"Up Goer 5" Research Description ...


Excerpt of 'Up Goer Five' from xkcd #1133

Recently I've noticed a number of colleagues refer to an xkcd comic which describes the Saturn V rocket using only the 'ten hundred' most commonly used words in the English language.  Because the words 'Saturn' or 'Rocket' or 'Thousand' don't occur in the allowable word set, the comic was titled 'Up Goer Five'.  It inspired the creation of  simple editor that would check the content against this allowable word set and soon everyone was trying out descriptions of 'stuff' that interested them using this spartan vocabulary.  Among the better ones I came across is a description of software engineering by Anthony Finkelstein.

So here's my own attempt to describe my research interest in adaptive computer systems:

"I study how computers can be made to look at the changing world around them and change how they work to match.  This might be to make the computer work faster, keep people who use them safe, help people use them more easily,  or simply make sure they keep working. To do this I look into ways that computers can learn about the world by themselves and become better at changing themselves." (Link)

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