A life-long fan of games of all sorts, one of the deciding factors that brought Holland to UMich was the fact that it was Pac 10 and he couldn't stand to be at a school with a lousy football team!

Along with genetic algorithms, his most famous concept is that of complex adaptive systems, or cass, which he describes clearly and succinctly in his slender tome, Hidden Order. This book also touches on how his work interfaces nicely with both John Von Neumann's game theory and John Maynard Smith's notion of evolutionarily stable strategies.

A nice overview of his work, and that of the Santa Fe group may be found in the M. Mitchell Walkdrop book Complexity: the Science Emerging at the Edge of Order and Chaos.

John Holland founded the John Holland Gold Pen Company in 1862. He bought the company from a man who, fearing a Confederate invasion during the American Civil War. At the time, he specialized in dip pens.

The company moved to fountain pens, though not as quickly as other manufacturers. It is generally thought that, had they moved more quickly, the company might have done as well as the Parker pen company. In fact, Parker started as an agent for Holland, but, after determining a better designed, started his own company. Unfortunately, the company lost momentum, and ultimately had to close their doors during the 1950s.

The factory was in downtown in Cincinnati, Ohio, a few blocks from where my office is today.

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