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.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Professor Howdy said...

Solve this riddle if you can:

Find the four letter word
below shown as ****

(Answer at the end
of this comment.)

If I could speak in any
language in heaven or
on earth but didn't ****
others, I would only be
making meaningless noise
like a loud gong or a
clanging cymbal. If I
had the gift of prophecy,
and if I knew all the
mysteries of the future
and knew everything
about everything, but
didn't **** others, what
good would I be? And
if I had the gift of faith
so that I could speak
to a mountain and make
it move, without ****
I would be no good to
anybody. If I gave
everything I have to
the poor and even
sacrificed my body,
I could boast about it;
but if I didn't **** others,
I would be of no value
whatsoever. **** is
patient and kind. ****
is not jealous or boastful
or proud or rude. ****
does not demand its
own way. **** is not
irritable, and it keeps
no record of when it
has been wronged.
It is never glad about
injustice but rejoices
whenever the truth
wins out. **** never
gives up, never loses
faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through
every circumstance.

May You Always
Experience This
Kind Of ****,
Dr. Howdy

P.S. Here's some blogs & videos
that I found of interest as
I negotiated my way through

Every Student
My Blog Video
Religion Comparison
Avoid This Place
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
Around the Well
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
Little Girl
Get Saved?
You & Sin City
Mysterious Disappearance
Evolution Video
The Departure
You Need To See This
'Thought & Humor'

Tell me sometime what your
thoughts are about all this
and whether you figured
out this riddle or not:O)

Riddle Answer:
**** = Love


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