Kelly A. Alces, Law
A Theory of Contract Law: Empirical Insights and Moral Psychology by Peter A. Alces
My father has done more than anyone else to inspire me to become an academic and to teach me what it means to be a scholar. Through his example, he showed me that a career in the academy could be a richly rewarding intellectual experience. This book, A Theory of Contract Law, exemplifies the things I admire most about my father's scholarly approach. He has an insatiable intellectual curiosity and is always teaching himself something new. Several years ago, he taught himself legal philosophy so that he could engage the scholars in his field as they began to try to find a unifying theory of contract law. Engaging the philosophy literature marked a significant change in his scholarly focus and required him to leave the comfort of his prior work to accept a new challenge. This book is the final product of that intellectual endeavor. It is his statement of the role of theory in contract law and theory's ultimate inability to satisfactorily explain the basic doctrine. He argues that moral psychology may offer more insights than philosophy in the quest to understand contract law. This book's conclusion marks the first step in yet another new scholarly journey – a study of psychology and neuroscience to find what answers they may provide to questions about our legal doctrine. In this book I see the kind of scholar I hope to be – one who is never finished learning, one who is creatively seeking better answers to important questions, and one who engages the ideas of others on their terms with great intellectual acuity and honesty.
Donald M. Autore, Finance
Free to Choose : A Personal Statement by Milton and Rose Friedman
Donald M. Autore In "Free to Choose," Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winner in Economics and perhaps the most influential economist of the past 100 years, promotes the idea that the best economic system is one in which individuals are free to pursue their own self-interests without the government standing in their way. Dr. Friedman often asserted that human and political freedom has never existed and cannot exist without a high degree of economic freedom. He asserts that government programs, despite their noble intentions, often have unintended and harmful outcomes that far outweigh any positive effect –– indeed, he often joked that the inefficiency in government is actually a good thing because it prevents further damage! I believe that Dr. Friedman's views on the economy are critically important today, as the reach of our federal government grows at an alarming rate.
Kathleen M. Clark, School of Teacher Education
The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, by Judith Rich Harris
Kathleen M. Clark Victor J. Katz forever transformed my view on the importance of history of mathematics in both teaching and learning mathematics, so it is appropriate that I share this academic milestone with him. I met Victor in 1999 as a participant in the Institute in the History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching, while I was still a high school mathematics teacher. At the end of the Institute we were given a copy of the second edition of A History of Mathematics: An Introduction – which is still the first text I turn to when confronted with a query about the history of a particular mathematical topic. I owe a great deal to Victor. He was a member of my dissertation committee and since 2006 every important opportunity afforded me to contribute to the scholarship on the role of history of mathematics in teaching has been a result of his intervention and recommendation. My wish is that A History of Mathematics: An Introduction (3rd edition) will reveal to others the extent and quality of Victor's knowledge and passion for the history of one of the greatest human constructions known.
Shirley J. Close, Music
Hugo Wolf Lieder Poetry by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857)
As was one of the leading composers of German Lieder, Austrian Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) composed over 250 songs. I was first introduced to a Wolf song in my undergraduate vocal studies and as I became fluent in German, never ceased to be drawn to his capacity to interweave the musical expression in both the piano and voice with the poetic text. The majority of my career was spent singing primarily the operas of Richard Wagner throughout Germany (where I lived and performed at the major European opera houses for 15 years), Japan and America. Wolf was an avid exponent of the compositional style of Wagner and therefore, for me, singing the songs of Wolf is an organic extension of my operatic work.
This rare and beautiful edition of the complete songs, 20 in all, on the poetry of Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff was published in 1905, just two years after the death of Hugo Wolf. In addition, it was published by the Heckel Verlag in Mannheim, Germany, a city in which I performed many of the leading dramatic soprano roles at the National Theater of Mannheim.
Eileen M. Cormier, Nursing
Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance by Neil Charness
As a nurse educator, I am interested in how nurses develop expert knowledge and expertise in the domain of nursing. My interest in cognitive processes underlying decision-making in stressful situations led to research collaboration with Dr. Jim Whyte focused on cognitions associated with clinical performance and/or patient care outcomes among nursing students in simulated task environments. Ericsson and his colleagues' work on expertise and expert performance has guided our inquiry, in particular, the application of the Expert Performance Approach (EPA) in developing and testing a deliberate practice protocol designed to improve novice nurses' clinical decision-making and performance. I chose this book for the FSU Libraries collection because it has provided us with such an informative and rich resource on the structure and acquisition of expert skill and knowledge, based on the latest scientific literature.
