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[thirty-five] minus nineteen: listen, you might learn something

centaur 0

Recently, collaborating on a paper, I was convinced that there was a problem in the algorithm we were presenting, and got together with a colleague to discuss it. He saw some of the problems, but had a different take on others, and kept coming back to a minor point about our use of a method in one step.

As we talked, we slowly realized the problem I was raising and the comment he was making, while seemingly unrelated, were actually two sides of the same coin. A minor tweak in the use of a published algorithm, seemingly made just out of necessity to make a demo work, was actually a key, load-bearing innovation that made everything downstream in the algorithm work.

We made the change, and suddenly everything in the paper started to fall into place.

But we’d never have gotten there if we hadn’t taken the time to listen to each other.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Nola, the night of another great conversation with a friend.

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