Somehow this quote reminded me of what it's like to work on Wikipedia:
For all their seeming kinship, a restorer is the antithesis of a painter: he is a conserver, not a creator. Like a mimic, he assumes another person’s style, at the expense of his own identity. He must resist any urge to improve, to experiment, to show off; otherwise, he becomes a forger. Yet, unlike a great actor, he receives no glory for his feats of mimicry. If he has succeeded, he has burnished another artist’s reputation, and vanished without the world ever knowing who he is, or what he has accomplished. The art historian Max J. Friedländer called the business of the restorer “the most thankless one imaginable.”
(The New Yorker story it's from is about the problem of matching artworks to their authors, and is well worth reading in full.)
Speaking of Wikipedia, I've put together a collection of Wikipedia articles on graph algorithms. You can print it (though I'm not sure why you would want to), download it as a pdf, or just use it as a convenient set of links. I'm not really satisfied with the texts I've seen on the subject, though there are plenty on graph theory, and some good ones on more specialized topics such as network flow or graph drawing. So last quarter when I taught an undergraduate elective on graph algorithms, I used Wikipedia for most of my readings, with some other links filling in the gaps in its coverage. The new collection is aimed at sharing that experience and allowing others to use it in the same way.
It's true, people who contribute to Wikipedia don't get thanked nearly enough. So, thanks for all your extensive contributions (and especially the clear and informative diagrams!).
I am not able to download the pdf file :-(
When I tried it, I had to wait 15 minutes or so for it to get generated — it wasn't fast.
Thanks for this very useful resource! I will link to this from my undergraduate algorithms course in the fall. Chandra
I had been wondering why the Wikipedia material for this subject was so good. Thanks again from all of us! -r
You're welcome! But I'm definitely not the only person working on these articles, even among people you're likely to have heard of in theory research. For instance, Thore Husfeldt has been fairly active in Wikipedia, including work on some graph algorithm articles, and before he died Oded Schramm did quite a bit on some related articles.