Ming Cui, Family and Child Sciences
Theory and Practice of Water and Wastewater Treatment, Ronald L. Droste
I picked this book for both personal reasons and its significance in the field. This book is the first book I co-edited in my career. It is the result of an earlier national conference on emerging adulthood. Scholars from the U.S. and other countries gathered to converse and inform each other about the latest research in this area of family studies. Chapters in the book represent those discussions and provide in one volume significant evidence-based findings for those engaged in this field to use. As Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, who coined the term "emerging adulthood", says in the Foreword, "This book contains a wealth of information about themes and variations of romantic relationships in emerging adulthood. It is an important step forward in expanding our knowledge of development during this new, complex, and fascinating life stage." As John Davis (2011) commented, "This book is a serious effort to build relationship science upon a solid foundation of basic research into fundamental psychological processes and principles" and "overall this volume provides the most focused and comprehensive scientific treatment of romantic relationships in emerging adulthood published up to date."
Chris S. Edrington. Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electronic Control of Switched Reluctance Machines, by Dr. Timothy J. E. Miller
Electronic Control of Switched Reluctance Machines, by Dr. Timothy J. E. Miller holds special importance in my academic career. In the fall of 2001, I was starting my first year as a PhD candidate. Due to the tragic events of 9/11, that forestalled the arrival of my adviser, I was without a guide for my research topic on Switched Reluctance Machines (SRM). Sifting through the mountains of literature was a daunting task and so I sought out a text that might help me. In an area as focused as SRM, I assumed there would be a small chance of finding anything, but I was fortuitous in that Dr. Miller had just released the book that very year. Edited by Dr. Miller, the text is a collection of state-of-the-art papers in the SRM area with a highly detailed reference section on each subtopic. The text was like a light in the dark for me as I read it cover to cover and truly made a difference in my studies and ultimately in my career.
William E. Fredrickson, Music
Teaching/Discipline: A Positive Approach for Educational Development, by Clifford K. Madsen and Charles H. Madsen, Jr.
I have known that I wanted to be a music teacher since the 7th grade. But this goal, and the commitment and knowledge that are necessary to do it well remained somewhat undefined for me until I arrived at Syracuse University in 1982 with a fellowship to complete a master's degree in music performance (not music education) after having taught music in a public school for 4 years. During that first year a friend told me about a wonderful course and the amazingly insightful book they were reading in the class. They said that even if I didn't take the class I should buy a copy of and read Teaching/Discipline. I did take the class and read the book. The result was my personal discovery of what it could really mean to be a teacher. This book works particularly well for musicians because it masterfully illustrates the dual nature of teaching as both an art and a science. In the 30 years since that time I have reread the book numerous times, participated in classes as both a student and a teaching assistant where the concepts drove the discussion (many of these were taught by Cliff Madsen), and used the ideas introduced to me in Teaching/Discipline to inform my own teaching in a K-12 public school setting and three universities. I have assigned countless teacher education students to read all or part of the book. Reading Teaching/Discipline helped me become a teacher.
Adam R. Gaiser, Religion
Ibadism: Origins and Early Development in Oman, John C. Wilkinson
The scholarship of John Wilkinson piqued my interest in the Ibadiyya, and convinced me that the literature of this group would be an important source for the study of early Islamic history. The Ibadiyya are the sole remaining sub-sect of the medieval Kharijites, an Islamic sectarian grouping who are neither Sunni nor Shi’ite. They survived up to the present time, and exist in Oman, as well as in North and East Africa. They have a vibrant literature stretching back nearly 1300 years – a corpus of texts that preserves a unique perspective on the events that shaped the early Muslim community, and especially on those incidents that split the community into those who would become Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kharijites. This particular book – the author calls it his “farewell” work – represents the culmination of over forty years of study on the Ibadis of Oman, and presents a unique and interesting thesis on their origins and development.
Carolina Gonzales, Modern Languages and Linguistics
Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle by Daniel L. Everett
I have selected this book for its honest depiction of fieldwork in the Amazonian forest, and because it brings to light the unusual Pirahã language, which appears to lack several linguistic properties considered to be universal. It is relevant to me because part of my research focuses on Amazonian languages with rare linguistic properties, which would not be documented without people like Daniel Everett.
Joseph R. Hellweg, Religion
Samori: Une Révolution Dyula by Yves Person
Yves Person was a French colonial administrator and historian of Africa. He dedicated much of his professional life to writing the book I have chosen: Samori: une révolution dyula—or, in English, Samori: A Jula Revolution. He wrote in part to atone for his and his father’s participation in the French colonial project, which exploited much of the continent. Person’s masterpiece of historical, anthropological, and linguistic research spans 2,377 pages across three volumes. A separate volume of maps that accompany the first three volumes was also eventually published; I hope the library will one day acquire it, too. (For now we have located volumes one and two.) Person’s work tells the story of Samori Touré, a late nineteenth-century Guinean warlord who established the Wasulu empire in West Africa to unify the region against encroaching French influence. Samori relied in large part on the intensification of the slave trade and the imposition of Islam to assure the resources and unity crucial to resisting colonial conquest.
