Ronald D Levine PhD

Portfolio of published works, contract writing projects, and other  writing

This is a partial portfolio of my written work over the past 25 years. The digital versions of some of the pieces are too old to be comprehensible to current sofware, so here they've been produced by scanning and some OCR software. (TextBridge Pro 11), and fixing up formats in Word.

In these pieces much of the technical content is quaint and out of date, but many of the presented principles still pertain, and the works still serve as good examples of my skills of expository writing.

Some publications:


This Scientific American article  was one of my most fun writing projects, and I’m proud of it because it was all on my own initiative.  Because  of my work with NASA during the preceding year, I had an excellent overview of the state of the art in supercomputing, and proposed this to the editor Dennis Flanagan over the transom. It was especially fun to have the article chosen for the cover graphic for the issue, and gratifying to get the good feedback of my editor Francis Bello, who told me that, in 20 years of editing for Scientific American, he had rarely had a piece that required so little reworking.

Volume Rendering with Kubota

This is a good example of a commissioned trade journal article, which grew out of a contract white paper assignment.  I think it is also an excellent example of expository writing on a complex subject.  I explain what volume rendering is, what it’s good for, how it’s done, and then how and why the client’s product is so good for it

Scientific Visualization

This short 1989 piece was a commission from a Scientific American advertising manager, a mini-article, one of several to dress up a special advertising section on “The Workstation Revolution”.  It was a great challenge because of the strict word count limit. 

Barriers to Visualization

This short piece on the state of visualization software in 1988 was published in Computer Graphics World, one of a series of four articles on visualization in that issue which was awarded a prize by the Society of Business Press Editors (Feature Series – Third Place)

Object-Oriented Software Construction

A book review published in  IEEE Software in 1988.


Some contract white papers and technical overviews

Kubota Technical Overview

This technical overview of an advanced graphics and imaging system is typical of many contract projects that I did in the 1990’s, authoritative authoring of technical overviews of graphics, imaging, and networking products, both hardware and software.  In addition to describing what’s great about the product, it provides an excellent tutorial on the meaning of the graphics and imaging functionality and its underlying theory. I was easily able to get the assignments with Kubota because that company had many DEC alumni who were familiar with the good work I had done for DEC.

TURBOchannel Technical Overview

TURBOchannel ASIC Overview

TURBOchannel and SBus

TURBOchannel was DEC's open high-speed interconnect of the workstation era. The first two of these pieces are fairly standard contract technical overviews.. The third goes beyond technical writing, being a technical analysis, commissioned by DEC marketing, comparing TURBOchannel with Sun Microsystems' SBus, its chief competitor of the era.

ACCESS.bus Technical Overview

ACCESS.bus was DECs offering for an open standard for a desktop serial interconnect, i.e., the ecological niche that was eventually won by USB.

Some user documentation

PathScale InfiniPathTM Users Guide

PathScale InfiniPath Installation Guide

These are the most recent works in this portfolio, included mainly because they involve Linux clusters and MPI. I did not do the original design of this doc set. Rather, I took over a basket-case of a project left by a fired contract writer who was not up to the task technically, and the client would not let me change the basic architecture of the set, which is faulty under my standards of expository composition.


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