I'd like to welcome myself to the Blogroll for the Communications of the ACM! My colleague Greg Morrisett suggested I get my blog into the CACM Blogroll, so a few e-mail messages later, and apparently I'm in. Just goes to show, they must have a pretty low bar. Actually, since I'm a regular reader of most of the blogs on their Blogroll, it's a pleasure to join the list. It's not clear how this will affect the tone and style of my blog posts -- probably not at all -- but perhaps it will encourage me to branch out into yet more topics of more general interest.
While poking around the CACM I was pleased to see some press on the Harvard RoboBee project, one of the 3 NSF Expeditions awards from this year. While I'm not on the RoboBee team, it's already getting some of my attention; I'm co-advising a senior who wants to do her undergrad thesis on some algorithmic problems related to RoboBees. I'm imagining I'll be drawn into other related sub-projects, as there seems to be lots of possible algorithms questions one might want to tackle in developing artificial insects. Perhaps that's the power of these large-scale, Expeditions style projects: by setting seemingly very distant, almost impossible goals, they push people to think and do new things.
Also of note is Lance Fortnow's article on the P versus NP problem is still on their list of top articles, as is his viewpoint on Time for Computer Science to Grow Up. And their front page has a review article on Smoothed Analysis from this month's issue.
I've said it before but it bears repeating: it's amazing how CACM has changed to become, in my mind, a really relevant resource for computer science and computer scientists. And I'm not just saying that to welcome my new blog overlords.