The chapter was designed to cover what I think are important features:
- A simple introduction, based on (hopefully) easy-to-follow examples.
- An explanation of why this is important in "the real world".
- Important past results, that are known and understood. (Here, Reed-Solomon codes and LDPC codes.)
- A goal for the future. (In this case, network codes, and figuring out how they might actually be used in networks.)
- Links/pointers to relevant references.
1) Why not do it in a wiki?
Answer: I've explained some in comments-- I don't think a wiki is appropriate for a "creative writing" exercise. Also, I'd like some actual commitment from authors, and I'd like them to get credit for their work. (If this all works out, you can put this on your next NSF grant application as your broad educational service.)
2) Why focus on "theory"?
Answer: It's that perfect/good thing. I'd like something coherent, that I'm qualified to manage, that can be done in a reasonable time frame. That means some focus, and I'm choosing to focus on theory. (And theory, in my mind, needs the PR.)
If this works out, we can expand to other volumes. Heck, I'll manage/edit volume 2, communications and networking. Then I'll hand it off to someone else.
3) Who do you want to volunteer?
Answer: I'll be honest -- I have a very strong preference for Ph.D.'s (over graduate students), and I'd generally prefer "name" professors/research scientists -- we need at least some of those, so we can start developing some of that cult of personality in our field, and so the book will carry some weight with publishers and other outsiders. But I'd be open to any and all good ideas.
Answer: Well, I'll talk about "management" more next post. But I'd hope that a dozen or so people could be convinced to take some time over the summer -- maybe a week or so -- and write up a chapter draft. But since last time that sort of schedule seemed too optimistic, I'd be thrilled to get chapters by the end of the year....
Next post: ideas on management?