As a former student of Mike’s and someone who had the great opportunity to work as a preceptor for his wonderful course on the history of technology, I would be hard pressed to overemphasize the magnitude of my debt to him. I remember with great nostalgy the late afternoon seminars on the scientific revolution in his cramped office on the top floor of Dickinson overfilled with great books and funny little machines. The Monday lunch he shared with his preceptors in the cafeteria of the Robertson Hall were also highly instructive. I am also thankful for the eery experience he made me partake in when he asked me to be a preceptor for a course on the History of Cold War Science for alumni of the Class of ’46.
A great teacher, Mike also influenced me very deeply as a scholar. Indeed, he was one of those whose published work, no matter how impressive it is, seems so much smaller than the extent of his deep command over the history of science and his inspirational insights in some of its greatest questions. I was especially struck by his panoramic views on the history of mathematization. For as long as I will have to deal with the subject, his voice wil be resounding very vividly in my mind.