Happy MLK Day! IAmA black computer scientist who is currently at MIT as an MLK Visiting Professor. I also work at Microsoft Research. AMA!
Hi! I’m James Mickens. I’m a computer scientist in the Systems group at Microsoft Research.
For the past six months, I’ve also been an MLK Visiting Professor at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), where I’ve been a member of the Parallel and Distributed Operating Systems Group.
I got my bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia Tech and my PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan.
I am a member of two metal bands, both of which consist of solely myself, and both of which are amazing, mainly because I demand the best from myself, and myselves do the same.
For more information about my life, you can read this article entitled “All Hail the Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence”. Yes, I am the Viceroy in question. Yes, it is difficult to become a Galactic Viceroy. No, I cannot make you a Galactic Viceroy too. Yes, it is technically within my powers to do so. But no, I will not do it, because I could give you a fish, or I could teach you how to fish, or I could just drop the mic and then ride away in my custom-built hovercraft, as Galactic Viceroys are wont to do.
I'll be starting this AMA at 2 p.m. EST! Feel free to ask me about anything, including:
* what I work on all day
* how I got into programming
* how I survived grad school
* what MIT CSAIL is like
* why many of my critical life lessons were learned from Seinfeld
* what it's like to be a black guy in computer science
* any other topics that you’d like to discuss confidentially, with a complete stranger, in a public forum that will be archived forever
DISCLAIMER: I am not an official spokesperson for MIT, Microsoft, or any other noun besides James Mickens. Interestingly, I am the spokesperson for the adverbial phrase “with the subtlety of a young William Shatner.” However, a discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of the current AMA.
EDIT: indented some paragraphs and added the time
EDIT: I am officially leaving the AMA and going to bed :-). Thanks for all of the great questions!