Personal Statement:

I am a professor in the History Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara where I research, write, and teach about the histories of technology and science.

My personal (non-UCSB) web page is here…


Advisor to:

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Technology and science after 1945 (primarily US)
  • “Emerging” technologies
  • The intersections of art, technology, and science
  • Technological communities

Current Projects:

I have a new book titled Making Art Work (The MIT Press, 2020); it looks at art-technology collaborations during the 1960s-90s with the focus being the activities and experiences of the engineers and scientists who paired up with artists. Connected to this, I have a courtesy appointment with UCSB’s Media Arts and Technology program. I am also involved with several projects associated with the Getty Research Institute’s new Pacific Standard Time initiative which is focused on art and science.

I like to connect my historical research to contemporary issues associated with technology and science, including debates about the “future of work,” automation, and predictions of a “4th Industrial Revolution.” As part of this work, I have a new project called “READ-ME” (under contract with The MIT Press) in which I explore a series of popular books about computing. In other words, how did computing become known to the general public as computers transformed from “giant brains” to “everything machines”?

Finally, I maintain an interest in a number of topics including: science and technology in the Cold War; how scientists adopted new technologies including computers and data handling; the history of “emerging technologies”; and the broader intersection of technology, science, and popular culture in the 1960s and 1970s.

Selected Publications:


  • Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture is coming out in 2020 with The MIT Press). It explores collaborations between engineers and artists from the 1960s onward. It shows how the categories of art and technology (and artist vs. engineer) have blurred, changed, and transformed over the past half-century. Some reviews of Making Art Work are here, here, and here.


Selected Articles:

Courses Taught:

My research informs my teaching. I offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including:

  • Science and the Modern World (History 20)
  • Technology and the Modern World (History 22)
  • The Atomic Age (History 105A)
  • Histories of Information and Computing (106C)
  • Machines, People, and Politics: Histories of Modern Technologies (History 109T)

In addition, I teach some more specialized small-enrollment undergraduate courses as well as graduate readings and research seminars.

Honors and Professional Activities:

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