loosely connected series of stories concerning a fictional computer called Multivac; the story overlaps science fiction and philosophy. In conceiving Multivac, Asimov was extrapolating the trend towards centralization that characterized computation technology planning in the 1950s to an ultimate centrally managed global computer. After seeing a planetarium adaptation of his work, Asimov "privately" concluded that this story was his best science fiction yet written, he wrote in 1973: Why is it my favorite? For one thing I didn't have to fiddle with it; this sort of thing endears any story to any writer.
Too, it has had the strangest effect on my readers. Someone writes to ask me if I can give them the name of a story, which they think I may have written, tell them where to find it, they don't remember the title but when they describe the story it is invariably'The Last Question'. This has reached the point where I received a long-distance phone call from a desperate man who began, "Dr. Asimov, there's a story I think you wrote, whose title I can't remember—" at which point I interrupted to tell him it was'The Last Question' and when I described the plot it proved to be indeed the story he was after. I left; the story deals with the development of a series of computers called Multivac and their relationships with humanity through the courses of seven historic settings, beginning in 2061. In each of the first six scenes a different character presents the computer with the same question; the question was: "How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?" This is equivalent to asking: "Can the workings of the second law of thermodynamics be reversed?"
Multivac's only response after much "thinking" is: "INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER." The story jumps forward in time into eras of human and scientific development. In each of these eras someone decides to ask the ultimate "last question" regarding the reversal and decrease of entropy; each time, in each new era, Multivac's descendant is asked this question, finds itself unable to solve the problem. Each time all it can answer is an: "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER." In the last scene, the god-like descendant of humanity watches the stars flicker out, one by one, as matter and energy ends, with it, space and time. Humanity asks AC, Multivac's ultimate descendant, which exists in hyperspace beyond the bounds of gravity or time, the entropy question one last time, before the last of humanity merges with AC and disappears. AC is still unable to answer, but continues to ponder the question after space and time cease to exist. AC realizes that it has not yet combined all of its available data in every possible combination, thus begins the arduous process of rearranging and combining every last bit of information it has gained throughout the eons and through its fusion with humanity.
AC discovers the answer, but has nobody to report it to. It therefore decides to answer by demonstration, since that will create someone to give the answer to; the story ends with AC's pronouncement, And AC said: "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" And there was light-- Planetarium shows"The Last Question" was first adapted for the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University, featuring the voice of Leonard Nimoy, as Asimov wrote in his autobiography In Joy Still Felt. It was adapted for the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, New York, under the direction of Ian C. McLennan, it was adapted for the Edmonton Space Sciences Centre in Edmonton, under the direction of John Hault. It subsequently played, as well, at the: Fels Planetarium of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1973 Planetarium of the Reading School District in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1974 Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh in 1974 Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport New York, in 1978, read by singer-songwriter and Long Island resident Harry Chapin.
Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco, California A reading of the story was played on BBC Radio 7 in 2008 and 2009. Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, Everything Cyclic model Omega Point Shaggy God story Technological singularity – The hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth The Best of Isaac Asimov "The Last Answer" – Science-fiction short story by Isaac Asimov Transhumanism – Philosophical movement The Last Question title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Street & Smith
Street & Smith or Street & Smith Publications, Inc. was a New York City publisher specializing in inexpensive paperbacks and magazines referred to as dime novels and pulp fiction. They published comic books and sporting yearbooks. Among their many titles was the science fiction pulp magazine Astounding Stories, acquired from Clayton Magazines in 1933, retained until 1961. Street & Smith was founded in 1855, was bought out in 1959; the Street & Smith headquarters was at 79 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. Francis Scott Street and Francis Shubael Smith began their publishing partnership in 1855 when they took over a broken-down fiction magazine, they bought the existing New York Weekly Dispatch in 1858. Francis Smith was the company president from 1855 until his 1887 retirement. Francis Street died in 1883. Francis Smith died on February 1, 1887; the company, which owned a six-story building at 79 Seventh Avenue, became a publisher of inexpensive novels and weekly magazines starting in the 1880s and continuing into 1959.
In the early decades of the 20th century, Ormond V. Gould was the company secretary. Ormond Smith remained company president until his death in 1933. In 1933, Street & Smith bought titles including Astounding Stories. In 1934 they put out 35 different magazines, looked after by about a dozen editors, including John Nanovic, Frank Blackwell, Daisy Bacon and F. Orlin Tremaine; the company paid one cent a word, standard base rate among the major publishing groups, though fringe publishers paid less. In 1937, Street & Smith discontinued a number of their pulp titles, including Top-Notch and Complete Stories, the start of a long-term shrinking of their pulp line. In 1938, Allen L. Grammer became president, he had spent more than twenty years as an ergonomics expert for Curtis Publishing Company, made a small fortune inventing a new printing process. He moved the offices into a skyscraper. Street & Smith published comic books from 1940–1949, their most notable titles being The Shadow, from their pulp magazine line, Super-Magician Comics, Supersnipe Comics, True Sport Picture Stories, Bill Barnes/Air Ace and Doc Savage Comics from pulp magazine line.