Samori’s story is important not because those he conquered uniformly embraced him—they did not—but because his confrontation with France reverberates as a cautionary tale of the evils of the colonial adventurism that afflict the United States as I write this paragraph and that will have lasting implications for this country for decades to come. As in Samori’s time, so in ours: wanton Western imperialism spreads its militarism, tyranny, and violence wherever it goes, despite its avowed goal of expanding democracy. Those who know African history have seen all this before: the “civilizing mission” (mission civilisatrice) hides a shadow side easily discernible in the light of the past. This book that served me so well in Côte d’Ivoire as I first began to research the Odienné region of that country in the 1990s has a timeless quality to it, and an inspiring one. The breadth and depth of its scholarship match, in their perspicacity, thoroughness, and brilliance, the best of scholarship on any Western socio-political system. Person achieved his goal: a study that testifies to the rich, complex lives of Africans in ways that place them firmly within the modern world and on par with its other denizens.
Danling Jiang, Finance
Beyond Greed and Fear : Understanding Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing by Hersh Shefrin
“Beyond Greed and Fear” is the first comprehensive presentation of behavioral finance in a book. It is written by Dr. Hersh Shefrin, Mario L. Belotti Professor of Finance at Santa Clara University, who is known as the “father of behavioral finance.” Behavioral finance is an emerging field in finance that studies how the psychology of market participants affects investor behaviors, asset prices, and corporate policies. Psychology defines human desires, goals, motivations, and preferences. Understanding human psychology allows finance scholars to better understand the mechanisms that drive individual decisions, form asset prices, and shape corporate policies. As a young scholar in behavioral finance, I am indebted to this book, which presents numerous anecdotal stories that make behavioral finance easy to understand and fun to study. In my lectures, I often use these stories to deliver the ideas in behavioral finance. Reading “beyond greed and fear” will improve any investor’s financial decision making.
Kyounghee Kim, Mathematics
Beyond the Limit: The Dream of Sofya Kovalevskaya by Joan Spicci
Sofya Kovalevskaya was my childhood hero. She is the first woman who got a doctoral degree in Mathematics and obtained full professorship. Based on Kovalevskaya's writing, this book tells us about her love for Mathematics, the pursuance of her education, and her personal life as a woman in 1870's. I was introduced to this book by my collaborator about 10 years ago. I read this book with great pleasure. Hope you find this novel based on the true story inspiring.
April M. Knill, Finance
Regulating Global Corporate Capitalism by Sol Picciotto
I have chosen “Regulating Global Corporate Capitalism” because this book incorporates a lot of my research interests together including international finance, regulation and even international economic relations. The topic of this book is rich and timely, with implications that are incredibly important for our current condition. There is so much left to learn about regulation and capitalism, the findings of which could be helpful in guiding Washington D.C. in their efforts to pull us out of a very difficult period of economic history.
Jennifer L. Koslow, History
What Every Girl Should Know by Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger’s What Every Girl Should Know is important to me for multiple reasons. As a historian of public health, women’s history, and the United States during the turn of the twentieth century, I am always humbled by the history I study. I am particularly riveted by the courage of people who fought for social justice. Margaret Sanger sought to empower women by providing them access to knowledge about their bodies. For her actions, the U.S. government threatened her with incarceration. Yet she persisted. It was for these reasons that when I was asked to be the assistant curator on a major exhibit on the history of free speech in Chicago, I convincingly advocated that this book be included. This pamphlet is a compilation of the early articles that the government suppressed. Selecting this object and writing its interpretive label was a powerful moment in my professional development as a public historian—a historian who works to collect, preserve, and interpret the past with and for public audiences. Lastly, as a woman and the mother of two girls, I stand with Margaret Sanger’s belief that knowledge over our bodies is power.
Joseph C. Kraus, Music
Music Analysis in the Nineteenth Century, Volume 2, Hermeneutic Approaches edited by Ian Bent
n this second volume of Music Analysis in the Nineteenth Century, Ian Bent provides new translations of writings on music by composers, critics, and theorists of the nineteenth century. While the essays in volume 1 (Fugue, Form and Style) were primarily technical in nature, those in volume 2 address matters of musical meaning in symphonies, operas, and piano sonatas, with an emphasis on the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Since these writings are hermeneutic in nature, the authors employ metaphorical as well as technical language. Contributors include composers such as Berlioz, Wagner, and Schumann, the critic E. T. A. Hoffmann, and theorists such as Jérôme-Joseph de Momigny and Adolph Berhard Marx. A particularly valuable feature of this volume for those studying the history of music theory is the inclusion of explanatory introductions and generous annotations for each of the essays, and the resetting of all musical examples in an easily readable format. The translations are written in a vivid and engaging style that communicates the spirit of the original prose for a modern audience.
