Friday, December 28, 2012

Social H-Index

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I remember the STOC/FOCS bibliography that David Johnson compiled in mid 90's (pre-web).  It had a lot of interesting "top-k" lists. One list remained on my mind: authors with most number of single-authored STOC/FOCS papers. Andy Yao topped that list,  far above the rest.

How does one measure the impact of an author or a publication? The h-index aims to improve over raw counts of papers or citations by combining both, but considers authors in isolation and does not consider collaborations. My coauthors and I have been playing with extensions that "socialize" the h-index. The main idea is, a paper by authors (a,b) should count to the social score of a if it is one of the top papers of b. Now, what is a top paper, how to extend this to multiple authors, etc. are addressed in our paper that also has empirical results contrasting the solo h-index vs social h-index.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Being Sick

Best thing about being sick: reading a large pile of NYer magazines (paper edition). When I lived in NY, I read it front to back, these days I read it back to front.

The Dec 24--31 issue is fabulous with article gems from the turkish theater done by these village women to cutting through polar ice, rewilding in Holland and an utopian language. The book and music sections were keen observations, as usual.

Simons Research Fellowships in Big Data

This is a reminder of the upcoming deadline for applications for Research Fellowships at the newly created Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley.

Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowships are an opportunity for outstanding junior scientists (up to 6 years from PhD) to spend one or two semesters at the Institute in academic year 2013-14, in connection with one or more of its programs. The progam on Theoretical Foundations of Big Data Analysis runs in Fall 2013. Applicants who already hold junior faculty or postdoctoral positions are welcome to apply. In particular, applicants who hold, or expect to hold, postdoctoral appointments at other institutions are encouraged to apply to spend one semester as a Simons-Berkeley Fellow subject to the approval of the postdoctoral institution.

Further details and application instructions can be found here. The deadline is Jan 15, 2013.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Solving Problems?

I know that trying to solve a problem begets others, but we (should) start somewhere:
  • Hurricanes. When low pressure zones emerge, can we create a low/high pressure high/low  temperature zone far away from population centers and draw away the damage?
  • Hindu-Muslim Confrontation:  Can Pakistan and India merge?
  • School Shooting:  Should each gun and bullet be wireless and location enabled so they can be shut off when they are close to population centers like malls, schools, etc.?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Read, Think, Fry

Why do I like Starbucks? They brought the NY Times paper edition to parts of the country where it would have been a challenge to find one otherwise.

I live in a neighborhood where everyone justifies their everyday activities in the larger arc of social good. So, I was thinking, how does the CEO of Starbucks justify his work? He helps Mathematicians seek and prove absolute truths, and helps build the foundation for all of Science and Engineering. So there.

Finally, I like fried food. But in Seattle they bread and fry Salmon, in UK, they bread and fry Mars bars and in India, they fry chicken until it tastes like samosa. No, No, No.