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Friday, June 24, 2005

The End of an Era?

On May 13 in the US, the Star Trek franchise (temporarily?) ends 18 straight years of first-run episodes. Bill Gasarch comments.

About a month ago was the final episode of ENTERPRISE. I just saw it last week. I assume that NONE of the readers are saying "Gee, how did he do that!"

At one time many computer scientists were also science fiction fans.

At one time both were small communities (with enrollment dropping computer scientists may return to being a small community).

At one time you couldn't time-shift how you watched TV so people would talk about the same show the next day.

At one time there was not so much Science Fiction out there so all the fans graviated towards the same materials.

So in the past there was much more cohesivness to the CS/Sci-Fi community.

There is no longer.

Is this good or bad?

I thing its good to NOT be so homogenous. New ideas come from all kinds of places. And you don't want people who are not Sci-Fi fans to NOT major in Comp Sci since they think they have to be.

11 comments:

  1. the idea of all computer scientists being Trek fans bring up silly juxtapositions...

    "Hello, k-tape turing machine..."

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  2. -- I thing its good to NOT be so homogenous.

    I think we all agree on that. This is one reason a larger more encompasing STOC/FOCS is good. It embraces the diversity of the field.

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  3. Wait, what does a larger STOC/FOCS have to do with whether I prefer to read Austen or Heinlein? (or George RR Martin or Somerset Maugham, for that matter.)

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  4. Turing's momentous paper was written (1936) before the first "Turing-complete" machine machine was created (ENIAC, 1946), so in some sense the beginning of Computer Science was indeed Science-Fiction :-)

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  5. On a different note: what's with the publication of the FOCS 2005 list of accepted papers?

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  6. Re: FOCS 2005 accepted papers; they're undoubtedly waiting on merge issues.

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  7. Re: FOCS papers It shouldn't preclude them from sending out reviews to the authors...esp. with the SODA deadline looming

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  8. If PC sends notification without comments,
    it gives the impression that
    they first decide acceptance or rejection,
    and then review paper to
    get justification.

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  9. Sending notification first and comments later is a quite common STOC/FOCS practice. I've seen it so many times that it does not create any "impressions" for me.

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  10. Back to the Star Trek episode, I thought it had a great anti-xenophobia message to it.

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  11. --Sending notification first and comments later is a quite common STOC/FOCS practice. I've seen it so many times that it does not create any "impressions" for me.

    It's when they send notification first, and then "comments" later with the "comments" section empty that left an impression on me. Basically, I received two rejection notices with no comments whatsoever. It was the second notice which really pissed me off. If you have no comments, don't send the second notice, please.

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