Janice M. McCabeJanice M. McCabe, Sociology
Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and College Culture by Dorthy C. Holland and Margaret A. Eisenhart
I chose Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and College Culture by Dorthy C. Holland and Margaret A. Eisenhart because of the impact that this book has had in spurring my interest in sociology and shaping my research agenda. Written by two sociocultural anthropologists, Educated in Romance focuses on why high-achieving high-school students who enter college as math and science majors turned their interests and identity from schoolwork to romance. I first read the book when I was an undergraduate at Tulane, where it helped me understand what I found surprising about my peers: many high-achieving women who were more focused on finding a husband than developing their academic interests. It also helped me see college peer culture as a topic worthy of academic study. My own research has built on their findings by seeking to better understand the relationship between undergraduates’ identities, including those based on gender, race, and first-generation-college-student status, and the structure of their friendship networks.
Timothy L. Megraw, Biomedical sciences
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
HeLa cells made many discoveries that impact human disease possible. These revolutionary cells were derived from the cervical cancer of one woman: Henrietta Lacks. The remarkable contribution that HeLa cells have made to science is difficult to measure, but everyone who works in life sciences is familiar with this thriving culture of human cells. Striking examples of these contributions are described in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” with exquisite story-telling clarity. I first used HeLa cells as a first year graduate student to study the biochemistry of RNA splicing in the nucleus of the cell. It was my first experience to handle human cells, to isolate the nucleus from them, prepare biochemically active extract from the nuclei, and then show biochemically active RNA splicing activity in the test tube. Today, my lab continues to work with HeLa cells to study the regulation of the cytoskeleton in cell division and disease. The HeLa cell line began in 1951 as a unique and remarkable tool, and remains an essential element in biomedical sciences to this day. While “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” highlights and chronicles the remarkable contribution this cell line has made to biomedical science, it also tells the wrenching history behind its genesis. The very personal story of Henrietta Lacks’ life, her family, and the lack of awareness by her and her family of the propagation of her cells, reminds us of the ethical considerations incumbent to scientific research. This book underscores the disparity that existed then, and persists today, and the politics of race in medical care. We are moved to applaud the many contributions Henrietta Lacks’ cells have made to science; yet also be reminded of the human plight behind such advances and the inequities that exist in our society and our health care system.
Lorraine M. Mon, School of Library and Information Science
The Atlas of New Librarianship R. David Lankes
This book raises provocative questions on the role and mission of information professionals in society. Lankes suggests that the mission should be "to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in communities," and that knowledge and learning is created through a participatory process of conversations, with a key component of this work in developing the right tools to support conversations in communities. The book literally contains a blueprint for action in providing a map which visually represents core concepts, skills, and values of the profession. Receiving the ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for 2012, this book continues to spark conversations on roles, values, and social action for 21st century information professionals in a rapidly changing and increasingly technology-driven world.
Jean Munn, Social Work
Children of the great depression: Social change in life experience, Elder, G.H.
This classic, longitudinal study of a cohort of 167 individuals who grew up during the Great Depression in Oakland, California changed the meaning of sociological study. By integrating concepts of historical, social, and individual time, the life course perspective as introduced in this study, acknowledges the meaning of context and environment on individual development. This perspective, and iconic work, moved the social sciences beyond extant child-centered, stage-based theories. Dr. Elder continued to develop the life course perspective and this edition includes information not available in the original book, focusing on the influence of World War II on life course. I was able to take a course from Dr. Elder during my doctoral studies. More notably, he willingly served as a guest lecturer in a class I taught as an adjunct. In addition to being a noted scholar, he has been a kind and accessible mentor for others interested in fully understanding human beings. Thus, I currently organize my class, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, around the life course perspective as it allows persons of all ages to understand human experience.
William S. Oates, Mechanical Engineering
Introduction to the Mechanics of a Continuous Medium by Lawrence E. Malvern
"This book provides a excellent foundation for learning mechanics and thermodynamics of solids. I have used the book throughout my career in graduate school and as a professor. It is one of the best for facilitating a stronger understanding of the complexities governing solid mechanics and thermomechanics of complex materials."
