In the past few weeks, there were two notable events in the computer science community. The first was the announcement of the 2013 Turing Award winner: Leslie Lamport, for his contributions to distributed and concurrent systems. I am learning about his work in my distributed systems course this semester, so it is nice to see that he is getting recognized.

Here is the updated list of Turing Award laureates by university affiliation. MIT is now gaining ground on Stanford and Berkeley.

The second major piece of news relates to the new computer science Ph.D. rankings, which is nice because before that, the last update was in 2010. The top four schools — Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley — did not change in rank, but Cornell dropped from five to six, while Illinois retained their status as fifth. Washington moved up from seven to six, which might be a reflection of their latest faculty hiring spree. Princeton stayed at eighth, while the UT Austin dropped from eight to nine.

Cornell and UT Austin can’t be happy about their rank dropping, as it will adversely affect their yield for both their graduate and undergraduate enrollment. As I mentioned earlier, UT Austin is planning to substantially expand the size of their department, and last I heard, Cornell is doing the same (more on that later), so they are fighting to get their ranking up. Unfortunately, this means that in about five years, professorships will be tough to get.

Side note: after Googling my own name, I’m happy to see that Seita’s Place is the first hit. Technically, for most of the past two years, the first hit was actually the Hello World entry. Why was that post ranked higher over the blog homepage for so long?