Monday, July 21, 2008

More than the Sum

Some researchers are greater than the sum of their publications. In addition to their publications, some researchers are puzzle freaks, some are distillers who can explain others' results even better, clearer, and yet others are bloggers. I was reminded of this "greater than the sum" phenomenon when I was in CA past Wednesday and spoke with D. Sivakumar. Siva showed a great knack for abstracting graphs and using their structure to understand, argue and tease out physical phenomenon in applications I would not have been able to find even a planted graph! Many in our field take graph abstractions for granted (even putting in an unspecified weight to capture something along the edges). But the talk with Siva reminded me that there are still highly nuanced connections one can make, if you are willing to push your imagination. Invite him and coerce him to give a talk, and you will see.


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