Ass, Professor

In 2004 I started my first faculty job at UCLA, which was great. My web page started with “I’m an assistant professor of computer science at UCLA.”

I got tenure in summer 2008 and was promoted to associate professor, which I announced by changing that sentence to “I’m an ass. professor of computer science at UCLA”, because “ass.” is short for “associate” as well as “assistant” and I thought it was funny. For a while Google wasn’t as smart about where sentences end, and if you Googled me, it reported as a reliable summary of my web page: “I’m an ass.” Which is sort of true?

In spring 2011 I took up an untenured position at Harvard, which was announced as NEWS! Starting in fall I’ll be an ass. professor at Harvard. Very exciting.

I got tenure at Harvard in 2014 and was formally appointed to a full professorship starting July 1, 2015. In a git commit called “Ass no more”, the page changed to “I’m currently an ass and Microsoft Professor of Computer Science at Harvard”.

It’s 2022 and this has been a pretty good joke for 14 years. I love all the emails I got informing me that my web page had been hacked. I’ll always be an ass. professor at heart. But I don’t have to call myself an ass.

Eddie Kohler