Street & Smith stopped publishing all their pulps and comics in 1949, selling off several of their titles to Popular Publications. Sales had declined with the advent of television. Condé Nast Publications, a subsidiary of the Newhouse family's Advance Publications, bought the company for more than $3.5 million in 1959. The company's name continued to be used on the sports pre-season preview magazines until 2007 when Advance division American City Business Journals acquired the Sporting News The Sporting News, merged Street & Smith's annuals into TSN's annuals. However, in 2017, American City Business Journals revived the Street & Smith name for its sports annuals; the Street & Smith name survives as the named publisher of Sports Business Journal, a Condé Nast periodical. Horatio Alger Isaac Asimov John W. Campbell Weldon J. Cobb Lester Dent Theodore Dreiser J. Allan Dunn Paul Ernst Walter B. Gibson H. Rider Haggard Robert A. Heinlein L. Ron Hubbard Carl Richard Jacobi Jack London John Hovey Robinson Clifford D. Simak Upton Sinclair Walter M. Baumhofer Earle K. Bergey Edd Cartier Emery Clarke Dean Cornwell Harvey Dunn Anton Otto Fisher Frank Kramer J. C.
Leyendecker Tom Lovell Hubert Rogers Harold Winfield Scott Amos Sewell Modest Stein N. C. Wyeth Syracuse University has: Dime Novels with cover image files Yellow Kid image gallery Street & Smith editorial records Bowling Green State University has: Dime novels in PDF format and cover images List of Street & Smith publications The Writer. January - December, 1919.. The Fiction Factory. Random House, 1955. Street and Smith at the Grand Comics Database Carl Jacobi stories for Street & Smith The Pulp Jungle by Frank Gruber. Street and Smith Digital Collection Street and Smith Corporate Records at Syracuse University
The Ugly Little Boy
"The Ugly Little Boy" is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. The story first appeared in the September 1958 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction under the title "Lastborn", was reprinted under its current title in the 1959 collection Nine Tomorrows; the story deals with a Homo neanderthalensis child, brought to the future by means of time travel. Robert Silverberg expanded it into a novel with the same title published in 1992. Asimov has said that this was his third favorite of his own stories. A Neanderthal child is brought to the present day as a result of time travel experiments by Stasis Inc, a research organization, he cannot be removed from his immediate area because of the vast energy loss and time paradoxes that would result, is kept in the present by way of a Stasis module. In order to care for the boy the organization hires a children's nurse. Repelled by the boy's appearance, Edith soon begins to regard him as her own child, learning to love him and realizing that he is far more intelligent than she first imagined.
She dubs him'Timmie' and attempts to ensure that he has the best possible childhood despite his circumstance. She is enraged when the newspapers refer to him as an "ape-boy." Edith's love for Timmie brings her into conflict with her employer, for whom he is more of an experimental animal than a human being. Her employer comes to the conclusion that his organization has exacted all the knowledge and publicity it can from Timmie and that the time has come to move on to the next project; this involves bringing a Medieval peasant into the present, which necessitates the return of Timmie to his own time. Edith fights the decision, knowing the boy cannot survive if returned to his own time due to his acquisition of modern dependencies and speech, she attempts to smuggle the boy out of the facility, but when that plan fails she disrupts the integrity of the Stasis module and returns to the ancient past with Timmie. In 1977, "The Ugly Little Boy" was made into a 26-minute telefilm in Canada; the film stars Barry Morse.
London-born actress Kate Reid played the role of Nurse Fellowes. Guy Big, in his last role, played the boy; the film is noteworthy for its fidelity to the short story, as well as the pathos between Timmy and Nurse Fellowes which garnered praise from both fans and reviewers. The 1991 novel Child of Time expands on the short story by introducing Timmie's original Neanderthal tribe as well as a children's advocacy group that seeks to liberate Timmie; the Neanderthals are shown sympathetically as a articulate people whose tribal society and culture is complex and sophisticated, a far cry from the "primitive brutes" which the future scientists consider them to have been, having only the fragmentary information derived from a little Neanderthal child. This Neanderthal society—shown from the point of view of an assertive tribal woman determined to prove herself the equal of the male hunters/warriors—is faced with the appearance of a different, competing kind of human being: the Cro-Magnons. While the Cro-Magnons try to negotiate with the Neanderthals, they cannot communicate and understand each other due to their differing languages.
