- 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 (1966-1970)

math from Don Lyons, physics from Andy Kujawski,

Latin from first year teacher Charles Eisenhart 1967-1968,

[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 alorithm!]

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 (1970-1974),

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],

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 (1974-1978)

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 (1978-1979)

with James W. York, Jr.,

bob meets MGX (MG2 at Trieste)

- NATO postdoc at U of Rome (1979-1980)

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

- Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics (1980-1981)

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

- Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
(1981-1983)

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

math-physics library, and transferred to the web to make it available to the world

continues tri-annual 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.