Alexander Dewdney

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Alexander Keewatin Dewdney (born August 5, 1941 in London, Ontario) is a Canadian mathematician, computer scientist and author who has written a number of books on mathematics, computing, and bad science. He has also written two novels, The Planiverse (about an imaginary two-dimensional world) and Hungry Hollow : The Story of a Natural Place. Dewdney lives in London, Ontario, Canada where he holds the position of Professor Emeritus at the University of Western Ontario.[1] Dewdney is the son of Canadian artist and author Selwyn Dewdney, and brother of poet Christopher Dewdney.

In his student days, Dewdney made a number of influential experimental films, including "Malanga", on the poet Gerald Malanga, "Four Girls", "Scissors", and his most ambitious film, the pre-structural "Maltese Cross Movement".[2][3][4]

Dewdney followed Martin Gardner and Douglas Hofstadter in authoring Scientific American magazine's recreational mathematics column, renamed to "Computer Recreations", then "Mathematical Recreations", from 1984 to 1991. He has published more than 10 books on scientific possibilities and puzzles.[5] Dewdney was a co-inventor of programming game Core War.[6]

In 2003, Dewdney conducted three aerial experiments on cellphone communication, in attempts to prove that cellphones will not function on passenger aircraft when in flight.[7] The last experiment was filmed and broadcast by Japan's TV Asahi.

For the last 20 years, Dewdney has concentrated on biology, both as a field ecologist[8] and as a mathematical biologist,[9] contributing a solution to the thorny problem of determining the underlying dynamics of species abundance in natural communities.


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  2. ^ Description of "Malanga", "Four Girls", and "Scissors", Film-Makers Coop, retrieved 2013-09-16.
  3. ^ Wildwood Flower, directed by Dewdney in 1971, at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 2013.
  4. ^ Atwood, Margaret (1966), Some old, some new, some boring, some blew, and some picture books . Reprinted in Second Words: Selected Critical Prose 1960-1982, House of Anansi, 2011, ISBN 9781770890107 . Atwood reviews a poetry scrapbook by Dewdney, based on the "Maltese Cross Movement" film, on p. 66. She writes that it "raises scrapbooking to an art".
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  6. ^ D. G. Jones and A. K. Dewdney (March 1984). "Core War guidelines". Department of Computer Science, The University of Western Ontario. 
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