Theodore Kaczynski Essay

Submitted By hanahal
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Dr. Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski, a.k.a. "The Unabomber"
Theodore Kaczynski was born on May 22, 1942 in Evergreen Park, Illinois. He is the son of second generation Polish Americans Theodore and Wanda Kaczynski. When he was only nine months old, he was placed in isolation at the hospital without allowing any visitors, his body had been covered in hives and doctors were unsure of the cause. Over an eight month period, he was treated in the hospital quite frequently. . At an early age, he excelled at math. When it was discovered that he had an IQ of 167, he was allowed to skip 6th grade and advance to 7th grade. This put him around older children and at times Kaczynski felt as if he didn’t fit in and was often bullied. Ted Kaczynski had a fear of people and buildings, rather than interacting with other children he often played alongside of them. During his sophomore year of high school, he began to find math too simple. He would often skip class to write in his journal. This period of this life is when he became obsessed with mathematics, spending hours of time working differential equations. This led to him also skipping the eleventh grade. At the age of 16, he was accepted into Harvard University. While at Harvard, Kaczynski was taught by famed logician Willard Van Orman Quine, scoring at the top of Quine's class with a 98.9% final grade.
He also participated in a personality assessment study done by Dr. Henry Murray, an expert on stress interviews. Participants in Murray's study were told they would be debating personal philosophy with a fellow student. Instead, they were subjected to a "purposely brutalizing psychological experiment stress test, which was an extremely stressful, personal, and prolonged psychological attack”. During the test, students were taken into a room and connected to electrodes that monitored their physiological reactions, while facing bright lights and a one-way mirror. Each student had previously written an essay detailing their personal beliefs and aspirations: the essays were turned over to an anonymous attorney, who would enter the room and individually belittle each student based in part on the disclosures they had made. This was filmed, and students' expressions of impotent rage were played back to them several times later in the study. According to author Alston Chase, Kaczynski's records from that time period suggest he was emotionally stable when the study began. Kaczynski's lawyers attributed some of his emotional instability and dislike of mind control to his participation in this study. Some have suggested that this experience may have led to Kaczynski's future actions.
In 1962, Kaczynski graduated from Harvard at the age of 20. He then enrolled into the University of Michigan, earning a PhD in mathematics. Kaczynski specialized in a branch of complex analysis known as the geometric function theory. Kaczynski earned his PhD with his thesis entitled "Boundary Functions" by solving a problem so difficult that Piranian could not figure it out. In 1967, Ted won the University of Michigan's $100 Sumner B. Myers Prize, which recognized his thesis as the school's best in mathematics that year. While a graduate student at Michigan, he held a National Science Foundation fellowship and taught undergraduates for three years. He also published two articles related to his dissertation in mathematical journals, and four more after leaving Michigan. Later on he ended became an assistant professor of math and taught undergraduate classes at the University of Berkeley, California. Many of his students noticed that he was not comfortable in the teaching environment. He often stuttered and mumbled while teaching, was nervous in front of a class, and ignoring students during designated office hours. In 1969, he resigned for no obvious reason.
In 1971, he moved back in with his parents in Lombard, Illinois. Two years later he moved to a small remote cabin he built himself outside of Lincoln, Montana.…