Monday, July 14, 2008


Dr. Dobb's Journal interviews Christos Papadimitriou about applying research results to the real world. I'm familiar with Papadimitriou through his visits to UCSB, and I TA'ed the UCSB theory class using his book.

He's a great example of a theory guy with broad interest in applying what he comes up with:
I would say that, quite generally, computer scientists are going to find themselves interacting more with other fields. I encourage my students to go completely wild in their curriculum, to go out and learn not only that which they think they should learn in order to be good computer scientists—usually mathematics and programming and engineering and so on—but learn about everything else, about psychology, economics, about business, about biology, about the humanities.

I think the future belongs to programmers who are well-rounded people who have diverse interests, who are flexible, who understand deeply other fields and are ready to transform them. Biotech is definitely part of the picture, but it's not unique.
In the interview he mentions Nash (the Beautiful mind guy), Feynman, and asserts that backgammon is more interesting than chess.