Monday, June 11, 2007

Mission Statement

What will this blog be about?

The main thrust that I hope will differentiate this blog from others is that it will focus on the convergence of algorithms (or, more generally, "CS theory"), information theory, and networks. While I was trained as a computer science theorist, and that's still my primary home, I have been and will continue to be working in all three areas. Intellectually, I think there is a great deal connecting these research areas, and I am often surprised how little physical crossover there is among them, in terms of people and ideas. On the positive side, I think this has been changing dramatically over the last five or ten years; I can throw out many examples of topics like peer-to-peer networks, low-density parity check/expander codes, list decoding, network coding, power law distributions, and Bloom filters where at least two and usually all three of these areas have large intersecting interests. I think this convergence will continue substantially over the years to come, as all of these examples show that exciting things can happen when multiple communities bring their various expertise to bear on problems.

This blog will aim to be a place for people from these research areas (and hopefully others!) to meet and get to know a bit more about each other. While there is likely to be a bit of blog bias toward the CS theory side, I will try to cover important news and events of interest for all three communities.

Other than that, I hope to take a cue from Lance Fortnow's blog, and provide a forum for discussing issues related to research and academics. Teaching, reviewing, editing, consulting, researching, writing, advising, and any other appropriate -ing will be considered fair game. As the blog title suggests, I often have strong if not well-informed opinions on these matters, and I hope that these opinions will inspire some debate within the community.


Anonymous said...

welcome to blogspace, mike! as someone who works in two of your three areas, and having much curiosity about the third (info. theory), i greatly look forward to reading and participating.

aravind srinivasan

Anonymous said...

Welcome, indeed! I look forward to reading whatever thoughts you find the time to post (as a fellow blogger, I know well the constant struggle to find time to post interesting things...).