Monday, August 9, 2010

P = OMG!

Have you ever had a day in your life so monumental that you thought your head might explode...or you could pass out...or combust? This is that day for me.

For me, today has seen the furthering of my latest cs opus, a personal victory, a huge step in net neutrality and the proposal of the biggest proof of my, I'm looking hot ;)

Those of you who are following my work for women in computer science already know that I'm involved in the "Picture Me in Computing" day coming up on 11-01-10. What you don't know, because it just happened, is that we officially have support now from Intel, and Curtis Silver (of Geek Dad/Shamable/etc.). We're now adding them to the list with Google, Girls Inc., and soon Mattel. Our website is en utero and we're off and running! With a few extra press persons, this promises to be the biggest campaign that I've ever been involved with. w00t!

It's also evaluation time for my class. My students have come up to me throughout the term and told me how much they love my class, but none of that means anything to the department if they don't write it down! I was just informed that one of my students commented that I was so instrumental in her love for CS that she wishes that I would be teaching other classes in her series! That's honestly the biggest ego boost I've had in a while. Such a great feeling to be taking an active part in fostering love for CS in girls and women.

In addition, after all the hullabaloo over the rumors that Google and Verizon were paving the way for pay-for-priority internet, it looks like they've actually been working on a best-case scenario for that type of deal. It seems that Google and Verizon are planning to work together to ensure that the "regular" internet stays free and they propose installing a *new* series of tubes for the priority content. This would ensure that huge corporations don't mess with the little guy on the web as we know it...EVER! This is huge news. It's so appealing to me that I can actually see it changing the course of history forever. Over-dramatic? Perhaps, but you have to admit it's way better than what was expected.

On top of all of that, today a very reputable man, Vinay Deolalikar, believes he has shown P != NP. This is a huge accomplishment that means a lot in the fields of physics, mathematics and computer science...just to name a few. It's literally the ULTIMATE question in my mind...and while the troublemaker in me would love to see P = NP, I have no doubt that the opposite is far more likely. Being alive for this proof is monumental. If it turns out to be accurate (there are well over 50 faulty proofs on the same subject) then I will be witnessing the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. Now, intellectuals will finally be able to start pondering what it is that makes a certain category of problems so much harder than others.

All in all, today has been overwhelming to say the least. So much good in such a small space has me reeling. It's a welcome change from the bumpy road I've been schlepping for a while now. I'm enjoying the view from up here today. We can think of tomorrow later.

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