Education

Teaching

Research

Fellowships

Grants

Activities

Publications

Conferences

Media Appearances

Contact

 

 

Slava Gerovitch

Lecturer in History of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics

MIT

 

Work in Progress

My new project, The Culture of Abstract Algebra, is a study of patterns of communication and production of knowledge among research mathematicians in the second half of the twentieth century. Focusing on representation theory, this projects takes the Gelfand school as its central case study. The project also addresses the role of algebraic theories as conceptual languages and the interaction of different styles in mathematical research. This project studies how patterns in actual research practice correspond to the following stylistic oppositions: problem-solving and conceptualism; abstraction and tangibility; conceptualization and computation; minimalism and freedom of choice; and speculation and rigor.


Education

  • 1985
    M.S. in Applied Mathematics
    School of Automation and Computer Technology, Gubkin Institute of Oil and Gas Industry, Moscow


Teaching


Research


Fellowships


Grants

  • 2010    The Culture of Abstract Algebra: Conceptual Languages and Working Styles in Representation Theory in the Second Half of the 20th Century" (NSF)
  • 2010    "Oral History of the Soviet Space Program: An Annotated Edition," (NASA)
  • 2009    "Voices from the Russian Space Program" (NASA)
  • 2006    “Designing a Cosmonaut:   The Technopolitics of Automation in the Soviet Human Space Program(NSF)
  • 2003    “Trusting the Machine: Onboard Computing, Automation, and Human Control in the Soviet Space Program” (NSF)
  • 2000    Short-term travel grant from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)

Professional Activities


Publications

Books

Book Chapters

  • “Artificial Intelligence With a National Face: American and Soviet Cultural Metaphors for Thought,” in The Search for a Theory of Cognition. Early Mechanisms and New Ideas, edited by Stefano Franchi and Francesco Bianchini (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), pp. 173-194. (PDF)

  • Historical interludes in Pavel Etingof et al., Introduction to Representation Theory (Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society, 2011).

  • “The Human inside a Propaganda Machine: The Public Image and Professional Identity of Soviet Cosmonauts,” in Into the Cosmos: Soviet Culture and Space Exploration, edited by James T. Andrews and Asif A. Siddiqi (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), pp. 77-106.

  • “Memories of Space and Spaces of Memory: Remembering Sergei Korolev,” in Soviet Space Culture: Cosmic Enthusiasm in Socialist Societies, edited by Monica Rüthers, Carmen Scheide, Julia Richers, and Eva Maurer (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 85-102.

  • “Kyberkratie oder Kyberbürokratie in der Sowjetunion” (“Cyberocracy or Cybureaucracy in the Soviet Union”), in Macht und Geist im Kalten Krieg, edited by von Bernd Greiner, Tim B. Müller und Claudia Weber (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2011), pp. 376-395.

  • The Future of Human Spaceflight: Objectives and Policy Implications in a Global Context (with David Mindell, Scott Uebelhart, and Asif Siddiqi) (Cambridge, Mass.: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009).

  • “Creating Memories: Myth, Identity, and Culture in the Russian Space Age,” in Remembering the Space Age, edited by Steven J. Dick (Washington, D.C.: NASA History Division, 2008), pp. 203-236. (PDF)

  • "Roman Jakobson und die Kybernetisierung der Linguistik in der Sowjetunion," in Die Transformation des Humanen: Beitrage zur Kulturgeschichte der Kybernetik, hg. v. Horl, Erich / Hagner, Michael (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2008), S. 229-274 (in German).

  • "Human-Machine Issues in the Soviet Space Program" in Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight, edited by Steven J. Dick and Roger D. Launius (Washington, D.C.: NASA History Division, 2006), pp. 107-140. (PDF)

  • “From Communications Engineering to Communications Science: Cybernetics and Information Theory in the United States, France, and the Soviet Union” (with David Mindell and Jérôme Ségal), in Science and Ideology: A Comparative History, ed. Mark Walker (London and New York: Routledge, 2003), pp. 66-96. (HTML)

  • “Striving for ‘Optimal Control’: Soviet Cybernetics as a ‘Science of Government,’” in Cultures of Control, ed. Miriam R. Levin (Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 2000), pp. 247-64. 

