the University of Michigan

reaching out

  • Russel Davies painted his laptop to work as a blackboard. I think the acrylic casing for the iBook makes an excellent whiteboard too.
  • Friend and mentor Cong Yu just got an honorable mention in the SIGMOD Dissertation Award:
    …Two other nominees receive Honorable Mention recognizing their outstanding work on theoretical foundations and development of algorithms with great impact on important practical problems: Cong Yu, for his dissertation on “Managing Complex Databases in a Schema Management Framework” at the University of Michigan, and, Nilesh Dalvi, for his dissertation on “Managing Uncertainty Using Probabilistic Databases” at the University of Washington.

    It’s interesting to see the hiring trends : the Award was won by now-MSR researcher Ariel Fuxman. Nilesh and Cong are both Yahoo! Researchers.

  • Natalie Du Toit’s “wonderful story of courage, determination, discipline, hopes and dreams”, becoming the first amputee to qualify for the Olympics.
  • It’s not every day that the White House asks you to become a Vampire Slayer.

going to michigan

A heads up for the misinfomed, uninformed, and the clueless: In nine days, I will have packed my bags and left for the opposite side of the planet, to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I’ll be trying to figure out exactly what this Computer Science thingy is all about; in particular trying to make sense of what all this “Databases and Information Retrieval” drivel means.

Speaking of drivel, have you noticed how “Data Mining” is a gross misnomer? Data means unprocessed computer gobbledegook, and Information means neat cool stuff humans can comprehend and make use of it. When we mine for something, the result is what we assign the term for; for example coal mining means we break through rock to extract coal. So if we’re looking for information, why do we call it data mining? This is like you look for gold and then call yourself a gunk-miner. Yuck.