"Rajaram the scientist"

Steve Farmer saf at SAFARMER.COM
Fri Aug 11 02:20:38 UTC 2000

A little expanded data on N.S. Rajaram's non-popular writings:

I've pointed out that Rajaram's boasts (in the ironically titled
"Sword of Truth" Webpage) that "For more than ten years, he was
one of America's best-known workers in Artificial Intelligence
and Robotics" have been *vastly* inflated. This is noteworthy
since those claims are linked in his autobiographical profile to
similar claims concerning his "decipherment" of Harappan -- which
we're told is "the most important breakthrough of our time in the
study of Indian history and culture."


Today I read all the articles ascribed to Rajaram in the two big
AI bibliographical databases noted in earlier posts. The object
was to doublecheck to make sure that the footnotes didn't contain
any substantial references missed in the bibliographies. The most
comprehensive of those databases turns out to be the "ISI Web of
Science," which is only available via a major research libraries.
The Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies (on the Web)
catches one earlier paper from 1980.

All but one of the papers/notes listed in those bibliographies
were published in InTech and ISA Transactions -- two trade
journals issued by the Instrument Society of America, with which
Dr. Rajaram was affiliated. Rajaram's footnotes list four other
papers/notes that don't show up in the online bibliographies. Two
of these un-indexed papers were published in a defunct trade
monthly, _Robotics Engineering_, which I haven't seen. Two other
un-indexed papers refer to contract work or conference proceedings.

A bio at the end of a very short InTech report from April 1986
credits Rajaram with being the "author of 15 papers on robotics
and AI as well as the book _Design of Expert Systems on the
Personal Computer_." The Reference Librarian at the Stanford
Engineering Library couldn't find a book by this title in the
Stanford Library, combined University of California library
systems (checked via Melvyl), the Library of Congress, or
international research library networked database known as RLIN
(Research Libraries Information Network) and the World Catalog
(OCLC). (RLIN and OCLC are what they use to check for
Interlibrary Loan.) Maybe Rajaram wrote the book but it was never
published. Maybe it was privately printed. Unless the Engineering
Reference Librarian and RLIN and OCLC are in error -- which I
doubt -- the book hasn't left a trace. Someone else can check if
they want.

Another InTech bio following a one-and-a-half-page nontechnical
story from April 1987 credits Rajaram with "over 20 articles" --
five more than the previous year -- and says that he is writing a
book entitled _Intelligent Manufacturing Systems_. Maybe these
new papers were contract reports or conference proceedings, which
would explain why they aren't indexed in the science
bibliographies. I assume that this book was never finished (and,
of course, that happens). In any event, like the earlier book
title, this one doesn't show up in the Library of Congress, RLIN,
or World Catalog (OCLC). Rajaram could have changed the title, of
course, but no technical books under any other title are credited
to him in the RLIN or World Catalog (OCLC) either, so far as I
can tell.

To sum up, following this more careful search: Before Rajaram
started writing rightwing books on Indian history he *did* do
engineering work in robotics and expert systems. His papers list
him as being in the Dept. of Industrial Engineering at the U. of
Houston until around 1992. But to claim that in the 80s he was
"one of America's best-known workers in Artificial Intelligence
and Robotics" -- putting him in a class with Sejnowski, McCarthy,
the Churchlands, Rumelhart, McClellan, Arbib, Feldman,
Feigenbaum, Winograd, Hinton, Munro, Jordan, Charniak, Winston,
and other workers in that period. -- goes *WAY* over the top.

Further on Rajaram's scientific ideas, refer again to:


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