  • “Writing History in the Present Tense: Cold War-Era Discursive Strategies of Soviet Historians of Science and Technology,” in Universities and Empire: Money and Politics in the Social Sciences During the Cold War, ed. Christopher Simpson (New York: The New Press, 1998), pp. 189-228. (PDF)

Articles in Journals

  • “Parallel Worlds: Formal Structures and Informal Mechanisms of Postwar Soviet Mathematics,” Historia Scientiarum, vol. 22, no. 3 (March 2013): 181-200. (PDF)

  • “Die sowjetische Kybürokratie,” Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, Heft VI/3 (Herbst 2012): 19-25 (in German).

  • “‘Why Are We Telling Lies?’: The Creation of Soviet Space History Myths,” The Russian Review, vol. 70, no. 3 (July 2011): 460-484.

  • “The Cybernetics Scare and the Origins of the Internet,” Baltic Worlds, vol. 2, no. 1 (2009): 32-38. (PDF)

  • “Die Beherrschung der Welt. Die Kybernetik im Kalten Krieg,” Osteuropa 59, no. 10 (2009): 43-56 (in German).

  • “Stalin’s Rocket Designers’ Leap into Space: The Technical Intelligentsia Faces the Thaw,” OSIRIS, vol. 23: Intelligentsia and Science in Russia and Abroad, edited by Michael Gordin, Karl Hall, and Alexei Kojevnikov (2008): 189-209. (PDF)

  • “InterNyet: Why the Soviet Union Did Not Build a Nationwide Computer Network,” History and Technology 24:4 (December 2008): 335-350. (PDF) (Russian version in Neprikosnovennyi zapas 75 (2011))

  • “‘New Soviet Man’ Inside Machine: Human Engineering, Spacecraft Design, and the Construction of Communism,” OSIRIS, vol. 22: The Self as Project: Politics and the Human Sciences in the Twentieth Century, edited by Greg Eghigian, Andreas Killen, and Christine Leuenberger (2007): 135-157. (PDF)

  • “Love-Hate for Man-Machine Metaphors in Soviet Physiology: From Pavlov to 'Physiological Cybernetics,'” Science in Context, vol. 15, no. 2 (2002): 339-374 (PDF) (Russian version in Voprosy istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki, no. 3 (2002): 472-506.)

  • “‘Russian Scandals’: Soviet Readings of American Cybernetics in the Early Years of the Cold War,” The Russian Review, vol. 60, no. 4 (October 2001): 545-68. (PDF)

  • “‘Mathematical Machines’ of the Cold War: Soviet Computing, American Cybernetics and Ideological Disputes in the Early 1950s,” Social Studies of Science, vol. 31, no. 2 (April 2001).253-87. (PDF)

  • “Perestroika of the History of Technology and Science in the USSR: Changes in the Discourse,” Technology and Culture, vol. 37, no. 1 (January 1996): 102-34. (PDF)

  • “Epilogue: Russian Reflections” (with Anton Struchkov), Journal of the History of Biology, vol. 25, no. 3 (Fall 1992): 487-95. (PDF)

Encyclopedia Entries

  • “Cybernetics in the Soviet Union,” in Supplement to the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet, and Eurasian History, vol. 7 (Gulf Breeze, Fl.: Academic International Press, 2006), pp. 159-164.

  • “Automation,” in Encyclopedia of Computer Science, 4th edition (Macmillan Reference/Grove Dictionaries, 2000), pp. 122-26 [reprinted in Concise Encyclopedia of Computer Science (Wiley, 2004), pp. 53-56]. (PDF)

Translations

  • Russian translation of Loren R. Graham, Science in Russia and the Soviet Union (Moscow: Ianus-K, 1998).

  • Russian translation of Peter Galison, “Trading Zone: Coordinating Action and Belief,” in Voprosy istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki, no. 1 (2004): 64-91. (HTML) (PDF)

  • English translation of Yuri Gagarin et al., “The Soviet Union Must Not Lag Behind the United States in Space” (1965), in Living Through the Space Race, edited by William S. McConnell (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006), pp. 42-48.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Matthew H. Hersch, Inventing the American Astronaut, in Technology and Culture 54, no. 3 (2013): 687-689. (PDF)

  • Review of James T. Andrews, Red Cosmos: K. E. Tsiolkovskii, Grandfather of Soviet Rocketry, in Technology and Culture 52, no. 1 (2011): 408-411. (PDF)

  • Review of Asif A. Siddiqi, The Red Rocket's Glare: Space Flight and the Soviet Imagination, 1857-1957, in Isis, vol. 106, no. 1 (2011): 193194.

