Subject: New member intro and questions
From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 19:49:47 -0500 (EST)


Hi.  I just joined the list and have been perusing the last couple of
months' postings.  Anyhow, I am interested in a particular niche of the
free software business and how to get started in it.
   I'm a grad student at Indiana University in CS and Mathematics (going
for two separate PhD's).  I'm not really interested in going into academia
or the proprietary software industry.  My personal goal (I know this is
corny) is to further the knowledge of the human race, and I might as well
try and make a couple of bucks while I'm at it, since there's not really
any place that's really "pure" (color me ivory tower).  And I see free
software as a great means of connecting research to actual use as quickly
as possible.
    My mathematical interests are in statistics (particularly
approximation - useful for codecs and models of statistical reasoning -
neural networks are an example), my computer science interests lie mainly
in programming languages and reasoning about programs.
    What I would like to do eventually is start a sort of research center
where research is done and put into free software.  Patents would probably
also be sought, though license fees would only be necessary for
proprietary uses (embedded software in particular).
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to pursue this idea?  I'm not
much of a businessperson myself, so I would need a partner, as well as
finding other researchers who feel disaffected by the current trends in
academia (the university as a business - blech), would like to do research
and be able to publish their results without hassle, and get paid a
healthy market price for their services (without the tenure game practiced
at universities), as well as sharing in the IP rights and royalties for
their inventions.  

Thanks,
Lynn
PS. More details at http://www.free-expression.org for what I want to work
on in the short-term (i.e. decade plus or minus a half).