Maybe Tribble was right after all about the "tenured generation" not getting blogs. I just tried running through all the faculty home pages listed from my school's site, and found a grand total of two linking to blogs (mine, and Ramesh Jain's). And if I'd done it three months ago, that number would be smaller by half. The other 67 faculty members did not list a blog, although many had static web pages of the sorts of material one might put into a blog (personal and semi-professional reflections, family photos, etc) and no doubt I missed some blogs whose authors wish to keep them private. I'm guessing the pattern would be similar at most other institutions.

While checking this, I noted in passing that, though many of our faculty have Erdős numbers at most three, the two to advertise it are on the more human computer interaction side of things. Conversely one of the most combinatorially mathematical of our faculty (your humble correspondent) is one of the few to have a blog, and they don't. Sample size too small to draw much of a conclusion, but curious. Maybe it's merely because for CHI-type people, low Erdős numbers are unusual, while in theory they're common for anyone who has a circle of collaborators larger than his or her own students.


Yes, I think it's more unusual to have a high Erdos number after you've been working in theory for a while. I wonder if there's anyone in the HCI community who is as central as Erdos has been for discrete math?
2005-09-24T20:59:01Z More generality, Google scholar lists a lot of papers on this sort of question of who's central in different academic communities. I found the paper above by adding one more keyword, the name of someone I knew to be a reasonably prominent HCI researcher (Winograd).
None: I wish more of you blogged
I really wish more comp-sci professors would blog. Fortnow's blog alone has saved me countless hours of having to look up and dig through papers. As a developer working in the telecom industry specifically the CAD and GIS side I don't often find what I need in nice pre-coded samples on the net. Most often it's in some professors paper and finding them can be a pain in the back side. Especially if the paper is old getting in contact with the author to work out licensing issues can be really hard. For instance I needed a six parameter affine translation to do mapping of points from an unknown to a known coordinate system. There was a professor at Texas A & M that had written a paper on how this might be done. By the time I found him to ask about licensing rights if I implemented his algorithm he was working at Penn State. If had a blog it would have been about 10,000 times easier to find him. Just so I don't leave you hanging on the example story I did work out the rights issues with him, put his algorithm into code in the form of an addin for drafting software and we use his algorithm internally here at my company now to rectify maps which contractors have drafted improperly into unknown coordinate systems. From finding his paper to actually getting into e-mail contact with him probably took a full two weeks. If he had a searchable blog I could have done it in a few hours. I could honestly care less if professors who aren't either CompSci, Math, or Engineering proffs blog but for all those proffs who teach those disciplines please by all means get a blog and post daily in it because you never know when your theory or paper might be directly needed in industry. I find myself needing computation geometry stuff weekly and the only place to get resources for it currently is in acedamia for the most part. So if you listen to us regular coders out in industry please encourage your fellow proffs to blog and not to blog anonymously so that when we do need to contact them a name on a paper is easily tied to a blog search or vice versa. Sorry that got kind of windy but it's a subject near and dear to me. I don't have an LJ account but my name is Andy and my blog is here:
None: 6 degrees of Jonathan Grudin
The Computer Supported Collaborative Work, conference, at minimum a 2nd-tier HCI conference, had a paper last year entitled "Six Degrees of Jonathan Grudin". Thus, one can at least reasonably consider Grudin a good bet. Terry Winograd's a good bet, too.
11011110: Re: 6 degrees of Jonathan Grudin
Er, yes, that's the paper in the link above.