When industries in your field of specialisation grow too big

To be studied at the University scale, what happens to research? Here is Matt Welsh on CS and industry:

‘ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the role of academic computer science research vis-à-vis the state of the art in industry. When I was in grad school at Berkeley, we were building “big systems” — the 200+ node cluster that I did all my research on was on the rough order of the size of sites like Inktomi and Google at the time. Since then, industry has scaled up by orders of magnitude, leaving academics in the dust. These days it’s not clear that it makes sense for a university research group to work on systems problems that try to approximate industry: not only do we not have the resources, we simply have no idea what the real problems are at that scale. My friend and colleague Steve Gribble told me that after doing a sabbatical at Google, he decided that there’s no way a university group could compete with what they’re doing.

A must-read post.

By the way, if you do not have big enough industries in your specialisation so that you can be aware of industrially important issues to address, that is also a problem. This can, of course, lead to the question as to how big the industries in your area of specialisation be for optimal interactions!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: