Monday, November 3, 2008

Academic Trees

The summer of 2004, after completing my thesis, I found myself with plenty of time on my hands. So, I decided that it would be fun to research my academic genealogy. I knew the advisor of my advisor, Hector Garcia-Molina, and it was rather easy to find his advisor, Gio Widerhold. Gio had also listed John Amsden Starkweather as his own advisor.

Going beyond that was proven kind of difficult. I had to order the thesis of John Starkweather and see the dedication there: His advisor was Carl Porter Duncan. In a similar pattern, and spending considerable time at the library, I managed to dig my genealogy back to 1800's and to Hermann von Helmhotz. After that, I hit the entry at Chemical Genealogy and relied on the tree there.

After that, I posted my academic ancestors tree on my home page, letting friends and (academic) family know about it.

Today, through chain of events, I happened to run into that also contains my genealogy and goes back to 1000AD. By expanding the tree as much as possible, I managed to get a pretty impressive printouts, taking four 11x17 pages :-)

Until now, my tree was going back "only" to 1500's and to Pierre Richer de Belleval, who was teaching in Avignon, France. Now, I can proudly say that my tree goes back 1000AD, and its oldest roots are Greek Byzantines, including names such as Ioannis Mauropous, Michail Psellos, and Grigorios Palamas.

Accuracy of the information? I have no idea. But I have something to talk about when I go back to Greece for the winter break.