About Jeff Hawkins

Jeff Hawkins

Jeff Hawkins is well known as co-founder of two companies, Palm and Handspring, and as the architect of many computing products such as the PalmPilot and Treo smartphone. Throughout his life Jeff has also had a deep interest in neuroscience and theories of the neocortex. His interest in the brain led him to create the non-profit Redwood Neuroscience Institute (RNI), a scientific institute focused on understanding how the human neocortex processes information. While at RNI, Hawkins developed a theory of neocortex which appeared in his 2004 book, On Intelligence.

With the team of Dileep George and Donna Dubinsky, Hawkins founded Numenta in 2005 to develop a technology platform derived from his theory. It is his hope that Numenta will play a catalytic role in creating an industry based on this theory and technology.

Jeff Hawkins earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1979. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003.

About Sandra Blakeslee

Sandra Blakeslee
Photo Credit: Joan Myers
William Morrow

Sandra Blakeslee is a science correspondent for the New York Times who specializes in the neurosciences. "When Jeff Hawkins first called me and described his theory of how the brain works, I was enchanted," Blakeslee said. "I realized instantly that he had found a Rosetta Stone for explaining countless mysteries of human behavior. Working with him was irresistible and, I'm proud to say, a great honor."

Blakeslee graduated from the University of California in Berkeley in 1965 where she majored in political science. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Borneo, she returned to the United States and joined the New York Times United Nations bureau as a news assistant. In 1968 she became a staff writer in the science department in New York. In the early 1970s, Blakeslee moved to California and began freelancing while raising two children. After spending several years with her family in Africa and Europe, she returned to California and worked briefly for the Los Angeles Times.

In 1983, Blakeslee rejoined the New York Times as a science correspondent and has continued writing for the paper since then on special contract. She is now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In 1995, Blakeslee and George Johnson, a New York Times colleague who also lives in Santa Fe, began the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop. "We bring top science writers to town each year to be our faculty and help students learn what the field is all about," she said. "Everyone goes home charged up. It's a wonderful experience to mentor new writers."

Blakeslee is coauthor of several books with Dr. Judith Wallerstein on the effects of divorce on children: Second Chances, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce and What About the Kids as well as a book on what makes marriage work, The Good Marriage. She also coauthored a book, Phantoms in the Brain, with psychologist and neurologist Dr. Vilay Ramachandran of UCSD.