- They've got the Extreme! Computing lab. Not the Extreme Computing lab. The Extreme! Computing lab.
- Because passwords are passe, as of 2006 they've got this centralized passphrase system1. A passphrase must be at least 15 characters, containing 4 or more words, in which a "word" is defined as two or more distinct letters delimited by non-letters. It took me a while to come up with a good one that I'd remember, but now that I have one, I log in once and poof! for the rest of my browser session I am logged in to pretty much everything at IU, including the CS grad student message board thing and the intranet thing and the course-registration thing and Google Apps. I even got my username of choice. (Plus, they get style points for knowing what a hacker is.)
- They've got Dybvig and Dan Friedman and I get to take courses from them.
- They've got New York Times Crossword Puzzle maker Will Shortz as commencement speaker today. He also happens to be a 1974 graduate of IU, having designed his own major in enigmatology, the study of puzzles. Does it get more awesome than that?
- It does, in fact, get more awesome than that: they've got neuroanatomist Jill Taylor. In 1996, Dr. Taylor suffered a left-brain stroke which left her unable to walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. For the last ten years, she has been successfully rebuilding her own brain. Today, in addition to teaching at IU, she travels the country, guitar in hand, and sings about the beauty and mystery of the brain. This woman might be my personal hero. She was just named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, and as if all that weren't awesome enough, she also goes around tirelessly demanding that people give her their BRAAAAAAIINS! (for neuroscience research, in her capacity as the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Bank), and making anatomically correct stained-glass brains.
I'm so excited.