Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Thursday Quote - Barbara Liskov, Valerie Barr

"... the ingredients that have to be in place in order to get an ah hah moment. You have to be working on a problem, but also have to be able to have "off time" so that the brain can work on the back burner."
Barbara Liskov as reported by Valerie Barr in Barbara Liskov keynote - Grace Hopper Conference, from BLOG@CACM October 2, 2010

There is no "wider context" today because that quote stands on its own, but Valerie Barr did report something else Barbara Liskov said that's worth repeating:

After providing the background information, Liskov talked about her technical work which ultimately led to the Turing Award. Much of her work was motivated by interest in program methodology and the questions of how programs should be designed and how programs should be structured. So after receiving the Turing Award, she went back and reread the old literature, discovering anew that there is great material in old papers and that her students were unaware of it. So she is now pointing people to these papers and encouraging people to read them.

For example, three key papers she cited are:

Next week: Linus Torvalds

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