Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Research and Cafes

Those who drink decafs can only churn out lemmas, not theorems. To be a true churning machine of theorems, you have to consume coffees.

Nearly every research result I have had in Italy has come from being in the proximity of Cafe Salza in Pisa, an institution from late 1800's. I seem to take a table there for an afternoon and order every pastry on display. From my first visit there, Paolo Ferragina and I published multimethod dispatching algorithms in STOC 99; later, the 2d string indexing in PODS 01; from a visit two years ago, we got the succinct tree encoding result in FOCS 05; and finally, during my visit there last summer, Gianni Franceschini and I solved the suffix selection problem to be presented in STOC 07. I hear that the famous Salza has changed hands and the new owners are french. Sigh.

1 Comments:

Blogger Paolo said...

Yes, they changed owners but the quality seems to be still ok. So, theorems can flourish more than ever before;-)

Paolo

6:09 AM  

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