TITLE: You Know You're Doing Important Work...
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: February 20, 2008 2:55 PM
invokes your research area on
In the episode I saw last Friday, the team used a
among other snazzy techie glitz, to track down a Robin Hood
who was robbing from the dishonestly rich and giving to the
poor through a collection of charities. A
colleague of mine
does work in recommender systems and collaborative filtering,
so I thought of him immediately. His kind of work has
entered the vernacular now.
I don't recall the Numb3rs crew ever referring to
knowledge-based systems or task-specific architectures,
which was my area in the old days. Nor do I remember any
references to design patterns or to programming language
topics, which is where I have spent my time in the last
decade or so. Should I feel left out?
But Charlie and
did use the idea of
episode two years ago,
to find a pornographic image hidden inside an ordinary image.
I have given talks on steganography on campus occasionally in
the last couple of years. The first time was at a
conference on camouflage,
and most recently I spoke to a graphic design class, earlier
this month. (My next engagement is at UNI's Saturday Science
Showcase, a public outreach lecture series my college runs in
the spring.) So I feel like at least some of my intellectual
work has been validated.
Coincidentally, I usually bill my talks on this topic as
"Numb3rs Meets The Da Vinci Code: Information
Masquerading as Art", and one of the demonstrations I do is
to hide an
image of Numb3rs guys
in a digitized version of the
The talk is a lot of fun for me, but I wonder if college kids
these days pay much attention to network television, let alone
da Vinci's art.
Lest you think that only we nth-tier researchers care
to have our areas trumpeted in the pop world, even the great
ones can draw such pleasure. Last spring,
keynote address at SIGCSE.
As a part of his opening, he played for us a clip from a TV
show that had brightened his day, because it mentioned, among
other snazzy techie glitz, the Unified Modeling Language he
had helped to create. Oh, and that
came from... Numb3rs!