The Neanderthal characters are filled with a sense of foreboding. The two story lines merge when Edith Fellowes makes the irrevocable decision to go back to the past with Timmie, her appearance coincides with the crisis point in the confrontation between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. As she is akin to the Cro-Magnon but has adopted a Neanderthal child, her appearance deflects the two groups from a would-be inevitable conflict; the ending suggests that in the modified past Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon would cooperate and come closer to each other in the common worship of the "Goddess" - with Timmie growing up to be her acolyte and a "demigod" himself. It suggests that the Neanderthals may not become extinct but could coexist with the Cro-Magnon interbreeding with them, which would change the whole of subsequent human history. Margaret Woods wrote about the novel: "Well,'Ugly Little Boy' draws you right in and does not let go. An enthralling plot, credible characters which make you feel great empathy - all of which serves to hide a fundamental flaw: the basic premise of the plot just does not make any sense.
What the hell is the use of spending a lot of money and effort in order to bring a Neanderthal child into the here-and-now - and proceeding to give him an English name, teach him English, place him in a modern environment with modern toys to play with? How is that supposed to help you learn about the Neanderthals? Not only is it cruel to the child - because he will never get out of his cage, never see America, will have to go back to his own time and survive there, it makes no scientific sense. The obvious course would be to send in a team of the world's most skilled linguists, charged with learning the child's language and forbidden to utter a single word of English in his presence. To place him in the closest approximation which could be made to a Neanderthal dwelling and fill it with Neanderthal artifacts, so that the child could teach researchers their names in his language. There is no reason whatsoever to teach the child anything at all about the world of the 21st Century, several good reasons not to.
It is the child who should teach the researchers all that a child could teach of Neanderthal life and society - and when they learned all they could, they should send him back
A paperback known as a softcover or سعيد, is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth; the pages on the inside are made of paper. Inexpensive books bound in paper have existed since at least the 19th century in such forms as pamphlets, dime novels, airport novels. Modern paperbacks can be differentiated by size. In the U. S. there are "mass-market paperbacks" and larger, more durable "trade paperbacks." In the U. K. there are A-format, B-format, the largest C-format sizes. Paperback editions of books are issued when a publisher decides to release a book in a low-cost format. Cheaper, lower quality paper. Paperbacks can be the preferred medium when a book is not expected to be a major seller or where the publisher wishes to release a book without putting forth a large investment. Examples include many novels, newer editions or reprintings of older books.
Since paperbacks tend to have a smaller profit margin, many publishers try to balance the profit to be made by selling fewer hardcovers against the potential profit to be made by selling more paperbacks with a smaller profit per unit. First editions of many modern books genre fiction, are issued in paperback. Best-selling books, on the other hand, may maintain sales in hardcover for an extended period to reap the greater profits that the hardcovers provide; the early 19th century saw numerous improvements in the printing and book-distribution processes, with the introduction of steam-powered printing presses, pulp mills, automatic type setting, a network of railways. These innovations enabled the likes of Simms and McIntyre of Belfast, Routledge & Sons and Ward & Lock to mass-produce cheap uniform yellowback or paperback editions of existing works, distribute and sell them across the British Isles, principally via the ubiquitous W H Smith & Sons newsagent found at most urban British railway stations.
These paper bound volumes were offered for sale at a fraction of the historic cost of a book, were of a smaller format, 110 mm × 178 mm, aimed at the railway traveller. The Routledge's Railway Library series of paperbacks remained in print until 1898, offered the traveling public 1,277 unique titles; the German-language market supported examples of cheap paper-bound books: Bernhard Tauchnitz started the Collection of British and American Authors in 1841. These inexpensive, paperbound editions, a direct precursor to mass-market paperbacks ran to over 5,000 volumes. Reclam published Shakespeare in this format from October 1857 and went on to pioneer the mass-market paper-bound Universal-Bibliothek series from 10 November 1867; the German publisher Albatross Books revised the 20th-century mass-market paperback format in 1931, but the approach of World War II cut the experiment short. It proved an immediate financial success in the United Kingdom in 1935 when Penguin Books adopted many of Albatross' innovations, including a conspicuous logo and color-coded covers for different genres.
