[Computational Complexity] Computer Science Has Been Very Very Good To Me
Ever notice how computer science departments in the US are like baseball teams. They try to hire the best players so they can be better than other departments (try to be in the "top ten" for instance). Already strong departments with lots of resources continue to hire the best people and become even stronger. MIT, despite being close to Boston, is like the New York Yankees of computer science.
One can push an analogy too far and I've already crossed that line but let's keep going.
- Baseball players are initially tied to a certain team though after a certain number of years they can become a free agent or prevent their team from trading them. Professors can become free agents after any year and after seven years, if they are still with the department, get a no-fire clause.
- Baseball teams have minor leagues to train young players. We have graduate students.
- Baseball has had a strong commissioner who mediates disputes and can make changes for the good of the game. We could use someone like that.
- Baseball sells naming rights of its stadiums. Universities sell naming rights of their buildings.
- Baseball has a hall of fame honoring the very best. We have the Turing award. But like baseball we could also have a physical location with memorabilia like the original draft of Cook's paper or the chalk Manindra Agrawal used to prove Primes in P with his students.
- Baseball teams trade players. Imagine David Karger and Madhu Sudan for Umesh Vazirani, Luca Trevisan and a grad student to be named later.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 7/18/2005 10:49:00 AM