Michael Ekstrand

Blog Articles

People Are Not Tasks

Published on 15 Oct 2017 and tagged with academia and productivity.

The primary text in church this morning was Romans 15:22–33 — Paul's travel plans, in which he hopes to visit Rome on the way to Spain after delivering a relief gift to Jerusalem. Our bishop is visting this weekend and gave the message, and some of the things he said got me thinking about how to live a good academic life.

The Tenure-Killer

Published on 9 Oct 2017 and tagged with career and academia.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings denial of tenure.

— Litany Against Fear, from Dune by Frank Herbert, adapted by yours truly.

There are a a couple pieces of advice, or rather a piece of advice and a short manifesto, that have stuck with me throughout my academic career.

Travel and Talks — Belgium and the Netherlands

Published on 7 Jun 2017 and tagged with research and talks.

I'm travelling next week to Belgium and the Netherlands, and have several talks scheduled; I'd love to see you at one of them.

Dynamic Dispatch is Control Flow

Published on 28 May 2017 and tagged with programming.

In 2010, I saw a tweet that changed how I think about programming. I do not remember who tweeted it, and I have been unable to locate it again, but its gist was “The Tao of OOP is that dynamic dispatch is control flow”.

This is true, and it creates an entirely different way of thinking about designing objects. I also find it applies somewhat to functional programming.