Dean was a sanskrit scholar. A few years ago the Philosophical Research Society published his translation of the Upanishads and Yoga Sutras. More than that, he was conversant with many all of the world's great spiritual texts. And, he studied them in their original languages. At one time he counted 25 languages with which he was familiar. He passion was to find the "invariants" within all of this literature - the metaphysical underpinnings of world spirituality.
But, it would be a mistake to simply classify Dean as a student of metaphysics and religious traditions. He was a physicist of the highest order - making contributions to the development of the hydrogen bomb and designing the fuel element for the Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarines. In his youth, he worked at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton - and was a friend and colleague of Albert Einstein.
Dean was also a computer scientist. He is actually the first person, back in the 1950s, to suggest that computers would have applications in the field of education. He worked with the United Nations for several years introducing this technology to various countries around the world. One project involved installing computers throughout the educational system of Spain. At this time he wrote a fascinating little book on the essentials of learning.
Dean was a founder of Zylog, Inc., a company that manufactured one of the first microprocessors, the Z80 chip - which is still in use today. Dean was instrumental in designing that chip. Another company that he founded, Picodyne, is still active today in the field of educational software.
Dean had many other interests. He believed that one could find God in the details