Monday, November 24, 2014

More Good News, Eddie Kohler Edition

Continuing the good news at Harvard, word has been given that Eddie Kohler has officially been offered tenure.  So we hope/expect/are excited about keeping Eddie here for decades to come.  

Eddie's contributions to computer science are well known -- he recently won the SIGOPS Mark Weiser award --  but perhaps less well known and appreciated are his contributions here at Harvard.  I can't imagine how we were surviving before he got here; he enriches the place constantly through teaching, tools, insights, questions, and countless other ways.  It's great news for us here at Harvard. 

Congratulations to Eddie. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The News Is Out

Harvard Computer Science was given a sizable gift from Steve Ballmer;  we're excited at the opportunity to grow this gift will provide us over the next several years.  For more news, see the Crimson article, the Boston Globe article, the New York Times blog writeup, etc. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a federal holiday, but, at Harvard classes go on.  This year, the holiday is observed for staff, but we'll be teaching.

I can't easily find out when the practice of having classes on Veterans Day became standard.  I found this Crimson article from 2004, but it makes it sound like holding classes (it seems to just mention sections, not actual lectures) was not official policy.  I also am not sure when this dichotomy of the day being a staff holiday, but classes are held, started.  I'm a bit embarrassed to say I haven't noticed this scheduling issue until this year, so perhaps the changes are new.

I understand that, from a teaching and scheduling standpoint, it's a bit annoying with the holidays messing up the teaching schedule.  It's also annoying when your children are out of school for the day for a federal holiday while you have to teach.  Also, it seems a bit odd, if not somewhat unpatriotic, "cancelling" Veterans Day for the students (and faculty), although I know that most people generally do not engage in veteran-specific activities for the holiday.  (That's true of our family, and my wife is a veteran.)    

I suppose I might not really have thought too much about it, except that somehow I noticed that Columbus Day is a university holiday at Harvard, and, because I'm sure most readers do not get enough John Oliver in their diet, here what his show has to say about that.  

Happy Veterans Day.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Weekend Links (November 1 Edition)

A variety of links on related news.

Ebola #1 (local):  The HackEbola with Data website gives detail for the upcoming Harvard Hacking event in conjunction with Statistics without Borders.  If doing some data mining for a cause is your thing, please check it out.  (No, you don't have to be associated with Harvard to participate...)

Ebola #2:  New Yorker magazine has an article out on "The Ebola Wars" that among other things, describes the work done by Harvard colleague Pardis Sabeti and her lab

Ranking again (no, not again!):  This one is tells the story of King Abdulaziz University and the US News and World Report Rankings.  (I note, as follow up from a few years ago, that I remain disturbed that nobody is offering to pay me large sums just to have me affiliated with them for the purposes of raising their citation count.)

Crimson #1:  If you're into this sort of thing, the umpteenth "Stanford vs. Harvard" article.  (Yawn.)

Crimson #2:  Anyone know of a good Dean who might be available?  

Yale:  My take on how you grow a department:  keep telling people you are going to/need to grow the department, and why.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  I hope this article is just the start.