Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.


Most people have heard about Perelman turning down the Fields Medal. Last week, the IMU also awarded the Nevanlinna Prize, the computer science equivalent of the Fields Medal, to Jon Kleinberg.

When Kleinberg substituted for Chew during CS 280, I had no idea who he was. At first I thought he was a graduate student, so it surprised me to learn that he was a tenured professor. I learned a lot more about Kleinberg during my internship at PARC. He had been one of PARC’s first undergraduate interns from Cornell, and his work there led to a paper. Incidentally, I also learned some of his research produced algorithms closely related to the technology behind Google.

I took Kleinberg’s CS 482 during my final semester at Cornell. The class was one of my favorites. Kleinberg was one of the rare professors that encouraged student participation in class. His examples were entertaining, too. In one of them, he invented an Indian-Italian restaurant called Little Idli.

To say faculty at Berkeley know of Kleinberg would be an understatement. He recently won a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and, as already stated, the Nevanlinna Prize. Unlike Perelman, Kleinberg’s acceptance of these honors was met without incident.


3 responses

  1. Neelam

    Nice to finally learn about the Rebel King.

    August 30, 2006 at 11:47 pm

  2. Krish

    How did you know about the Rebel King?

    August 31, 2006 at 12:30 am

  3. Neelam

    I just know things.

    August 31, 2006 at 5:20 pm

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