I mentioned I was going to be at the University of Michigan's Engineering career fair, and here I am!
I got in yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, and did some things to re-orient myself. I visited my fraternity house first, and quickly, because rush began that night. In some ways things hadn't changed a bit - the house is still there and the rooms have the same names (my old room with a skylight window is still called Lighthouse). In other ways, they had - the TV is bigger and flatter, half of 'em had laptops, and the basement was being seriously renovated. The guys were pretty mellow, probably because of all of the post-beating-of-Penn-State celebrations. I then wandered around campus, eating dinner at Krazy Jim's Blimpyburger, where they give you burgers made of small, ground-that-day, patties. Yum!
When I flew in, the woman next to me on the plane explained the phenomenon she experienced when taking one of her kids to her alma mater. It all felt intimately familiar to her, even modulo some new buildings, but then she suddenly realized she was an old fart wandering campus. My kids aren't old enough to be shopping colleges yet, but I definitely felt the combination of familiarity and age. I saw buildings with new names, old names on new buildings, and just plain new buildings (esp. at North Campus). 20 years ago I was a freshman, now I'm literally old enough to be a father to a student in the incoming class of 2011.
This morning, I tagged along with Kais Belgaied as he visted some Computer Science faculty and grad students here. Our first visit was with Professor Z. Morley Mao, who's a new professor here. She has a lot of great ideas on how to exploit the Crossbow project for aiding intrusion detection (and mitigation), among other interesting ideas. We then talked to two other professors, Atul Prakash and Thomas Wenisch, and a few students as well. I remember Prof. Prakash from my time at Michigan (1987-1991), but the other two are new Assistant Professors. I'm confident from what I saw that U. of M.'s CSE division of EECS is going to be strong for a continuing number of years.
[Edit from Wednesday]Shoot! I forgot I also visited my old theory professor, Kevin Compton. He's a very good teacher, and helps even the most clueless undergrads (hem hem). He told me he's teaching a very popular undergraduate cryptography class, which is just too-cool, IMHO.
This evening several of us (Kais, Eric Kustarz, Bill and Sherry Moore, and I) gave a breezy tech talk about various goodies in OpenSolaris that we work on. We also had very yummy Pizza House pizza. Pizza House was "established 1986", which means it wasn't all that old when I was there, but it was good enough to have our host recommend it.
I'm now back in my hotel, squeezing packets over a flaky, but free, wifi. Tomorrow we will be spending the whole day at the table, taking resumes and answering questions. If one of you four readers of this blog is a U. of M. student, you don't have to wear a suit when visiting us. :)