2008 saw the release of Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed", a documentary on the prejudice of Intelligent Design
theory in the academic world. The film looked at the controversy surrounding many recent events where universities
across the nation denied tenure or outright fired professors for ascribing to an intelligent design
view of the universe. One of the professors profiled in "Expelled", Dr.
Robert J. Marks, had a page hosted on one of Baylor's servers taken
down due to it's promotion of intelligent design. I decided to dig
deeper into the man behind such a controversy at my university. Is he
just a "nut" or maybe a rouge professor who knew the right people to
get his job. What I found out is that perhaps the smartest man of the 21st
century, helping develop technology
like the wireless mouse, is also a creationist and a proponent of what the academic world has label a psuedo-science.
a just a few of Dr. Marks' contributions to the advancement of the
scientific world. Marks and fellow colleagues, then at University of
Washington, developed a sophisticated way of predicting power demands
on utility grids using what he calls an "artificial neural network".
Usually just called "neural networks", neural networks are essentially
just computational models to measure non-linear statistical data.
In true renaissance fashion
Robert Marks also used his genius level knowledge of statistical models
to track radioactive seeds in cancerous prostates in real time! Marks
and his team would receive the Judith Stitt Best Abstract Award from
the American Brachytherapy
Society, brachytherapy is radiotherapy where a radioactive source is placed next or inside the area needing treatment.
In the area of detection theory, or just the ability to determine whether radio
waves are just noise or an actual signal, Dr. Marks and his team
described the performance of the Neyman-Pearson optimal detector in
non-Gaussian noise using a closed form solution.
If Dr. Marks
had just revolutionized just one field of study he would be considered
nothing short of a genius, to earn such high accolades from such a
variety of fields of study is an accomplishment that only ranks up
there with the likes of Newton and Einstein. Marks even has an award
for helping them develop more power efficient communication amongst wireless arrays!
one can see, Dr. Marks has done more with his life in his 50 some odd
years on the planet, than a hundred men can do in a life time. The most
exciting part is that Dr. Marks still has plenty of time left in his career
to revolutionize many more areas of science. Maybe some day you can
tell your grandkids that you heard of the genius of Dr. Marks and the
Marks family before they became icons of the 21st
century? Visit the links below to learn more about this amazing scientist.