It Does Exist!

During a trip to Porto’s Ceija I was able to confirm that one of the professorial caste’s most cherished yet elusive objects does exist: The conceptual machine.

In this case, it is a 3D metal printer, and it printed this piece of hardware (and many others); this one took about 12h to finish.

Re: Your unsolicited email / our joint problem

To:,,,,,,,,,,, …

Dear PR professional:

With respect to our joint problem, Stanford researchers have found a solution!

Please see here for the answer:

With kind regards,

Dirk Riehle

PS: If the research paper above doesn’t load, please see this copy:

The Reviews Are in And It Ain’t Pretty

From the first review: Best application of grounded theory that I have seen in a long time!

From the second review: I have seen grounded theory; this ain’t it.

From the third review: What is grounded theory?

Conclusion: No more grounded theory.

PS: Those reviews are a synthesis of prior experiences.

Non Sequitur #DesignPatternsHumor

A colleague earlier today showed me this student answer from one of his exams:

The student answer for “name a design pattern” is “hotel” and the answer for “that pattern’s intent” is “book hotel”. Repeat for a second pattern called “flight” and its intent “book flight”.

Bertrand Meyer: Electrical Engineering vs. Computer Science

Bertrand Meyer, at the 40 Years of Software Engineering panel at ICSE 2008, on May 16, 2008, 11:56am: “Electrical engineering is to computer science what making a bed is to making love.” I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it certainly makes for a memorable quote.

UPDATE: I had mentioned my enjoyment of this quote to Prof. Meyer at the conference. A few days later I received an email from him in which he generously (and gracefully) corrects me with the exact statement, which first appeared in his inaugural lecture at ETH Zurich:

We appreciate our debt to electrical engineering, without which there would be no computers. Indeed, computer science is to electrical engineering as the art of making love is to the art of making beds.

Much better, and certainly less crude than my in-the-moment snapshot.