Algorithms, Computers, and the Art of Constrained Poetry and Prose

Mike Keith (

Since the time of the early Greeks and Romans, writers have challenged themselves and entertained their readers by writing according to certain algorithmic rules -- as, for example, in the palindrome: a string in which letter a[i] is required to be the same as letter a[n-i]. The computer provides a host of new tools -- from lexicographic tools on the Web to PC programs of various kinds to special-purpose computers -- for experimenting with this art form in new, sometimes spectacular and beautiful, ways. This talk will be a survey of this fascinating field, illustrated with numerous examples. Come prepared to be amazed and amused!

Mike Keith received his BSEE from NJIT in 1977 and his MSEE from Stanford in 1978. After two years at Bell Labs he spent 1980 to 1990 at the David Sarnoff Research Center as part of the team that developed the first PC multimedia hardware and software (DVI Technology). He joined Intel Corporation in 1990 as part of Intel's acquisition of the technology, and worked for Intel from 1990 to 1993 in Princeton, and from 1993 to 1998 in Portland, Oregon. He left Intel in Spring 1998 and now divides his time between writing (sometimes constrained!), mathematics, and consulting on computer software and intellectual property issues. Mike has authored two books, about 40 papers, and holds 51 U.S. Patents.

Date: Thursday, December 17, 1998, 8:00 pm
Location: Auditorium, Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road (Rt 571 1/4 mile south of US 1), Princeton, NJ

Additional Information: recorded info (609) 924-8704, Dennis Mancl (908) 582-7086, or John DeGood (609) 734-2028

A pre-meeting dinner with the speaker is held at 6 p.m. at the Rusty Scupper on Alexander Road in Princeton. If you would like to attend, please call the information number to record your reservation on the answering machine.

Princeton ACM / IEEE Computer Society meeting are open to the public. Students and their parents are welcome. There is no admission charge, and refreshments are served.