I would agree about:So this commentator measures the quality of a theory group using the perceived research quality of the very best researchers at a given institution. Another possible metric would be the size of the group of active researchers with high international visibility. Yet others could be the number of peer-reviewed publications in top-class journals and conferences, or the average such number per staff member.
MIT (Silvio, Shafi, Ron, Michel, …)
Cornell (Rafael, Eva, Jon, Bobby,…)
Berkeley (Luca, Christos, Umesh,…)
CMU (Venkat, Manuel, Avrim, Ryan,…)
Princeton (Boaz, Sanjeev, Moses, Bernard,..)
The others are a bit flakier:
GA Tech (Santosh, Chris, Vijay, Sasha, …)
UT Austin (Adam, David, Brent)
UCSD (Mihir, 1/4 Russell, Daniele, maybe Hovav)
U Washington (Anna, Paul, Anup)
I would say at least he following schools are VERY comparable to above:
Stamford (Dan, Serge, Tim, Amin,…)
NYU (Subhash, Assaf, Yevgeniy, Richard, …)
Harvard (Salil, Michael(s), Leslie)
Columbia (Mihalis, Rocco, Tal)
I would say there are top 5, and then top 10 following them.
What criteria are most useful and why (bearing in mind that, at the end of the day, we are always making subjective judgements)? I am interested in this topic since the School of Computer Science I am working at is presently undertaking a benchmarking exercise. The aim of the exercise is to find three to four departments in the Nordic countries with which we aim at comparing ourselves in the very short term, within five years and within 10-15 years. One of the interesting aspects of this exercise is that our school is substantially smaller than most of the departments elsewhere. So, what do you think would be good metrics for the benchmarking exercise? Standing of the top scientists within the school? Average number of peer-reviewed publications and citations? Or what?