bob's research career: overview
the bullet list:
 grows up in a small rural village of
Florida, NY about
an hour northwest of NYC,
reads a lot
 Goshen Central high school in rural NY state (19661970)
math from Don Lyons, physics from Andy Kujawski,
Latin from first year teacher Charles Eisenhart 19671968,
[distant relative of the famous Princeton differential geometer and
Dean Luther P. Eisenhart],
reads Lieber and Lieber book "The Einstein
Theory of Relativity" in early high school and thinks he'll really be smart when
he learns what tensors are (but first calculus!),
learns Fortran with punch card programs,
writes paper for Don Lyons generalizing the
square root and cube root algorithms to the nth
root based on the binomial expansion before realizing it was not very efficient,
[looks like bob was not the only one to be
interested in this:
shifting nth root algorithm!]
evaluates by hand the coefficients of the expansion of cos(theta)^(43) for amusement (sick
or what?), reads lots of books, mostly novels,
never gets drunk or does drugs (this was the late sixties) but does attend
Woodstock in
the summer of '69
undergraduate years at Princeton University (19701974),
hair worn in pony tail in the fashion of the times,
diverted into physics from mathematics by fellow freshman
David Derbes and their then
young freshmen physics instructor
Mark
Strovink [his first year teaching].

ng],
receives sophomore inspiration in modern physics class
from relativist
John A. Wheeler
[remembrance by Ruffini et al],
[bob fails to go see Pink Floyd the night before a modern physics test
thinking he needed to study, what a mistake!],
bob meets bianchi and
Remo Ruffini (thanks to then
junior Jim Isenberg),
falls into general relativity (finally learns what tensors are),
learns some spanish to get through the language requirement, laying the foundation for
fluency in Italian some years later in Rome
 AB in physics 1974,
shares the Shuichi Kusaka Memorial Prize in Physics with four classmates of an exceptional
year for physics, inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and invited to join Sigma Xi
 graduate years at UC Berkeley (19741978)
bob gets better acquainted with bianchi cosmology and
thesis advisor Abe Taub
[Siam Obit]
first visit to Italy 1975 (Erice Cosmology School),
crosses paths with Michael Spivak,
visits Waterloo 1978 (GR8) long before meeting MAPLE,
gets drunk for the first time to see what all the fuss is about,
still doesn't do any drugs,
but cuts ponytail in spring of 1978
[see summer 1977 Road Trip in brother
don's 1970 GTO Judge, ponytail shot]
 PhD in physics in 1978,
receives Bernard Friedman Memorial Prize in Mathematics (for Applied Mathematics)
 UNC postdoc at Chapel Hill (19781979)
with James W. York, Jr.,
bob meets MGX (MG2 at Trieste)
 NATO postdoc at U of Rome (19791980)
bob does rome, with Remo Ruffini,
and the group G9,
learns Italian, wine, pasta, and the Italian way
of life,
first gets to Pompei to find it
on strike
 MaxPlanck Institute for Astrophysics (19801981)
postdoc with Juergen Ehlers,
bob tries to learn German but fails,
takes many trains between Rome and Munich,
GR9 in Jena, East Germany 1980 (before Unification!),
bob meets Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican
Observatory;
gets his first of many
Casio calculator Geek watches as a gift from
Michele and Uli when leaving Munich, allowing quick resetting
of his alarm after each class so that he does not forget the
next one during his future teaching career
 HarvardSmithsonian Center for Astrophysics
(19811983)
NSF postdoc with Bill Press and Doug Eardley,
bob meets TeX and computer terminals,
remembers Fortran from high school,
first trip to China 1982 (MG3 in Shanghai)
 Villanova University Dept of Mathematical Sciences (1983)
thanks to a chance telephone call from Fritz Hartmann, then chairperson,
bob is invited to speak and gets the job, then
bob meets calculus and the swedes Kjell and later Claes and
others
(1984 and after: about 8 visits to
Stockholm)
and ani (1985) and Paolo and later Donato
and Ponza
(1985),
and starts doing gravitoelectromagnetism...? (1988)
and VAX/VMS (retired in 2000), TeX, then LaTeX, then PC's and Windows,
and MAPLE and the
web in the mid 1990s ...
while starting his cooking diary "What, Me Cook?"
in the early 1980s,
migrating to the web with the
annual christmas card in the mid 1990s as
http://www.drbobenterprises.com,
producing the first
dr bob cd in 2002,
pushing to get the math department web site
established in 1999
discovering his mathematical and physics ancestry at Princeton through the
Princeton Mathematics
Community in the 1930s Oral History Project
which he discovered in 1999 after bob's PhD advisor and former Princetonian
Abe Taub died
and upon a chance meeting with retired historian of science Charles
Gillispie through the Princeton
mathphysics library, and transferred to the web to make it available to the
world
continues triannual visits to Rome at the
International Center for Relativistic
Astrophysics of Remo Ruffini until 1991 (marriage to
ani),
after which annual visits were reduced in number and duration,
including about 10 trips to Sweden,
with world travel to attend conferences in Italy (1983, GR10, Padova; 1985, MG4, Rome; 1995, GR14, Florence; 2000,
MG9, Rome),
and elsewhere: Sweden (1986, GR11, Stockholm), Australia (1988, MG5, Perth),
Japan (1991, MG6, Kyoto), Korea (1991, IK3, Seoul), Boulder (1989, GR12, Colorado),
Argentina (1992, GR13, Buenos Aires to Cordoba), Stanford (1994, MG7, California), Israel and
Jordan (1997, MG8, Jerusalem), Rio de Janiero
(2003, MG10), Dublin (2005, GR17), Berlin (2006, MG11), Paris (2008, MG12) passing through Hong Kong (1988, 1991)
and family visits to Anjar, Lebanon via Damascus, Syria (1995, 1997)
and direct to Beirut (1998,
2005, 2008),
and to Buenos Aires (1992, 2003)
taking thousands of photos along the way (digital from 2002)
and forgetting even the square root algorithm ...
 but the story continues... in 2005 bob is reconnected by his third Latin
teacher to his second Latin teacher Marion Williamson who retired after bob's
single 9th grade year with her in 1967 (his first Latin teacher was in 8th
grade in his home town Florida high school)at the age of 101 she was living
in her own apartment and doing email. Sadly she did not survive another year.
 bob buys a tux in 2008 to
attend the Mendel Award Dinner for his friend George Coyne, and gets to
return the following year for Ken Miller's dinner, and continues the habit
every year.
 in 2009 thanks to the global financial crisis which hit the previous
fall, ani and bob finally get to live together in Rome as (almost)
Romans for 2.5 summer months! Fully documented on
Facebook. Wow, what fun. repeated
in the same apartment each summer through 2012 so far.
 20092019 bob and ani become part time US expats in Rome each summer in
the same rented apartment, integrating into the social fabric of the
neighborhood near Villa Ada. Good food, wine, friends, scenery, art... no
car, no airconditioning. A few heat waves over the years tested us with the
last item. 2019 is bob's 40th anniversary of visiting Rome every year since
1979.
 2020 not a good year due to the global pandemic. The first year NO ROME
for bob.