May 23, 2009 archive

Friday Philosophy: working for humanity

I spent yesterday sitting in the too hot sun during Commencement at Bloomfield College, a little north of Newark, New Jersey.  I was also searching my mind for something to write about this afternoon, which had been pretty much a wash since the shocking death of a colleague on Tuesday.

Jane Cheng had been my discipline coordinator since I started working here in 2000.  It was she who had convinced me to apply for a tenure-track position here in 2001, even though it was not in my field.  As I kept telling everyone, I was a mathematician and new very little about programming languages.  But Jane had faith that I could teach myself enough to be an effective teacher in this area.  She and the academic dean, Ilona Anderson, whose retirement takes effect at the end of this month, had faith in me.  So I have felt more than a little bit adrift.

But stuff happened at Commencement that spurred an idea.  And other stuff happened today to broaden that idea.

Maybe it is not too far astray.    

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