Long ago (1988) I moved to Berkeley and started sending a monthly "newsletter" to my Boston friends. When I returned to Boston (1993), I continued the tradition for about five more years (or until I had kids). Looking back, I realize that I was actually blogging. Each newsletter contained anywhere from a few to several blog posts. Having been silent for the past decade or so, I've decided to resume these activities. Don't expect anything profound -- I tend to focus on what I find entertaining or amusing and perhaps sometimes informative. We shall see!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Harry

As some of you may recall, I have an odd fascination with Dr. Seuss. I've posted a few before. So, in that spirit, on the occasion of my advisor, mentor, and colleague, Harry Lewis's 70th birthday, I give you:

 Harry Hatches CS.

Sighed Martin, the Spartan Dean of D-A-S
I'm stymied and I'm bored; what is this C-S?
Is it math? Engineering? Neither or both?
It's something quite different I swear under oath
Let me create some new courses said Harry
Theory of computation won't be scary

It's mathy and logical just right for me
I'll make some new courses and teach them you see
Then Harry, the young guy, started creation
He called the course, theory of computation
Then AS eleven started migration

To the course known today as CS fifty
You didn't know that? It's really quite nifty.
Algorithms next, called AM one nineteen
Now it's one twenty four, you know what I mean

Before a CS concentration was made
In many areas the students played
Some did AM, while others studied Eng Sci
But eventually the right thing did fly
Computer science became a field of study
Intrepidly led by Harry our buddy

A concentration must have a head tutor
The chief advisor and main troubleshooter
Harry quite naturally stepped into this role
Dedicated to students in heart and soul

And as CS grew, Harry knew what to do
After careful analytical review,

Come Henry and Stuart, Margo and Michael
Salil and David continue the cycle
Then Sasha joined to make the number seven
Only four more and we'll be at eleven!

With computer science now growing and blazing
Harry did something even more amazing
The Dean of Harvard College, Harry was named
Still teaching his course, he became quite acclaimed

House randomization came as no surprise
His report of the college did so advise
Random numbers play a key role in CS
So should they too for our students' address

Harry decreased` the size of blocking groups too
From sixteen to eight, I'm afraid that it's true
But during his Dean's tenure, there was no doubt
His devotion was to students throughout
Perhaps lesser known is how much all admired
Dean Lewis whose efforts were always inspired

After eight years of Deaning in faithfulness
He returned to his home in good old CS
The job of head tutor became the nutty
Director of undergraduate study
Assuming this title in style of no peer
Advising more students than days in a year
He leads by example; he shows us the way
To care for our students in the proper way

Perhaps his service to Fair Harvard was through?
Oh no, oh no, there was still more he could do
With Cherry departing and no Dean starting
Harry did what he could before departing
He became the Interim Dean of our school
Fairness and respect to all was his ground rule

He's had so many jobs, so many titles,
We could go on and on with our recitals
Instead, we'll mention just a few titles more
Because they allude to what might be in store

He's a father, grandfather, father-in-law
To us he's much more, given what he oversaw
He's a teacher, advisor, mentor and friend
None better on your side could we recommend

As the clock on two years begins winding down
Here is how to avoid our collective frown
Go forth and have fun teaching CS classics
With your wit, charm, and happy dynamics
Back to Montana for the best fall around
But come back to Cambridge where colleagues are found
We wish you the best and Happy Birthday too
With our love, respect, and gratitude. Thank you!