Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Where's 1:1?

Got a jar of dead scorpions the other day.

It was just sitting there, in my cube over in Computing Commons. Not sure how it got there. Wasn't sure what it was at first. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I know exactly what it is even now I've identified it as a jar of dead scorpions.

Perhaps its a traditional welcoming gift? A warning? A gauntlet? (you know..."Think you've killed scorpions?...Hah!...Behold my prowess!!) The sender/collector/gifter also included a list of the things one might do with a jar of dead scorpions:

  1. Sell raffle tickets for guessing the number of scorpions in the jar, and donate the money to the SIS replacement project.

  2. Dip them in chocolate and market them as the next disgusting consumption stunt on Fear Factor. [Yum.]

  3. Use them as ingredients, for the development of a scorpion cookbook.

  4. Use as an ice-breaker on your next motivational speaking tour.

  5. Use them as calling cards.

  6. State a novelty paperweight business.

  7. Use them as a case study to teach marketing students how to sell generally repulsive product concepts. Regent's Arachnids anyone?

  8. Put them in a bigger jar and ponder the questions, is it half full, or half empty?

Apart from this rather dramatic increase in dead scorpion activity, the killing of the live ones has settled into routine around my house. And since the exterminator's been in the game, the volume has gone way down too.

Which leaves more time for thinking about 1:1.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Investment issues...

A couple of comments from the president's blog over the weekend illustrate the potential for interplay between wide and deep.

One from Gerald Thurman, asked how we might attract more high performance computing expertise to campus. As you might imagine, I am a big fan of HPC and think it will continue to grow in importance to a whole host of areas of research, inside and outside of Computing. Gerald is right that it is a challenge to attract HPC resources and talent in a highly competitive landscape. An ASU bright spot in this area is the work of Dan Stanzione and company. Funded by Mr. Ira Fulton, the Fulton High Performance Computing Intiative not only established a new high performance research cluster here, but has provided a focal point for cluster operations and program development support here at ASU.

Another comment on the prexy's blog near and dear to my heart was a question from Erik Gibb asking about the state of the computers in the engineering computer lab. Erik wants them upgraded and who can blame him? This is one of the principal challenges in maintaining centralized computing. My antidote, Erik, is to change the campus' focus from centralized computing to 1:1 computing. It would allow us to support your personal machine, including providing mechanisms to give you access to software tools that have previously been exclusively provided from the lab. Wondering how you feel about that idea Erik?


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Introducing Sri Kalluri...

For the past several weeks microelectronics masters student Sri Kalluri has been reviewing the most recent changes in the ASU-TechPlan Wiki. Sri is new to ASU this term, and in between studying and writing poetry, has been monitoring the various new posts to the wiki on a weekly basis. To follow Sri's unique perspective, visit his blog. For those using RSS, his blog's feed URL is


Props to the Prexy

President Crow launched his new blog this past week. For those of you using RSS, the feed URL is

According to his first post, he's planning on using it as:

...a source of direct discourse, enhanced understanding, and maybe even a bit of humor...If you walk away from reading an entry with a better understanding of how your university works, an interesting idea to ponder or an opportunity to share something on your mind, then the blog will have fulfilled its goal.

As anyone who's ever spent any time in a room with MMC can tell you -- whether you agree with any particular point of view of his or not -- you can't help but be struck by the energy of the man. I'm hoping some of the similarities between President Crow and the polymath President Bartlett come through his posts. And at the very least, we'll know what book is by the bedside table and what DVD is in the deck.

One of the things I think blogs can do within an institution like ours is connect the wide with the deep . And the president, at the top of our particular pyramid, has the widest perspective of all. The blog can give the rest of us a break from the deep dive into our own particular concerns and give us the opportunity to see what it looks like from the institutional perspective, the one that must find some balance among all of the various institutional pressures and aspirations.

So blog on, Big Man. Welcome to the 'sphere.