Ponder Stibbons is a young wizard from the Discworld
. He works in the High Energy Magic Building
, at the Unseen University
, and as of The Last Hero
has been promoted to the position of Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic. He physically resembles your archetypical computer geek
, with a portly built, glasses, and so on. He is one of the wizards who designed the thaumaturgical supercomputer Hex
Ponder was initially the classic "man with ideas", ideas that could advance the state of the art in magic, but his attempts to push these ideas are often hampered by Archanchellor Mustrum Ridcully's poor listening skills and sheer bullheadedness, and perhaps in part Ponder's own problems with seeing the forest for the trees. Eventually, it fell to him to take on the role of "token sane person" at the University, and he quickly accumulated all the jobs that required a modicum of common sense, with the result that by the events of Unseen Academicals, he has enough votes on the College Council to form a majority all by himself.
Actually, Ponder didn't intend to do any revolutionary work in the field of thaumaturgy. He just wanted to live the old-fashioned life of big dinners and administration most wizards live, but he was mistakenly given a test meant for his layabout friend Victor Tugelbend*. It had only one question on it: "What is your name?". Naturally, Ponder got 100%, and was reluctantly catapulted into relative fame.
*You can read more about him in Moving Pictures