[Computational Complexity] The Terror of the Unabomber
Ten years ago today federal agents went to a remote cabin outside Lincoln, Montana to arrest one Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber.
Just a couple of months before I started graduate school at Berkeley in 1985, one of the students in that department, John Hauser, picked up a package in the computer science lab that detonated and cost him some fingers and his vision. We all had heavy warnings about opening packages during orientation, what a way to start graduate school.
I didn't think much about the Unabomber again until 1993 when Yale University CS professor David Gelernter was injured when a package exploded in his hands. At this point the FBI sent major alerts to all of the CS departments including Chicago and started interviewing faculty about former students. The Unabomber became the main topic of discussion and many of us became very careful about opening any package until his capture in April 1996.
Many students today have never heard of Kaczynski or the Unabomber as he safely spends the rest of his life behind bars. But this mathematician turned bomber made us quite scared and paranoid back in the mid-90's.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 4/03/2006 07:35:00 AM