Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Flashbacks October 29, 2010

One aspect of the passing years which I am finding quite fascinating is that occasionally people that I have know in the past reappear and are now quite famous.  I find that quite exciting.  Last year one of my professors from years ago in Berkeley came to Dublin for a special award from the Royal Irish Academy, among other things.  A friend of mine in my former book group is the Librarian at the RIA and she very kindly arranged for me to meet my former professor, Amartya Sen, whom I knew when he was at Berkeley back in 1965-6.   That was wonderful to have the chance to meet him again and roll back the years – and learn about some of the happenings in his life since that time.  This photo of him is from younger years.

Now more recently another of my professors at  Berkeley professor has appeared in the news.  Peter Diamond was a very young rising star – he was younger than me his mature student age 28, and he was tagged at that time as destined for bigger and greater things.  Sure enough, reading about him in the press, he has had a very distinguished career.  But seeing his name in the news brought me back to those days of sitting in the classroom and struggling with the mathematical approach to economics.

The photo above of Peter is from his home page.  At Berkeley I remember him as having dark wavy hair.  In one of the references I read about Peter, it said that he exemplified the tradition of Paul Samuelson in his breadth of interests.  To name drop a bit more, Paul Samuelson was a neighbour in Belmont where I grew up.  He was of my parents generation and I read that he died last year at the age of 94.

And speaking of UC Berkeley, I recently ordered a book from Amazon – a book of interest to Berkeley graduates.  when i was there, life at berkeley, 1960-2010, An anthology by 35 alumni authors.  Another delve into the past.

As for my interest in economics which I pursued at Berkeley – while I didn’t rise to great heights in the profession, I am very glad that I studied for and achieved that PhD degree, awarded in absentia in 1970, very shortly, like a few hours, after I gave birth to our second son in Dublin Ireland.  It was to do the field work for my PhD that I went to Africa, Nairobi Kenya; met my husband -to-be, married, moved to Dublin, etc. 

 This story to be continued.