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.


Blogger Paolo said...

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


6:09 AM  

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