British publisher Allen Lane invested his own financial capital to launch the Penguin Books imprint in 1935, initiating the paperback revolution in the English-language book-market by releasing ten reprint titles. The first released book on Penguin's 1935 list was André Maurois' Ariel. Lane intended to produce inexpensive books, he purchased paperback rights from publishers, ordered large print runs to keep unit prices low, looked to non-traditional book-selling retail locations. Booksellers were reluctant to buy his books, but when Woolworths placed a large order, the books sold well. After that initial success, booksellers showed more willingness to stock paperbacks, the name "Penguin" became associated with the word "paperback". In 1939, Robert de Graaf issued a similar line in the United States, partnering with Simon & Schuster to create the Pocket Books label; the term "pocket book" became synonymous with paperback in English-speaking North America. In French, the term livre de poche is still in use today.
De Graaf, like Lane, negotiated paperback rights from other publishers, produced many runs. His practices contrasted with those of Lane by his adoption of illustrated covers aimed at the North American market. To reach an broader market than Lane, he used distribution networks of newspapers and magazines, which had a lengthy history of being aimed at mass audiences; because of its number-one position in what became a long list of pocket editions, James Hilton's Lost Horizon is cited as the first American paperback book. However, the first mass-market, pocket-sized, paperback book printed in the US was an edition of Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, produced by Pocket Books as a proof-of-concept in late 1938, sold in New York City. In World War II, the U. S. military distributed some 122 million "Armed Services Editions" paperback novels to the troops, which helped popularize the format after the war. Through the circulation of the paperback in kiosks and bookstores and intellectual knowledge was able to reach the masses.
This occurred at the same time that the masses were starting to attend university, leading to the student revolts of 1968 prompting open access to knowledge. The paperback book meant that more people were able to and access knowledge and this led to people wanting more and more of it; this accessibility posed a threat to the wealthy by imposing that
Isaac Asimov was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards, his books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification. Asimov wrote hard science fiction. Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the "Foundation" series; the Galactic Empire novels are set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. With Foundation and Earth, he linked this distant future to the Robot stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson, he wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction novelette "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted the best short science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French. Asimov wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery, he wrote on numerous other scientific and non-scientific topics, such as chemistry, mathematics, biblical exegesis, literary criticism. He was president of the American Humanist Association; the asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, a literary award are named in his honor. Asimov's family name derives from the first part of azimy khleb, meaning the winter grain in which his great-great-great-grandfather dealt, with the Russian patronymic ending -ov added. Azimov is spelled Азимов in the Cyrillic alphabet.
When the family arrived in the United States in 1923 and their name had to be spelled in the Latin alphabet, Asimov's father spelled it with an S, believing this letter to be pronounced like Z, so it became Asimov. This inspired one of Asimov's short stories, "Spell My Name with an S."Asimov refused early suggestions of using a more common name as a pseudonym, believed that its recognizability helped his career. After becoming famous, he met readers who believed that "Isaac Asimov" was a distinctive pseudonym created by an author with a common name. Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Smolensk Oblast, Russian SFSR on an unknown date between October 4, 1919 and January 2, 1920, inclusive. Asimov celebrated his birthday on January 2. Asimov's parents were a family of Jewish millers, he was named Isaac after Isaac Berman. When he was born, his family lived in Petrovichi near Klimovichi, Gomel Governorate in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Asimov wrote of his father, "My father, for all his education as an Orthodox Jew, was not Orthodox in his heart", noting that "he didn't recite the myriad prayers prescribed for every action, he never made any attempt to teach them to me".
In 1921, Asimov and 16 other children in Petrovichi developed double pneumonia. Only Asimov survived, he had two younger siblings: a sister, a brother, vice-president of the Long Island Newsday. Asimov's family travelled to the United States via Liverpool on the SS Baltic, arriving on February 3, 1923 when he was three years old. Since his parents always spoke Yiddish and English with him, he never learned Russian, but he remained fluent in Yiddish as well as English. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Asimov taught himself to read at the age of five, his mother got him into first grade a year early by claiming he was born on September 7, 1919. In third grade he learned about the "error" and insisted on an official correction of the date to January 2. After becoming established in the U. S. his parents owned a succession of candy stores in which everyone in the family was expected to work. The candy stores sold newspapers and magazines, a fact that Asimov credited as a major influence in his lifelong love of the written word, as it presented him with an unending supply of new reading material as a child that he could not have otherwise afforded.
He became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1928 at the age of eight. Asimov attended New York City public schools including Boys High School in Brooklyn. Graduating at 15, he attended the City College of New York for several days before accepting a scholarship at Seth Low Junior College, a branch of Columbia University in Downtown Brooklyn designed to absorb some of the Jewish and Italian-American students who applied to Columbia College the institution's primary undergraduate school for men with quotas on the number of admissions from those ethnic groups. A zoology major, Asimov switched to chemistry after his first semester as he disapproved of "dissecting an alley cat". After Seth Low Junior College closed in 1938, Asimov finished his Bachelor of Science degree at University Extension in 1939. After two rounds