Elizabeth A. Osborne, School of Theatre
Arena by Hallie Flanagan
Hallie Flanagan’s Arena (1940) has been pivotal in my research. Not only does it serve as a wonderful and informative account of the Federal Theatre Project (FTP; 1935-1939) from the perspective of the program’s National Director, but it is also the book that inspired me to begin my own discovery of this turbulent and exhilarating period. In Arena, Flanagan explores the many different faces of the FTP—the only national theatre ever to exist in the United States—and considers the archival record, conversations with hundreds of workers, politicians, and theatrical artists, and her own aspirations for the expansive FTP. Flanagan’s methodology, as well as her unflinching defenses of the small town and rural projects, aroused my own interest in the ways in which the FTP could be re-imagined as a democratic “federation of theatres” that would come to represent the American people, and led to my own book, Staging the People: Community and Identity in the Federal Theatre Project (Palgrave, 2011). Arena has been my constant companion since I first read it in 2000. This particular volume carries even more significance for my own archival research, because it is a signed first edition.
Beth M. Phillips, Educational Psychology and Learning Systems
Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children by Betty Hart & Todd Risley
When asked to select a single book that represented a strong and enduring source of motivation and inspiration for my program of research to date, this is the book that sprang to mind instantaneously. Hart and Risley reported on a longitudinal study of home language experiences for children from several distinct socioeconomic backgrounds. The painstaking and revealing investigation of parent –child language interactions summarized in this book was not the first study to document the wide range of early childhood experiences to which young children are exposed, but it was the study that brought much needed public and research attention to this aspect of child development. The intimate portrayal of language use within these diverse families inspired me, and many others, to focus our work on learning more about the family environment for young children, and on how to best enable young children from all homes to succeed in school. As described in this book, many children from backgrounds of poverty arrive at preschool at age three or four already behind their more affluent peers in language and emergent literacy development. In an effort to support accelerated learning for at-risk children, much of my work on curriculum development and classroom observations arises from the goal of using empirically supported instructional methods to enhance these children’s language and literacy development at school. It is evident however, that remediation in school cannot solely close the gap for many children. Research is needed to better understand the influences on parents’ interactions with their children, and how all parents can be better able to support their children’s early language growth. Current and planned studies, conducted in collaboration with graduate students also inspired by this book, explore the parent-child language environment and its relation to educational, cultural, and community effects on families. In the future, I hope to bring together my expertise in parent training with my growing knowledge of early language development and intervention to create successful outreach programs to support parents in enriching the language and literacy of their children. The powerful message and intensity of need captured in this book thus has, and will continue to be a key source of my motivation in thinking about the nature of research I want to pursue, and what I would like to contribute to the broader community.
J. Kenneth Reynolds, Accounting
Die Faustdichtungen by Goethe
I hated school. From the first grade through junior high, I hated school. High school was tolerable, but only because I had discovered the joys of mathematics. I enrolled in college mostly to get away from my parents, but otherwise had little interest in it. Then on a whim, I took an introductory course in German language studies simply because it was different than my other courses. I enjoyed it and selected German as my minor area of study, despite having to listen to a lecture each semester from my advisors in the College of Business (not at FSU!) about the need take subjects that were "relevant" to my future. I acquired a deep appreciation for another culture in my German courses. I also learned English grammar in my German courses. More than anything, I learned to love school in my German courses. It was a professor of German who served as my mentor as an undergraduate student, not a business professor, and it was both the freedom and expectation to always challenge himself intellectually that I grew to envy. The academic fire had been kindled in me, and I knew that one day I would leave the world of accounting practice to pursue a career in academia. So when I think back on my career thus far, I am very appreciative of the contribution that German studies had on the path that I have followed. This book represents one of the great works of German literature: Goethe's Faust. My last course in German was an independent studies course. I was allowed to select my own readings, and chose Faust as the capstone for the semester.
Michael G. Roper, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
I know I could not have been successful at Florida State University without the help of my beautiful and intelligent wife, Christelle. We have had two children during these tenure-earning years, and it is my family that I am most proud of. I chose Goodnight Moon because it is a favorite book in our house and it reminds me of my children and how important they are to me.
Dmitry Ryvkin, Economics
Utility of Gains and Losses: Measurement-Theoretical and Experimental Approaches, R. Duncan Luce
It may seem a bit unusual that, being an economist, I chose to feature a Mathematical Psychology monograph as my inspirational book. I have always been convinced, however, that the science of Economics cannot develop without understanding how humans make decisions in simple situations; how we process and respond to stimuli, solve problems, learn, memorize and judge. These, and other related issues, are the subject of the field of Mathematical Psychology, of which Dr. R. Duncan Luce can be considered the founding father. My fascination with Luce’s work on mathematical models of human decision-making, and his truly scientific approach to measurement and psychological process models helped me develop a deeper understanding of theoretical and experimental methods in Economics and become the economic scientist I am today.