  • Review of Loren Graham and Irina Dezhina, Science in the New Russia: Crisis, Aid, Reform, in Russian Review, vol. 68, no. 4 (2009): 729-730. (PDF)

  • Review of Ethan Pollock, Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars, in Russian Review, vol. 66, no. 3 (2007): 501–545. (PDF)

  • Review of Deborah Cadbury, Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space, in The Moscow Times Arts & Ideas Supplement: Context (5-11 May 2006): 4.

  • Review of Steven Usdin, Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley, in The Times Higher Education Supplement, no. 1 (3 February 2006): 30. (PDF)

  • Review of Alexander Vucinich, Einstein and Soviet Ideology, in Isis, vol. 95, no. 4 (2004): 739-740. (PDF)

  • Review of David Mindell, Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing Before Cybernetics, in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 26, no. 1 (January-March 2004): 71-73. (PDF)

  • Review of Eduard Kolchinsky, ed., Essays on the Lives and Works of the presidents of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, 1725-1917 (English title), in Isis, vol. 94, no. 1 (2003): 125-26. (PDF)

  • Review of James Harford, Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon, in Isis, vol. 89, no. 2 (1998): 365-66. (PDF)

Dissertations

  • “Speaking Cybernetically: The Soviet Remaking of an American Science.” Ph.D. dissertation. Program in Science, Technology and Society, MIT, 1999.

  •  “The Dynamics of Research Programs in the Artificial Intelligence Field.” Ph.D. dissertation. Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Moscow, 1991. (PDF)

Publications in Russian

  • Вячеслав Герович, Интер-Нет! Почему в Советском Союзе не была создана общенациональная компьютерная сеть // Неприкосновенный запас. № 75, 2011, стр. 21-42. (HTML)

  • (с А.Б. Кожевниковым) Международная конференция по истории российской науки и техники "Интеллигенция: российская и советская наука на мировой арене, 1860 - 1960" // Вопросы истории естествознания и техники. № 4, 2005, стр. 202-205.

  • Человеко-машинные метафоры в советской физиологии // Вопросы истории естествознания и техники. № 3, 2002, стр. 472-506. (PDF)

  • Проблема самоорганизации в исследованиях по кибернетике и искусственному интеллекту (The Problem of Self-Organization in Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence Research) // Концепции самоорганизации в исторической перспективе / Ред. А.А. Печенкин. Москва: Наука, 1994, стр. 125-145.

  • Подробнее о классической и неклассической кибернетических концепциях самоорганизации. Концепции самоорганизации в исследованиях по искусственному интеллекту (On the Classical and Non-Classical Conceptions of Self-Organization in Cybernetics. Conceptions of Self-Organization in Artificial Intelligence Research) // Концепции самоорганизации: Становление нового образа научного мышления / Ред. А.А. Печенкин. Москва: Наука, 1994, стр. 62-82.

  • Кибернетика, синергетика, искусственный интеллект: модели самоорганизации (Cybernetics, Synergetics, Artificial Intelligence: Models of Self-Organization) // Метафизика и идеология в истории естествознания / Ред. А.А. Печенкин. Москва: Наука, 1991, стр. 115-127.

  • Динамика исследовательских программ в области искусственного интеллекта. Автореферат дисс. на соиск. степени канд. филос. наук. Институт философии АН СССР, 1991.

  •  Динамика исследовательских программ в области искусственного интеллекта. Дисс. на соиск. степени канд. филос. наук. Институт истории естествознания и техники АН СССР, 1991. (PDF)

  • Развитие элементаристских представлений в истории искусственного интеллекта // Классическое естествознание и современная наука. Новосибирск, 1991, стр. 51-59.

  • Критический анализ теории рефлексии В.А. Лефевра // Материалы ХХХIII Всесоюзной научной конференции аспирантов и молодых спетцалистов по истории естествознания и техники, февраль 1991 г. Часть 2. Москва: ИИЕТ РАН, 1991, стр. 153-154.

