Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Stanford Connection

The Stanford Alumni Magazine just ran a nice piece about me and my latest novel, Runoff. You can see it here.

If you do check it out, you'll read about a number of connections between me, my writing and Stanford University, including the fact that I set a scene from Runoff at Stanford--in the Gates Computer Science Building to be specific. I have a little fun with the description of the building when my private eye protagonist August Riordan goes to visit a Professor Ballou there:
Professor Ballou’s office was—appropriately enough—in a building named after Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The outside of the building was a nice blend of modern design and the California Mission-inspired architecture that dominated the campus, but going down a hallway past dozens of minuscule offices with frosted glass doors, I was reminded of the documentary I saw on Japanese capsule hotels. You would have thought Gates could have sprung for an extra floor in his building to give everyone a little more elbow room.

In real life, I interviewed a Stanford Computer Science professor to better understand the election integrity issues associated with electronic voting. His name is David Dill. Given that we are in the midst of presidential primary season and have the November, 2008 presidential election looming, you may want to check out the article he recently wrote about the dangers of relying on computers to tally votes. The money quote is right up front:
The role of computers in voting should be limited, because computers are fundamentally limited machines.


At 10:55 AM, Blogger Keith Raffel said...

Mark, I have no connections to Stanford other than proximity. I guess that's good enough because they send me the alumni mag. Looking forward to getting the next issue and reading the article on old-fashioned paper.


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