Cool Stuff

Here are some interesting articles, books, and other things to read pertaining to electrical engineering, physics, science in general, and the subjects I teach at COD. Please feel free to recommend things to me as well!

News Articles


Most of these books are available for loan at the COD Library. If not, ask a librarian to help you order the book through I-Share or Inter-Library Loan.

  • I highly recommend reading anything and everything by author Jim Ottaviani, who writes science-related graphic novels.
  • Along the same light, Randall Munroe‘s books and comics (xkcd and what if?) come highly recommended. If you have the opportunity to see him talk, make sure you do.
  • The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean – a fascinating look at the periodic table of the elements, recommended even if you don’t like chemistry.
  • Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto by Alan Stern, David Grinspoon – if you’re into outer space, Pluto, or what it takes to fund and carry out a NASA project, this is the book for you.
  • Digital Apollo by David A. Mindell – I won’t lie, this book is not a quick or easy read. But it is a fascinating look at the first large-scale integrated circuit digital computer that was used to keep human beings alive for over a week, bring them to the moon, land them there, and successfully bring them back to Earth.
  • The Art and Science of Analog Circuit Design by Jim Williams – this book is 20 years old and somewhat outdated, and contains a lot of technical information, but the guts of these essays contain a lot of useful information about what it takes to be a good circuit designer. Skip over the stuff that makes your eyes blur.
  • Who Cares about Particle Physics? by Pauline Gagnon – probably the only book about particle physics that made sense to me as a person without a rigorous physics background. Pauline Gagnon is also an amazing person whom you should meet if you have the opportunity.
  • The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini by NASA – this is a free e-book that is available online through NASA.
  • A PhD Is Not Enough!: A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman – if you decide to “go for the gold” and get a PhD, it helps to understand what you’re getting into and what opportunities exist for you outside of academia once you’ve obtained your degree.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – this book is science-fiction, but it has a lot of cool engineering packed inside.

Women & Minorities in STEM

I believe that this requires its own section. This is clearly a subject that is very important to me, as science and technology cannot improve without a diverse pool of students, researchers, and professors. The following books and articles are among the best that I’ve read that cover this vital topic.

  • The Madame Curie Complex by Julie Des Jardins
  • Dignifying Science: Stories about Women Scientists by Jim Ottaviani (one of my favorite science authors)
  • Who’s Afraid of Marie Curie? by Linley Erin Hall
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong — and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini
  • The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight by Martha Ackmann
  • Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby
  • Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist by George D. Morgan