  • Область искусственного интеллекта: науковедческий анализ // Синтез знаний: новый этап. IV Чтения памяти академика Б.М. Кедрова. Тезисы Всесоюзной научной конференции, сентябрь 1990 г. Одесса, 1990.

  • Проблема самоорганизации в кибернетике и искусственном интеллекте. Препринт No. 32 (1990). Москва: ИИЕТ РАН, 1990.

  • Развитие идеи самоорганизации в кибернетике и искусственном интеллекте // Материалы ХХХII Всесоюзной научной конференции аспирантов и молодых специалистов по истории естествознания и техники, октябрь-ноябрь 1989 г. Часть 2. Москва: ИИЕТ РАН, 1990, стр. 266-269.

  • Влииание идей философии науки на современные исследования по искусственному интеллекту // Формы представления знаний и творческое мышление. Тезисы докладов и сообщений к Всесоюзному семинару 3-5 октября 1989 года. Часть II. Новосибирск, 1989, стр. 165-167.

  • Человеческое понимание как объект фундаментальных исследований // Методологические проблемы взаимосвязи фундаментальных исследований и разработки интенсивных технологий. Москва-Обнинск, 1987, стр. 232-235.

  • Компьютеризация гуманитарных наук и проблема понимания: методологические вопросы // Современная математика: методологические и мировоззренческие проблемы. Часть 1. Москва-Обнинск, 1986, стр. 155-157.


Conferences/Lectures

  • “‘Socially and mathematically, it was a paradise’: Private Worlds of Soviet Mathematics in the 1970s”; HSS annual meeting, Boston, November 22, 2013

  • “Parallel Worlds: Formal Structures and Informal Mechanisms of Postwar Soviet Mathematics”; ASEEES annual meeting, Boston, November 22, 2013

  • "'Writing Across the Lines': A Parallel Social Infrastructure in Soviet Mathematics in the 1970s"; MIT's Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS) 25th Anniversary Symposium, MIT, November 9, 2013

  • “The Gelfand Century, 1913-2013”; Gelfand Centennial Conference: A View of 21st Century Mathematics, August 29, 2013

  • "Soviet Mathematics during the Cold War: A Parallel Social Infrastructure and Idealistic Ethos"; International Conference Dark Matters: Contents and Discontents of Cold War Science, Barcelona, Spain, May 31, 2013

  • “Unveiling the Construction of Truth: Archives and the Soviet Space Program”; International Conference What Have We Learned from the Soviet Archives?, Uppsala University, Sweden, 11 May 2013

  • “Innovation under Socialism: Formal Structures and Informal Mechanisms of Postwar Soviet Mathematics,” Annual Conference of Japanese Society for the Study of Russian History, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, 5 October 2012

  • Creative Discomfort: The Culture of the Gelfand Seminar at Moscow University”; Mathematical Cultures I conference, De Morgan House, London, 10-12 September 2012

  • “Soviet Cosmonauts in a Propaganda Machine: The Human Side of a Public Icon”; Understanding the Soviet Space Race workshop, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, 27 April 2012

  • Cyberocracy or Cybureaucracy? Cybernetics and the End of Utopia in the Soviet Union”; Intellectual History of the Cold War, Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Germany, August-September 2010

  • “Computing under Stress: Astronauts as Computer Users”; Microsoft Research New England Colloquium, June 2010

  • “Measuring Poetry: Andrei Kolmogorov’s Mathematical Poetics”; Sciences of Communication in the 20th Century, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany, March 2010

  • “The Feedback of Fear: American and Soviet (Mis)Perceptions of the Other Side's Cybernetics Agenda”; XXIII International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Budapest, Hungary, July 2009

  • “Memories of Space and the Spaces of Memory: Remembering Sergei Korolev”; Cosmic Enthusiasm: The Cultural Impact of Space Exploration on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since the 1950s, Basel, Switzerland, January 2009

  • “Cybernetic Translations: The Allure and the Menace of Cyberspeak,” keynote address; Thinking and Making Connections: Cybernetic Heritage in the Social and Human Sciences, Nobel Museum and Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden, November 2008

