What I Learned Today
I discovered two things today. The first was that most grad students don’t know about the ACM Distinguished Dissertation awards, which have been handed out every year since 1978 for the best Ph.D. theses in Computer Science. I think everyone who’s about to write a thesis ought to read at least one of these; they’re great models to follow, and you might even learn something.
The second thing I learned is that my professional organization doesn’t know from information architecture. I can forgive the awards’ site’s use of table-based layout—after all, I’m using it in this posting ;-). But would it really have been that hard to format the pages for the individual winners consistently, so that the little script I used to grab authors and titles didn’t have to be rewritten four times to handle all the egregiously-different cases? I also suspect that the pages were all built by hand, rather than being constructed from a database—the use of a URL in place of a thesis title in one case certainly suggests that.
Anyway, here they are: the best theses in Computer Science since 1978. Enjoy…