Gregory D. Sauer, Music
Six Suites a Violoncello Solo senza Basso by J.S. Bach; Edited by B. Schwemer and D. Woodfull-Harris
The Six Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach are the cornerstone of the cello repertoire. Ever since the great Pablo Casals brought them to prominence in the early twentieth century after discovering the music in a dusty book store in Barcelona, cellists have been plumbing their depths and scaling new heights in performance and technical understanding. Because no manuscript in the composer’s hand is in existence, we cellists are obliged to make important interpretive decisions without as much information as we often have with other works. This invaluable volume combines reprints of five early editions with elucidating comments and practical suggestions made by tremendous Bach scholars Bettina Schwemer and Douglas Woodfull-Harris.
I play, teach and live with this music every day. There is a lifetime of musical nourishment in these six masterpieces, at once very simple (what is more simple than a four-stringed instrument playing alone?) and at once staggeringly profound. I hope that this acquisition will allow generations of FSU cello students to explore this music with ever-greater appreciation for its richness and its clarity.
Anastasia Semykina, Economics
Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data by Jeffery M. Wooldridge
This book has been vital to my development as a theoretical and applied econometrician. Within a unified framework, it compiles a rigorous overview of advanced estimation methods developed in recent theoretical econometrics papers. It helped me to understand the major tools used in contemporary econometrics research and enabled me to comprehend the advanced theoretical discussion presented in econometrics articles. It also helped me to develop skills that are essential for doing theoretical research in econometrics. I have read this book multiple times, and still often refer to it when doing my research. This book is an excellent source of information for researchers who do empirical analysis.
Sachin Shanbhag, Scientific Computing
The Theory of Polymer Dynamics by Doi and Edwards
My relationship with "The Theory of Polymer Dynamics" has morphed into a friendship of sorts. When my graduate advisor first introduced me to it, my initial impression was that it was a cold, remote, and withdrawn book. It is not designed as an enticing invitation to the fascinating subject of polymer physics. However, once you have some orientation, and get comfortable with its unique pace and style, its steady treatment pulls you in slowly, but surely. It is a book built for lifelong companionship. I had the good fortune of collaborating with one of the authors (Prof. Masao Doi), whose meticulous and soft-spoken personality (not unlike Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot) is reflected throughout the book. Today, polymers are applied in settings that would have been unimaginable a couple of decades ago. It is easy to get distracted by the diversity of processes involved. A fundamental book like "The Theory of Polymer Dynamics" keeps you grounded, by assuring that the multitude of responses can be understood as a manifestation of a few basic principles.
It is the only book that I have two separate well-used copies of, at home and work.
David A. Siegel, Political Science
The Hidden Order of Corruption : an Institutional Approach by Donatella Della Porta
When corruption is exposed, unknown aspects are revealed which allow us to better understand its structures and informal norms. This book investigates the hidden order of corruption, looking at the invisible codes and mechanisms that govern and stabilize the links between corrupters and corruptees. Concentrating mainly on democratic regimes, this book uses a wide range of documentation, among which media and judicial sources from Italy and other countries, to locate the dynamics and internal equilibria of corruption in a broad and comparative perspective. It also analyses the "Transparency International Annual Reports" and the daily survey of international news to present evidence on specific cases of corruption within an institutional theory framework.
Jeffrey S. Smith, Marketing
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox
The book The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement was influential to me as it was an early example of how academic concepts related to real-life situations. Interestingly, the book is written in the form of a novel but is able to effectively highlight multiple concepts specifically related to operations management. Of particular interest to me is that the core tenet of the book is to learn how to recognize bottlenecks (i.e., constraints) in production processes, but The Goal also is effective at denoting how constraints span beyond production principles and can be applied to any process/system. Beyond the central focus on constraint management, the book is effective at highlighting the Socratic method of instruction whereby the answers to questions are not simply provided. Instead, the pupil is pushed, via a series of directed questions, to find his own answers which results in a richer understanding. In general, The Goal is a book that can help an individual understand the specifics of process management, but it can also be a learning tool by which a larger understanding of constraints to productivity can be gained. For me, this book is a valuable tool for both the academic and professional worlds as it has opened my eyes to the manner in which academic concepts can be more effectively conveyed to a divergent set of readers.
