[Computational Complexity] Cocktail Conversations
I once met a professor at Chicago that would say "My business is war, and business is good." I have a food scientist friend from college who did his doctorate on starch and had a catch phrase "Everything you eat is healthy, safe and nutritious." But when I start having a conversation with non-scientists it often goes like this:
- Them: "What do you do?"
- Me: "I'm a professor at the University of Chicago."
- "That's neat. What do you teach?"
- "Computer Science."
- (a) "Oh. Excuse me, I see someone I know," or
(b) "I'm setting up a wireless network in my house.", or
(c) "I don't use the computers much but my kids are really into it."
How do you discuss your research with non-specialists? I'm sure some of you solve this problem by not having any non-CS/Math friends. But if we can't easily discuss our work one-on-one how do we convince the public that our research is important to them and society at large.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 9/29/2005 05:57:00 PM