Five Minutes with... Richard Zanibbi
You knew you were headed for a career in Computer Science when...
I took my first course in Computer Science and loved it. After that class,
I decided to finish my Music degree while working on a minor in Computer
Science, and then try to become a Professor of Computer Science.
What is your favorite class and why?
Pattern Recognition. The course is a seminar, so students present a significant
amount of material in the course. We study a number of algorithms for
making complex decisions, and then discuss and compare them. I've offered
the course once so far, and really enjoyed watching the students gain
confidence in their ability to read and present state-of-the-art techniques.
One piece of advice I have for 1st year students is...
This quote: "A year in the lab saves you a day in the library."
If you could have dinner with a famous computer
scientist, living or dead, who would you choose?
John von Neumann
who made significant contributions in many areas
including set and game theory, and devised the notion of the stored-program
computer (the Von Neumann architecture).
What is the most interesting project you have worked on,
either in a course or on the job?
A problem that I like to work on with my students is the recognition of typeset
and handwritten mathematical notation, and I was one of the contributors
to ffes/draculae, an open-source pen-based equation editor. I'm also quite
interested in the Video captcha work that I'm currently doing with Kurt
Kluever, a former M.S. student of mine who now works at Google in New York.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I'd like to be a tenured professor in the department, teaching courses and
carrying out research projects that I'm interested in.