minutia press.
A&M ++

The computer science world is all agog at the news that Bjarne Stroustroup has joined the faculty of Texas A&M , whose faculty and students are known throughout Texas as "aggies".

Actually, Stroustroup didn't just join the faculty; he became a full professor and received an endowed chair as part of the move. Endowed chairs at Washington University are sometimes missing their legs, as those who occupy our chairs often have to wait a while to see any useful income from the chair. I'll post about that later, but I can't help but reflect on the fact that UT Austin did a similar thing with Dijkstra. Dijkstra joined UT when they sponsored some very heavily endowed chairs. At the time, acquisition of Dijkstra was considered quite an accomplishment for UT. While Dijkstra's achievements are legendary, he really did not do much while at UT except anger faculty and refuse to mentor students. Indeed, I do not believe he published anything since joining UT, nor has he written much since his death this past year (see my earlier post about posthumous publication).

Why is Stroustroup so famous? Well, I think it's due to C++, the language that brought object orientation to what was otherwise a nice, simple language (C). Stroustroup's presence at Texas A&M should prove interesting, if only because of the new possibilities for Aggie jokes.