Timothy J. Stover Classics
The Gods in Epic: Poets and Critics of the Classical Tradition by Denis Feeney
This is book is quite simply a masterpiece. I first encountered it when I was a second–year graduate student and it inspired me to specialize in ancient epic poetry. His chapters on post–Augustan Latin epic in particular introduced me for the first time to a range of texts that had been traditionally neglected, and I am now an expert on these texts. I would not have adopted this specialization if it were not for Feeney’s penetrating analyses of these poems. Simply put, the book never leaves my desk and it has proven to be immensely helpful in enabling me to frame my own analyses. Although Feeney makes countless remarkable and original contributions to our understanding of ancient epic poetry, the most instructive aspect of the work for me is its method. Feeney manages seamlessly to connect philologically rigorous and painstakingly close readings of ancient texts to much larger issues of historical, literary, and religious contexts. As a consequence, he never loses sight of the forest for the trees, which is something I too have tried to do in my own work. The implicit lesson of Feeney’s book is ‘to always historicize’, and I have taken this missive to heart. In fact, my first book, which is forthcoming with Oxford University Press, is greatly indebted to Feeney’s methodology and the deep learning he offers in this book. It is no exaggeration to say that without this groundbreaking work, my own book would simply not have been possible.
Ned C. Stuckey-French, English
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
I asked to have the bookplate commemorating my promotion and tenure placed in the first edition of E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (Harper & Row, 1952) that is in Florida State University’s Goldstein Library. Charlotte’s Web has sold 45 million copies. With humor, a high stakes plot, and endearing characters, White’s book introduces kids to themes of birth, death, loyalty, and friendship. Children love the book, but so do adults. Parents read it to their kids and then parents and kids read it again on their own, or at least that’s what happened in our family. My wife Elizabeth and I read it to our daughters, Flannery and Phoebe, who are now 17 and 14, and several copies of the book still float around the house. Flannery loves animals and has spent a lot of her time at a horse barn where she rides, a barn just like the one Wilbur and Charlotte lived in. Phoebe loves drama and was able to play Fern Arable in the Young Actors Theatre production of Charlotte’s Web. The book is also important to me personally because E. B. White is the hero of my book The American Essay in the American Century, in which I argue that he introduced a new kind of personal essay to American literature and culture. Finally, I love Charlotte’s Web because I love writers and good writing, and I mean this generally and specifically – Elizabeth is a novelist and short story writer. In our house, the last line of Charlotte’s Web has special resonance: “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
Brian J. Stults, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Toward a Theory of Minority-group Relations by Hubert M. Blalock, Jr.
This book has had a major influence on my academic career in many ways. First, it played an important role in the development of my doctoral dissertation, which dealt with the influence of perceived racial threat on formal social control in the United States. Since early in my undergraduate studies, I had been interested in race relations, segregation, and discrimination, but this book forced me to think much more carefully about the manner in which these concepts were related, both theoretically and empirically. Moreover, this book continues to exert a strong influence on my approach to theory and research as an academic. Blalock takes a highly empirical approach to theory building, with the contention that theoretical propositions are only worthwhile if they are testable. Yet, he is equally clear in advocating that even the most rigorous and advanced statistical analysis must be firmly rooted in sound theory. I have attempted to follow this approach in my own research, using increasingly complex statistical methods, but with careful attention to conceptual clarity and theoretical relevance.
Thus, I recommend this book as an important contribution to our understanding of discrimination and prejudice, but also as a blueprint for conducting meaningful and theoretically valid empirical research.
Besiki Stvilia, School of Library and Information Studies
Introduction to Information Retrieval by C. Manning, P. Raghavan & H. Schutze
I have used this book since its publication in a master's course on Information Retrieval I have taught in the School of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University. The book is probably the best current textbook on the subject, and, helped make my course successful. Most importantly, the authors have kept open access to a digital version of the book, and therefore, deserve a thank you and recognition.
Philip G. Sura, Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Das Echolot Ein kollektives Tagebuch Januar und Februar 1943 by Walter Kempowski
Science and the humanities have something essential in common: A plethora of seemingly unconnected information has to be compiled and analyzed to reveal the underlying reality. As a scientist I have learned to analyze and understand nature. Fortunately, the physical world is relatively easy to understand because we, more or less, understand the language, mathematics, in which the book of nature is written. However, how do we analyze and understand the plethora of human experiences that, as a whole, constitute the human condition? This question is important to me because, as a German, I have been eager to understand the spirit of the Third Reich since childhood. How was it possible that a civilized people, including my family, was drawn into the vortex of a criminal regime? What were people thinking and how were they living their day-to-day lives? In the pursuit of finding answers, I was unsatisfied with the typical literary or textbook treatment of that time period. That is, I was eager to experience the overall spirit of the Third Reich. Had I been a better scientist, I might have built a time machine to live in Nazi Germany. Instead, I discovered Walter Kempowski’s (1929-2007) monumental literary project Das Echolot: Ein kollektives Tagebuch (Echo Sounder: A Collective Diary) that he began when, as a student in Göttingen in the early 1960s, he stumbled over discarded and foot-trampled wartime letters, diaries, and photographs lying in the street. Since then, Kempowski never stopped collecting such documents, compiling an enormous, uncommented collage: A collective diary. In very unsettling ways, Kempowski draws readers into the lives of German soldiers, German mothers and fathers, children, Nazis, non-Nazis, camp inmates in Auschwitz, foreign laborers, and countless others from all walks of life. In short: everyone! Kempowski realized that a comprehensive historiography is like a chorus with a plethora of voices. What emerges from that chorus is an almost unbearably realistic account of wartime Germany and the Third Reich, and one of the most ambitious and provocative literary renditions of German history.
