"The old Bell Labs doesn't exist anymore -- though I will
certainly encourage young ambitious researchers to look at AT&T
Labs; it has much to offer. I could have stayed in AT&T Labs'
research center in Florham Park, NJ forever, but the interesting
problems from the engineering and development areas weren’t
coming the way they used to do. Also, after 24 years in one place,
I felt the need for something new.
"Academia was -- and is -- a challenge for me. Academic research
is far more different from industrial research than I had imagined
and teaching itself poses a new whole new set of interesting
problems for me. When I first graduated, I had a positive dread of
becoming a teacher/professor because I had seen too many professors
for whom academia was their whole world -- they had never seriously
experienced the world outside school. I did not want to become such
a teacher/professor. 24 years after, I felt I had something to
contribute based on my experience.
"I also had some -- rather naïve -- ideas of perusing noble
goals with a group of likeminded professors and students, coming
closer to the ideals of Bell Labs than was possible in today's
economic climate in industry."