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I'm envious of that. I went through a master's program and I sorely miss that unstructured time to research and genuinely explore a topic. All of the learning I do these days is by force of business. I'm OK with that but it would be cool to get back to learning sometimes.

Could you talk about what life is like as a professor? I looked at your research interests and they lean heavily on the applicable-to-industry side - is that by purpose?

BTW - I think it's so cool that a professor is posting on HN. I think back to my professors and I couldn't imagine anyone of them being nearly as hip.




Thanks for the kind words! My research interests are definitely on the applied side on purpose. Some of the major criticism of research is that it is too theoretical or doesn't help people, so I wanted to do the opposite. I study actual engineers and the problems they face while working. This was actually my interest long before grad school. I wanted to make tools, plugins, and languages that were easier for me to use. Being very applied has worked out well for me so far since many people can relate to what I do!

I am a new professor but I can give you a short summary of what it is like. It is very unstructured. No one tells me how to spend my time, but I have to balance many different things: teaching a course, working on multiple research projects, writing multiple papers, writing grant proposals, reviewing papers for journals/conferences, traveling to conferences, recruiting and working with student researchers, etc. Some people like to describe it like running a startup.


As someone in startup life, that sounds exactly right.




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