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Comment Re:Michael Sipser (Score 1) 888

I'm not smart enough to go to MIT, but I did have the pleasure of using Sipser's Theory of Computation book. It's great: conversational and understandable, but also as concise as it could possibly be, and it shows a profound respect for the student in the way it gets things across, which is often something educators overlook.

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.

Submission + - objective rankings for CS departments

John Regehr writes: "Students, prospective students, and professors care about how their department is ranked relative to other departments. Current ranking schemes for computer science departments are subjective: they are compiled, for example, by asking department chairs to rank other departments. An alternative, objective way to rank research departments is the meta h index, which we have compiled for a number of computer science departments. The h index, a measure of productivity of an individual researcher, is "the number of papers with citation number higher or equal to h." So to have an h index of 5, one must have written 5 papers that are each cited at least 5 times. The meta h index, then, extends this idea to measure the number of researchers in a department with h index higher than or equal to h. Of course it is easy to find flaws in this way of measuring research departments, but it has the advantages of being simple and of having no parameters to tune. Also, perhaps surprisingly, the meta h index correlates rather well with the ranking produced by US News."

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