We’d like to acknowledge the people at Manning who gave us the opportunity to publish this work. Aside from their contribution in bringing the manuscript to its final form, they patiently waited for its completion, which took much longer than we’d originally planned. In particular, we’d like to thank Marjan Bace, Jeff Bleiel, Karen Tegtmeyer, Megan Yockey, Mary Piergies, Maureen Spencer, Steven Hong, Ron Tomich, Benjamin Berg, Elizabeth Martin, and everyone else on the Manning team who worked on the book but whose names we do not know. Thanks for your hard work.
We’d also like to recognize the time, effort, and valuable feedback that we received from our reviewers and our visitors in the Author Online forum. Your feedback helped make this book better in many ways. We understand how limited and precious “free” time is for every professional so please know that your contributions were greatly appreciated.
We especially thank the following reviewers for reading our manuscript a number of times at various stages during its development and for sharing their comments with us: Robert Hanson, Sumit Pal, Carlton Gibson, David Hanson, Eric Swanson, Frank Wang, Bob Hutchison, Craig Walls, Nicholas C. Heinle, Vlad Gorsky, Alessandro Gallo, Craig Lancaster, Jason Kolter, Martyn Fletcher, and Scott Dawson. Last but not least, thanks to Ajay Bhandari who was the technical proofreader and who read the chapters and checked the code one last time before the book went to press.
I’d like to thank my parents, Eva and Alexander. They’ve instilled in me the appropriate level of curiosity and passion for learning that keeps me writing and researching late into the night. The debt is too large to pay in one lifetime.
I wholeheartedly thank my cherished wife, Aurora, and our three sons: Nikos, Lukas, and Albert—the greatest pride and joy of my life. I’ll always be grateful for their love, patience, and understanding. The incessant curiosity of my children has been a continuous inspiration for my studies on learning. A huge acknowledgment is due to my parents-in-law, Cuchi and Jose; my sisters, Maria and Katerina; and my best friends Michael and Antonio for their continuous encouragement and unconditional support.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the manifold support of Drs. Amilcar Avendaño and Maria Balerdi, who taught me a lot about cardiology and funded my early work on learning. My thanks also are due to Professor Leon Cooper, and many other amazing people at Brown University, whose zeal for studying the way that our brain works trickled down to folks like me and instigated my work on intelligent applications.
To my past and present colleagues, Ajay Bhandari, Kavita Kanetkar, Alexander Petrov, Kishore Kirdat, and many others, who encouraged and supported all the intelligence related initiatives at work: there are only a few lines that I can write here but my gratitude is much larger than that.
First and foremost, I want to thank my beloved wife Elena. This book took longer than a year to complete and she had to put up with a husband who was spending all his time at work or working on a book. Her support and encouragement created a perfect environment for me to get this book done.
I’d like to thank all of my past and present colleagues who influenced my professional life and served as an inspiration: Konstantin Bobovich, Paul A. Dennis, Keith Lawless, and Kevin Bedell.
Finally, I’d also like to thank my co-author Dr. Marmanis for including me in this project.