1 – 12, 2004 Vol 75, No. 7F
Carlo H. Séquin is a professor of computer science at
the University of California, Berkeley, and associate dean for
capital projects in the College of Engineering. He received his
Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of Basel, Switzerland,
in 1969. Dr. Séquin is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of
the IEEE, and a member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Minute with CS professor Carlo Séquin
What do you do to forget
Why would I want to forget about engineering? This is the fun part of
my job! For relaxation from administrative and bureaucratic hassles,
I go swimming in Lake Anza on warm summer evenings, or I go hiking or
on short backpacking trips and “sleep in the dirt.” But even
then, I often think about engineering issues or geometrical questions
—mostly in conceptual preparation for a new abstract sculpture.
Later, I build models of these sculptures on our rapid-prototyping machines.
Some of them get cast in bronze, and a couple of times I also had the
chance to build them at a 12-foot scale as snow sculptures at the International
Snow-Sculpting Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado.
What is your personal recipe for success?
Do a good job on all assignments that you have taken on. Give priority
to jobs that are close to completion, so that you can conclude them
successfully and clear them off your “to-do stack.”
How can a student get through your hardest class?
Actively and critically think along during lectures, and try to absorb
and understand the material immediately. Ask questions if necessary.
Relate the lecture material to the labs. Start early on assignments
and don’t procrastinate.
Why did you become a professor?
It is a job that keeps me young! I love to be exposed to the enthusiasm
and thinking of young people. I love intense technical or logical discussions
with students and colleagues. I love the rhythm between the 17 weeks
of the semesters and the more relaxed periods in between. I also love
the flexibility and topical mobility that this job offers.
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