  • “Memory, Identity, and Culture in the Space Age”; Remembering the Space Age: Conference on the 50th Anniversary of the Space Age, sponsored by NASA and NASM Division of Space History, Washington, D.C., October 2007

  • “Engineering Truth: Memory, Identity, and Culture in the Soviet Space Program”; University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Slavic Department, March 2007

  • “The Engineers Who Came in From the Cold: Stalin’s Rocket Designers Face Khrushchev’s Thaw”; AAASS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., November 2006

  • "The Technopolitics of Automation and Human Control in the Soviet Piloted Space Program"; Technical University of Eindhoven, April 2005

  • “Human-Machine Issues in the Soviet Manned Space Program”; NASA workshop on “Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight,” Washington, D.C., March 2005

  • “The New Soviet Man in a Man-Machine System: The Technical Intelligentsia, Automatic Control, and the Space Race”; conference on “Intelligentsia: Russian and Soviet science on the world stage, 1860-1960,” University of Georgia, October 2004

  • “Integrating Humans and Machines for Spaceflight: American and Soviet Approaches” (with David Mindell); SHOT annual meeting, Amsterdam, October 2004

  • “InterNyet: Why the Soviet Union Did Not Build a Nationwide Computer Network in the 1960s”; Tensions of Europe conference, Budapest, Hungary, March 2004

  • “Trusting the Machine: The Technopolitics of Automation in the Soviet Space Program”; American Historical Association 2004 annual meeting, Washington, D.C., January 2004

  • “The Human Link”: Defining the Function of Cosmonauts in Early Soviet Spaceflight, 1961-1965”; the 2003 annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

  • “Human-Machine Interaction in the Soviet Space Program: The Cybernetic Context”; MIT, Mechanical Engineering Department Seminar, April 2003

  • “Human-Machine Issues in the Soviet Space Program: An Interactive History on the Web,” History and Sociology of Science Workshop, University of Pennsylvania, January 2003

  • Toward an Interactive History of Science and Technology: Reflections on the Dibner/Sloan Web Project; LXV plenum of the Russian National Committee of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Moscow, May 2002

  • "Soviet Cybernetics and Computer-based Objectivity in the Khrushchev Era"; Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 2000

  • "'Russian Scandals': Soviet Readings of American Cybernetics in the Wake of the Cold War"; Russian/East-European History Workshop, Harvard University, March 2000

  • "Speaking Cybernetically: The Discourse of Objectivity in the Post-Stalin Era"; the 1999 annual meeting of the History of Science Society, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 1999

  • "From Analog to Digital via Ideological: Computing and the Anti-Cybernetics Campaign in the Soviet Union in the Early 1950s"; the 1999 annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Detroit, Michigan, October 1999

  • "Science in Transition from Stalin to Khrushchev: The Case of Cybernetics"; Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science, Boston University, May 1999

  • "From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: Soviet Cybernetics as a Vehicle of Reform and a Bandwagon"; Science, Technology and Society Program Colloquium, MIT, April 1999

  • "Computing and the Anti-Cybernetics Campaign in the Soviet Union in the Early 1950s"; Colloquium on Cold War Science and Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, February 1999

  • "A Vision of the Future: Soviet Cybernetics As an Interdisciplinary Project and a Social Movement"; Joint Seminar for the History and Philosophy of 20th Century Science, Harvard University, November 1998

  • "Speaking Cybernetically: A Great Scientific Fashion of the Khrushchev Era"; Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 1997

  • "Negative Feedback: The Anti-Cybernetics Campaign in the Soviet Union"; the 1996 annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, London, England, August 1996

  • "Conceptual Bilingualism vs. Translation: An Example of Russian and American Strategies for Cross-Cultural Communication"; conference on "Culture, Conflict, and Difference," Princeton University, October 1995

  • "The Man-Machine Metaphor and Ideological Disputes in Soviet Science in the 1950s"; Joint Atlantic Seminar in the History of Biology, MIT, April 1994

  • "Artificial Intelligence with a National Face: A Comparative Study of American and Soviet Cognitive Styles"; the 1993 annual meeting of the History of Science Society, Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 1993


Media Appearances


Contact Information

e-mail: slava@mit.edu
web.mit.edu/slava/homepage
Room E18-420
Department of Mathematics
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139

 


© 1997-2014 Slava Gerovitch