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Weird things few July 4, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in CMU, contemplation, science.

In America, this can happen only in a University.

For the last four years, Elizabeth Okazaki has attended graduate physics seminars, used the offices reserved for doctoral and post-doctoral physics students and — for all intents and purposes made the Varian Physics Lab her home.


The only problem is that Okazaki appears to have no affiliation with Stanford and, according to physics professors and students, no real reason to be there.

One might view this as negligence/incompetence or apathy and in fact the rest of the article is quite critical of the authorities for their behavior. But to me the whole episode in some sense an evidence of just how open the general atmosphere is at (some) universities.

I remember being in a class here at Carnegie Mellon and suddenly a person who I had never seen before walked into the class, told the professor that he liked the topic and if he could sit in for a while. Professor had no qualms letting him be. All that really happened was that he was walking down the corridor and happened to see the title of the powerpoint slide in one of the classrooms and decided – “Hey, this is interesting, lets check this out !”.

However, I am aware that the university model is not portable for example to corporate/government settings and they often have reasons to do what they do. Hence, I won’t rant against organizations that are secretive about their work.

Link via Scott.


A random cute couple. (no, not an image)


I saw this blog a while ago, managed to retrieve it via Google thus :

About a couple of months back, I remember reading that he was probably joining MIT, he had a conversation with someone during a flight about existence of god n such, he was a quantum phyicist from some Canadian university. I chose Waterloo because it has one of the best theoretical Computer science departments out there. Because I did not know this name, I used the keyword combination “quantum waterloo mit god” and bingo ! – his blog was the first link. I don’t know if its me the super-searcher or its about Google. 😀

Anyway, I don’t know Scott Aaronson, but reading this post I feel so good for him. Good luck Scott.



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