[FoRK] W3C sponsor, AI / supercomputing Ph.D. program, Silicon Valley

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Wed Oct 3 21:18:39 PDT 2007

My recommendation:

The Bay is overbought. I'm long-term short the Bay.  ;-)

Except for the increased personal existential risk, which is probably  
less than, say, driving a car --- I'd say that the prospective  
Washington gig sounds more intriguing;  that doesn't satisfy the  
child / education issue, though.  Hard to say what to do.

In general, I'm not much in favor of CS PhDs;  they're generally less  
than useful --- Russell's one of the only guys with one that I know  
that can actually still write code.  Seems to often ruin you for  
that.  And the world needs another treatise on a typed lambda  
calculus with "novel" concurrency mechanisms like it needs a hole in  
the head.

More useful than an MBA or yet another JD, but that's beside the  
point... ;-)

AI at Stanford, MIT, or CMU --- probably the biggest exceptions to  
that rule.  GMU is interesting;  perhaps there's some kind of multi- 
agent / economics / AI thing might fly, given the pool of advisors to  
tap there.  IMHO, once everybody else gets over the novelty of the  
"multi-core" / parallel programming thing that we've all known was  
coming for over 20 years and realizes Erlang / join- or pi-calculus  
is the wellspring for the next 700*, then the intersection between  
game theory, economics, practical game playing, and heterogeneous  
multiple agent systems stuff is going to become the hot topic.  GMU's  
as ripe for groundbreaking work in that area as any place outside of  
Hebrew University in Jerusalem...

(Understand all this educational advice is from a guy that didn't  
have the patience to finish his undergrad... :-)

Get admitted, fire up the ole' grant-proposal-writing grammar / text  
generator, feed it a bunch of relevant things from citeseer, [1] and  
fund the W3C participation that way.  Or:  write a decent poker bot,  
buy some rack space in Anguilla, and fund it that way...

$0.02, YMMV.


jb

[1] start here:  http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/zlotkin89negotiation.html

* I reserve the right to be wrong about this.  Indeed, I *hope* I'm  
wrong about it.  I hope that the compiler writers can actually make  
concurrent Haskell a practicality for real-world systems.  It would  
be lovely if the argument for explicit concurrency was as moot 10  
years from now as the arguments against "high-level languages like C"  
and the use of compilers was by 1980.

But Haskell isn't the right vehicle anyway;  the language designers  
need to get over the novelty and generality of monads, come back to  
earth, and realize that uniqueness types are the only way truly  
functional languages are going to make it in the mainstream.  Paul  
Graham be damned, there's more to be gained by doubling the  
productivity of the lower 90% than by increasing the productivity of  
the elite 10% by 10%.



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