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Reliability: Management, Methods, and Mathematics

California Institute of Technology
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  • Book Reviews
  • Engineering


Books THE MACHINERY OF THE BRATV by Dean E. Woohlridge McCraw-Hill Pavei backs .............. $2.95 Reviewed by G. D. McCann, professor of electrical engineering A review of this book should start with its author Dean Wooldridge re- ceived his PhD in physics from Cal- tech in 19.36 and is now serving as a research associate in engineering. With an eminent career both as a physicist and administrator at the Bell Tele- phone Laboratories, the Hughes Air- craft Company and the Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Company, he has recently directed a major portion of his attention to the nervous system. He has reviewed the literature and research from the various fields and points of view that seek an under- standing of nature's methods of intel- ligent information pi ocessing. In this book he presents a icrr~arkabh corn- prehensive surnrnaii together with some of the interesting analogies that can be drawn with engineering prin- ciples employed for computers and automatic control systems. The principal emphasis of the book is the central brain and higher-order thought processes of man. However, it also contains a comprehensive treat- ment of die sensory organs, the trans- ducer properties of light. touch, smell, and taste receptors. and the informa- tion processing characteristics of the iriterneuroris. Following this, is a des- cription of some of the more interest- ing simple reflexes, tropisms. and feed- back control systems found in both the lower-order animals and the high- er-order vertebrates. With these as illustrations of basic concepts used in the organization of nervous systems he then develops the principal subject of the book, the higher-order mental processes in the central cortex of man. Established concepts of complete sen- sory perception, conscious mental pro- cesses, and memory are presented, to- gether with information on the control centers and seats of emotion, speech, and personality. Written in a very readable form for

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