I found this charming error while reading over a draft of a paper that my group plans to submit soon: It is easy to prove from its definition that $*$ is communicative and associative. I’m not exactly sure why I find this hilarious, perhaps it’s because one might guess that due to its role, the […]
[This piece is a followup to The Big Lie About the Life of the Mind.] Being a professor, like any other job, has its pros and cons. You’d hope that one of the advantages would be that the job encourages a person to live a life of the mind. Otherwise what’s the point, right? I […]
Earlier this year Thomas Benton wrote an essay The Big Lie About the ‘Life of the Mind, skewering academic humanities in the United States. His thesis is that there is effectively a conspiracy to produce many more PhDs than there are faculty slots, and to keep the carrot of the tenure-track faculty position just out […]
Embedded systems are special-purpose computers that users don’t think of as computers. Examples include cell phones, traffic light controllers, and programmable thermostats. In earlier posts I argued why any computer scientist should take a compilers course and an operating systems course. These were easy arguments to make since these areas are core CS: all graduates […]
In Hanoi, as the story goes, the French placed a bounty on rat pelts. The locals responded by farming rats. A child who gets candy for cleaning up a big mess is likely to create another mess the next day. These are perverse incentives: incentives that have unintended and often undesirable side effects. As a […]
Also see the flowchart for untenured faculty life. My colleagues Suresh Venkatasubramanian and Matt Might collaborated with me to create the most accurate flowchart possible.
Also see the flowchart for tenured faculty life. My colleagues Suresh Venkatasubramanian and Matt Might collaborated with me to create the most accurate flowchart possible.
If you buy a university-level instructor a beer and ask her to tell you how great the standardized course evaluation forms are, you’re likely to get an earful. I’m talking about the multiple-choice forms that students fill out towards the end of each course they take, asking them to assign a 1-5 rating to statements […]
Matching students up with research projects is entertaining but difficult. The project has to be at the right level of difficulty, has to fit the student’s time frame, and has to interest the student. If grant money is going to be used to pay the student, the work has to fit into the funded project. […]
Starting out as a professor can be intimidating: there’s a lot of work to do and little indication about how to prioritize it. Advice for assistant professors sometimes mentions the 40-40-20 guideline, which states that one should spend 40% of one’s time working on research, 40% on teaching, and 20% on service. This always seemed […]