Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CS academic research

While reading Haystack Blog about difference between academic research and industry research. There are a few important missing points. I assume Haystack hasn't worked in industry or modern industry.

1. The politics in academia and industry is very different. To apply grant, one needs to play some politics to get huge grant, but that is mostly the professors' job. For most graduate students, they are still idealists and like to do research to fullfill their dreams or develop their full potentials. Graduate students love challenges and like to solve open problems. But in the industry, one could not take that high risk at all. In academia, the research can go for over years. That could not happen in industry. In some companies, it usually takes one year or even just half year to get one's project either launched or cancelled. Few people have the leverage to take few years to develop a project. It is just like facebook motto: done is better than perfect.

2. A lot of professors who gave up tenure and joined industry is mostly because of $$$. If they can get paid half million or one million a year, I guess they would be very reluctant to give up the tenure. A few of my fellow classmates bought houses over 1 million, but the professors in our graduate school seldom have houses with value over 1 million and some of them are MIT graduates. This leads me to think the fundemental problem is the structure of education system. We don't value teachers and professors enough.

3. I do agree with Haystack that during the faculty summits in the industry, it should be the professors to do the demo and presentations, and people from industry can try to connect/apply the research results to the real products.

Here is Haystack's original blog:

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