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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Overheard

"…which also gives better heuristics for the Traveling Salesman Problem."

"Don't you mean the Traveling Salesperson Problem?"

"No, the Traveling Salesman Problem. A traveling saleswoman would have asked for directions."

16 comments:

  1. Lance,

    Could you say something about the proper diet for an aspiring computer scientist? I think we can all agree that the food which gets put in affects the research that comes out, and I'm concerned that vegetarians may be at a disadvantage.

    Raghav always tells me to eat more

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  2. It is a well-known theorem in mathematics that research output is directly proportional to the quality of food you eat and inversely proportional to the quantity of food you eat.

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  3. Is there any survey like IT guys tends to give birth to baby girl rather than baby boy? As for my personal experience, most of my young teachers have baby girls.

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  4. engineers have more sons, nurses have more daughters:

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?
    sid=05/05/23/1152246

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  5. Could you say something about the proper diet for an aspiring computer scientist?


    Don't eat more than a byte or two each meal.

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  6. But its not a question of DIRECTIONS its a question of how to visit all the cities optimally(in some sense).

    Or am I missing something?

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  7. i think the joke is that the saleswoman would consult a TSP oracle (ask for directions) while the salesman would have to solve the problem himself.

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  8. But wouldn't a woman just get married and settle down in the first city she comes to? I mean after she finds a husband, there's little reason to keep her job, right?

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  9. I mean after she finds a husband, there's little reason to keep her job, right?

    Flamebait! Flamebait!

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  10. Commentary on the nature of a blog entry via sarcasm! Lack of sense of humor alert!

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  11. drink coffee, that's what helped Uncle P�l become a good machine.

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  12. Lance,

    I am a (relatively) young theoretical computer scientist, going to be on the job market next year. I know it is a common practice at interviews (often used by non-teoreticians) to ask questions like "where do you see the theoretical CS in 5-10 years", "where do you see yourself 10 years from now", "what do you plan to accomplish in the long-term". The way I see my research right now: I hear about an interesting problem, then I try to solve it. It's hard to even think about any long-time goals (especially since we don't know the anwers to some open questions which might well change these long-term goals). I wonder what is your perspective on this?

    Thanks!

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  13. Lance, how does the output of a theoretical computer scientist vary as a function of her age? What are the asymptotics? Are the quality and quantity of someone's publications positively or negatively correlated? Do you think that commenting anonymously is cowardly? Why did my university not get mentioned in your post on the list of places where to go and do theory? What do people in your department think of your blog? Should one teach outdoors in the spring? How do you teach bipartite matching and stable marriage in a politically correct way?

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  14. Socrates was a vegetarian. Same with Pythagoras. Einstein admired vegetarians but never went all the way.

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  15. depends on her distance to the equator, inversely with the square,
    positively but this is heavily biased by people with a single paper, no but posting with your real name is brutish, you didn't mention it, it's no more a waste of time than theory, there are so many better things to do in the spring, put all potentially offensive statements in "air quotes"

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  16. overheard by a friend (Abhinav Kumar) at MSR --

    "super-polynomial sub-exponential functions" sung to the tune of a Mary Poppins song...

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