Thursday, December 29, 2005
From the "if you haven't seen it, it's new to you" department:
Cryptographer/Theoretical Computer Scientist Manoj Prabhakaran taught a course on expanders at the University of Illinois this Fall semester. Besides the links to other excellent courses on expanders, Manoj organized a course blog where students recapped various lectures. The part new to me: one of the course "requirements" was that students were encouraged to post articles to the "expanders" section of Wikipedia. While I don't see many articles on expanders that were ostensibly created by students of this course, I think this is a brilliant idea -- there's an important difference between transcribing course notes and writing Wikipedia articles. With your LaTeX hat on, you know you're writing for fellow "Doctorate in Expanders" diploma holders, but when you're writing Wikipedia articles, you have a hazier picture of your reader as a reasonably smart, somewhat scientific, citizen on the net (a good approximation is often a smart first-year graduate student). Good writing practice for graduate students. Way to go, Manoj.