Computational Complexity


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Friday, August 01, 2003

My Life in Email

When I move back to Chicago, I will go back to my old email address . I got to thinking about how my career can be described by my email addresses.

As an undergrad at Cornell, I spent several years working for computer services writing an email system in assembly language for the IBM 370. The system was scrapped shortly after I left for grad school at Berkeley. After a year at Berkeley, I followed by advisor, Michael Sipser, to MIT.

I had email addresses at Cornell and Berkeley but I have long since forgotten them. At MIT I wanted the userid "lance", but the name was taken by Lance Glasser, then an MIT professor. So my email became .

When I graduated and went to Chicago, I decided to stick with the userid "fortnow" for an email of . This bucked the trend at the time of having first names for email at Chicago so I had to have aliased to . When the university started system wide email I got though also works.

When I did a sabbatical in Amsterdam my email became or simply . When I moved to the NEC Research Institute my email because aliased to and when the NEC Research Institute became NEC Laboratories America I got my current email .

In addition to this, the ACM has created permanent email addresses, permanent as long as you are an ACM member and I did create an address though I never did give it out (until now). My brother and I now own the domain and I have what I do call my permanent address, . I also am the default receiver for mail, which means that addresses like , or even will all go to me.

All of the email addresses in this post still work and forward to me. But I will stick to using two main email addresses, for work related email and for non-work emails.

I used javascript to generate the emails in this post to avoid adding even more to my heavy spam load. We'll see if it works or whether I start getting spam sent to .

1:11 PM # Comments []  

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Information Markets for Fighting Terrorism

A few months ago I had a post describing information markets, a system of buying and selling securities that pay off if a given future event happens. Based on the price of a security, one can get an estimate of the probability that that event will occur. Studies have shown that information markets are better predictors than polls or experts.

Information markets have taken a blow in the past few days. The US Department of Defense has cancelled a program that would have set up limited futures markets on securities based on terroristic activities. They bowed to pressure from senators who consider it morally wrong to bet on events on future terrorist attacks. I understand their concerns but computer scientists and economists have produced what could have been a powerful tool in controlling terrorism and it is quite a shame to see it discarded so easily.

David Pennock sent me some links on a more positive point of view from CNN, Fortune and Wired and a fun CNN piece on the Tradesports Poindexter future.

Update (8/1): A well-written New York Times column A Good Idea with Bad Press and a nicely argued opinion piece by David Pennock.

1:30 PM # Comments []  

Monday, July 28, 2003

The Tour

I know this is not a sports weblog and I don't even like bicycling but anytime an American named Lance wins a major championship I can't let it go unnoticed.

2:34 PM # Comments []