I had the opportunity to visit Louisiana State University this past week. Having graduated from there back in 1988, I am visiting that town after a span of 18 years. The campus itself hasn't changed a whole lot - more people, more cars and more traffic though :). The Union building is still very much at the center of the campus and being a hub for students to take a break. Seeing the quadrange right behind the computer science department brought back a lot of memories of sitting there and cramming for exams.
It was fun to meet with some of the Professors that taught me who are still a part of the University.
I had a chance to meet with students from the Computer Science as well as Electical and Computer Engineering departments. When my MS thesis advisor canceled his class to come listen to my talk to the students, I was really touched by his kind gesture.
One of the things that LSU has done well over time is to create departments that focus exclusively on research and working with the industry on taking that research to market. One such entity is the CCT (Center For Computation and Technology) and the few people that I met there is a clear indication of the talent that they have able to pull together. In talking to the Vice Chancellor there, they are looking to create 3-4 more such entities in the next couple of years. All the very best to them!
In some sense, I feel I have been remiss in not establishing a connection with this school that taught me a lot and I hope to do better in the coming years.