Update February 14, 2020: I made several changes to my earlier posts, so some (if not most) of the content in this blog post is not relevant anymore.
Tonight, I made the executive decision1 to rename one of the three categories of my blog, academia, as computer science.
Why did I do this? Lately, as a result of taking more high-level computer science courses and independent research, I have found more topics related to computer science that I feel comfortable enough writing about. I do not have a comparable level of knowledge of academia, as I obviously have never experienced what the life of a professor is like. (Heck, I don’t even have a Bachelor’s yet!) Furthermore, I feel like any future post I make filed under “academia” would be stale and likely a rewriting of another person’s opinion. Hence, I wish to avoid bifurcating “academia” into “computer science academia” and “generic academia” categories.
My category swap is also a reflection of my own plans for the future. I’d say there’s a 90% chance that I end up pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science, so that goal hasn’t changed. I do, though, want to keep my options open after graduate school. Computer science is a unique field in that there is significant industry demand for Ph.D.s, so many postdocs can find their way into prominent companies such as Google or Microsoft. There is an old letter (1999) here that always pops in my head when I think about graduate school. Obviously, I don’t worship that letter like it’s the Bible, and I’m aware that the writer, a professor of physics, makes a few spurious generalizations. But the general consensus I have heard and seen over the past few years, from my own experience, is that a computer science Ph.D. is more flexible than Ph.D.s in other fields. I have seen and met Ph.D.s at companies such as Google, and could easily see myself following that career path.
I am not going to neglect academia entirely, of course. I will keep it in mind, but I can’t see myself only considering a professorship as my future career. Incidentally, job flexibility might be a reason to side with systems over theory in computer science research. Hopefully I will have a greater understanding of the job market in computer science once I graduate from Williams College.
I have updated all older entries to be filed under the category that suits them best. I have only one category assigned to each blog entry. Including this one, I have made 27 posts on Seita’s Place. Six are categorized as “Deafness,” nine as the newly minted “Computer Science” category, and the remaining twelve encompass the “Everything Else” on my blog. I’d like to keep a balance among those three topics, so I think I know what I want to write about next.
Yes, I know I’m the only person writing this blog, but it feels good to say something like “executive decision,” would you agree? ↩