Oscar Vafek, Physics
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman": Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman with Ralph Leighton
In former Czechoslovakia, I was lucky to have an excellent elementary school teacher of mathematics who somehow managed to open a door to the beautiful world of logic and imagination. I wasn't as lucky with sciences, and particularly with physics, until high school. There I became very interested in biology. The Charter 77 Foundation gave me a scholarship to spend my senior year of high school at the Peddie School in New Jersey, and I decided to take this as an opportunity to devote most of my time studying what most interested me then: biology. But the deeper I went the more I realized that I will not understand it unless I understand chemistry, which in turn led me to physics. Around this time I found Feynman's book in the Peddie library. After reading it there was no going back. I was infected by his contagious "pleasure of finding things out" that radiates from each chapter and from then on the rest somehow fell into place.
Xiaoqiang Wang, Scientific Computing
Navier-Stokes Equations: Theory & Numerical Analysis by Roger Temam
This is a wonderful book for the theory and numerical analysis of the Navier-Stokes equations for viscous incompressible fluids. In my research in numerical analysis of particial differential equations, this book is always the source of ideas and methods.
Patricia Y. Warren, Criminology and Criminal Justics
Race, Crime, and the Law by Randall Kennedy
In Race, Crime and the Law, Professor Randall Kennedy explores the salience of race in shaping crime and justice outcomes. He presents a compelling case for understanding how race manifests itself as a mechanism that shapes how individuals are policed, sentenced and more generally treated within the criminal justice system. This book is unlike prior research because it provides a systematic analysis of the criminal justice system and how race creates disadvantages for racial minorities at various stages of the justice process. After reading this work, I was compelled to further explore these issues. My research specifically focuses on policing and sentencing outcomes with the hope that it encourages academics and policy-makers alike to re-assess how and under what conditions race matters. By doing so, we will be able to rid ourselves of a justice system that does not provide equitable outcomes for similarly situated individuals.
Wei Wu, Statistics
Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code (Computational Neuroscience) by Fred Rieke, David Warland, Rob de de Ruyter van Steveninck and William Bialek
I started my research career on statistical modeling and analysis of neural systems when I was a doctoral student in applied mathematics.
"Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code" was the first book I had read and used on statistical models of neural coding during that time. Intended for cross-disciplinary training, this book focuses on mathematical analysis of neural data and introduces basic concepts and methods for information processing on "real" nervous systems. I was thrilled to find that various classical methods in statistics can be effectively applied to address fundamental problems in neuroscience. I really learned a lot from this book and have been enjoying reading and using it ever since.
Ming Ye, Scientific Computing
Applied Stochastic Hydrogeology by Yoram Rubin
The book has inspired me on my research of stochastic modeling and it is a milestone in stochastic subsurface modeling.
Fanxiu Zhu, Biological Science
Cancer Associated Viruses Ed. Erle S. Robertson
Infection, mainly viral infection, is estimated to cause one in five human cancer cases worldwide. Currently, seven viruses are known to cause human cancers, including Burkitt’s lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and cervical cancers. Virus-caused cancers are of particular public-health concern for the developing world as well as for the underserved and immunocompromised populations in developed countries. Study of cancer-causing viruses has been central to modern cancer research and has provided profound insights into cancers of both infectious and noninfectious etiology. Importantly, a hundred years of research has made these viruses identifiable targets for diagnosis, prevention, and therapy of human cancers. Significantly, vaccines against two of them, hepatitis B virus and human papilloma virus, have been developed. These vaccines are very effective in prevention of infections and have begun to reduce incidence of the liver and cervical cancers caused by these viruses.
This book is the most comprehensive review to date of studies on cancer viruses. The chapters are contributed by leaders in the field, including Dr. Baruch Blumberg, a Nobel laureate for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. The book includes not only human cancer viruses but also the well-known oncogenic viruses in other mammals. Collectively, the book brings a historical perspective on early studies to recent molecular approaches and to vaccine successes in cancer viruses. As a cancer virologist, I found this book extremely useful.