Stanford, Here I Come

Most of the stories in the research-life story project (including mine) are already processed and often told with some well-packaged perspective the teller wants to share. Today I am sharing a moment as it unfolds: Come next fall, I’ll be joining the Stanford CS Department. I’m very excited.

Since the closing of MSR-SV, I’ve been lending a hand in efforts to create a new distributed-system group at Samsung Research America. But in a few months I’ll be returning to academia. Returning may be too strong of a word. The place where I was “academically born” and where I served as a CS Professor was The Weizmann Institute of Science. Weizmann feels to me (and I hope it will always feel) like home. But Weizmann and Stanford are very different. So the question that burns in me towards next year (and towards the decades I hope to spend at Stanford) is what can I do at Stanford that I couldn’t at my past wonderful work places?

Of course, the main thing I plan to do is (hopefully good) research. With the excellent Stanford students and faculty (theory and otherwise), I am sure it will be a lot of fun. But my feeling is that this should not be it. Buzzing in my mind are many ideas (which I expect would require many years and some/most would never happen): New intro courses to CS (targeting different populations- Humanities, Math, Sciences, Information Science), new popular science books, new programs for K-12 education, a stronger connection with local theorists in industry, and perhaps most importantly to me is contributing to making academia a more humane place for students, junior faculty and in fact for all of us. The research-life story project was motivated by similar desires, and I hope to join efforts around the world that take this approach much further. I have the feeling that Stanford would be a particularly suitable place to promote these agendas (and others).

So what would you be passionate about in my shoes?

9 thoughts on “Stanford, Here I Come

  1. Wonderful news!
    And great ideas. I’m especially supportive of the “stronger connection with local theorists in industry” one 😀

  2. Congratulations to Stanford! And you too 🙂

    As my interns and students can attest, I’ve been doing my share to make them sleep less and work more, so it’s good to know someone will be pushing in the other direction 🙂

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