Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New CS Building

Carnegie Mellon will be joining the long list of schools to have a CS building named after Bill Gates. (I'm counting Harvard's Maxwell-Dworkin, which is named after his mom...) See the new building here. The thing won't be complete for at least another two years, so I will still have to do my time in a windowless basement office, but it sounds nice -- collaborative areas, lots of natural light, etc. And BEST of all, "The main north-south axis, however, will make it so that the building can still be easily navigated" -- this is great! It will be possible to navigate the building!

I can't help but think that this is a not-so-subtle jab at MIT's Stata center, which is -not- easy to navigate. Otherwise, this seems like a building feature that would go without saying...

Theory and Systems

A very nice post about the need to study systems, even for theorists. This is good to hear; Some of the people I know are spending all summer studying theory, beginning their research. This gives me hope that learning about engineering challenges at Google will be a fruitful experience as well.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

This is getting serious

We graduate in less than a month. On May 16th, John McCain (hopefully) will come speak to us on class day, and I will have a diploma in hand. Or rather, the opportunity to wait in a long line to get a diploma, which will otherwise be mailed to me (Why do I need a diploma anyhow?) All well and good.

On May 18th, Columbia throws me out on the street. So I've got about a month to find an apartment in the city.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Its official.

Without too much extra thought, I just emailed Carnegie Mellon and let them know that I will be enrolling in the fall. I guess this is it then -- I'm going to Carnegie Mellon. This will be exciting!

But first... My summer internship at Google.

Carnegie Mellon

I'm almost there. I sent out emails today turning down Penn and Princeton. In the emails I said I was choosing Carnegie Mellon. I've filled out the acceptance form for CMU. I just have to mail it, and then turn down Stanford and Berkeley (Ouch)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fiber and making life changing decisions with very little information.

What is the daily recommended fiber intake? Before my graph theory class, I ate a bag of potato chips and a bag of popcorn. The bag of potato chips contained 1 g of fiber, which translated into 4% of my daily value. The bag of popcorn contained 1 g of fiber, which translated into 5% of my daily value. Is this roundoff error, or does the popcorn company play fast and loose with the fiber rules?

I'm leaning very heavily towards Carnegie Mellon now. I'll almost certainly go there. I notified some of the schools yesterday that I would not be attending them (Harvard, Michigan, Washington, Brown). I still have a bit of nagging doubt though... There are still so many areas of computer science that I haven't been exposed to, and maybe I will love. CMU is the best place to do learning/mechanism design. Where is the best place to discover new interests? Today in information theory we covered network coding. Never seen it before. Looks cool. CMU has you take your courses after you pick your advisor, Berkeley does it the other way around. Why can't the faculty I'm interested in work at Berkeley? Then the choice would be clear.

In other news, there's a new young faculty member who might end up at CMU next year, who seems very interesting. He's not going there for sure, but he's definitely not going to Berkeley, so I can add 50% of his value, in expectation, to CMU's column...

Decision in 5 days.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Theory Girl

I just found the University of Washington's rendition of theory girl today (set to the tune of uptown girl). As computer science music goes, its pretty good. Of course the mathematicians may still have us beat with the love ballad "Finite Simple Group (Of Order Two)" , by the Klein Four Group (But aren't there 5 of them?) I like "theory girl" much better than the work of MC++ though -- he's got higher production values, but borders more closely on bad rap than funny CS rap.

Also good: "The Longest Path"