My doctoral work was with
developing algorithms for the
project. My dissertation is here. We
developed machine learning methods to discriminate toxins based on gene
expression levels. The ultimate goal of the EDGE project is to make the
analysis of industrial chemicals faster, cheaper, and more accurate.
My postdoc research was with
performing mathematical analyses of mouse ultrasonic vocalizations. The goal of
this research is to better understand the state of a mouse through its
vocalizations, to create a baseline when mice are used as models of mental
disease, such as autism, schizophrenia, or traumatic brain injury.
I’m from the state of Oregon in the U.S., though I was raised up and
down the Pacific coast. I earned my B.A. in Computer Science/Mathematics
(combined major) and Physics with Honors from
Lewis & Clark College in 1999,
and my M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the
University of Wisconsin, in 2002 and
Yup, academics keep track of this stuff. My line goes back to Danish linguists, and then German theologians. (I’m about as surprised by this as you are.)
Adam A. Smith, PhD Computer Sciences (2009), at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying under...
...Mark Craven, PhD Computer Sciences (1996), from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying under...
...Jude Shavlik, PhD Computer Science (1988), from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying under...
I really want to get into your class, but it’s full. Come talk to me in person, to make your case. I might be able to help.
Can I get into your lab but someone else’s lecture? (Or vice-versa.) Maybe, in extreme cases. We really try to avoid this.
When will (Algorithms, AI, etc.) be offered again? A lot of care goes into choosing the class schedule, trying to balance a lot of competing needs. Unfortunately we can’t please everybody. Come talk to one of us though; we might be able to help.
Will you be my advisor? Probably, if you already know me. If not, come by and let’s chat in person. Regardless of whether I’m your advisor or not, I’m happy to talk to you about which CS classes to take.
Letters of recommendation:
I’m your student. Would you be willing to write a letter of recommendation for me? Probably, if you give me enough time. It always helps if I know you better, and you’ve taken at least a couple classes from me. If I don’t feel that I know you that well, or I don’t think that I can honestly write you a good letter, I’ll be up front and recommend that you ask someone else.
What should I do if I want a letter of recommendation? First, ask me and give me plenty of time (at least a month is best). If it’s a second letter, I’ll probably need less time. Second, remind me when there’s a week left. I’m very busy, and it can be easy to forget this kind of thing. Don’t be scared to poke me and remind me about it.
I’m your student—will you friend me on social media?
It depends on the site. Regardless, even if you get a feed, it will be
heavily censored and not very interesting.
You have to understand—I’m not your friend. I’m your
teacher. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like you. (Fact is,
I’m very fond of most of my students.) But I value my freedom to be
myself among friends, without having to worry about workplace
politics. Maybe a year after you graduate, you can start getting to know me
as an equal and a colleague. But in the meantime, I like to keep these parts
of my life separate.
How about a professional site like LinkedIn? I’m fine with
that, but I don’t check those very often.
Didn’t you write The Wealth of Nations? No,
that was some other guy.
Why do you include your middle initial in your name? Isn’t that
kind of pretentious? Too many Smiths in this world, and too many Adam
Smiths. See the previous questions.
What do you like your students to call you? Honestly, I’m
happiest with just “Adam”. But I’m not going to object to
“Professor” or “Dr. Smith”. (Though the latter
sounds a bit too much like a certin sci fi villain.) I
am not fond of “Mr. Smith”—I worked too
hard for my doctorate.
What is your Erdős Number? Five. I coauthored with Mark Craven (my advisor), who wrote a paper with Michael Newton, who wrote with David Mason, who coauthored with Paul Deheuvels, who wrote a paper with Erdős.
I do have other hobbies outside of academia. I might even put one up here on occasion.