Inside 214-1E

Existential Pontification and Generalized Abstract Digressions


Cambridge potpourri

In which Edward tells some stories about Cambridge and posts lots of pictures. Apparently, Alyssa B. Hacker (sic) went on the Cambridge-MIT exchange. This is perhaps a phenomenon of having been around MIT for too long, a campus which has a reputation for not being too picturesque (I can probably count the actually pretty spots […]

  • November 19, 2010

Blog name changed…

...because I don’t live in a room numbered 245s anymore. Yep. :-) This is a cow. They munch grass next to the River Cam. Pop quiz. What do matrix-chain multiplication, longest common subsequence, construction of optimal binary search trees, bitonic euclidean traveling-salesman, edit distance and the Viterbi algorithm have in common?

  • October 27, 2010

Don’t Repeat Yourself is context dependent

I am a member of a group called the Assassins’ Guild. No, we don’t kill people, and no, we don’t play the game Assassin. Instead, we write and run competitive live action role-playing games: you get some game rules describing the universe, a character sheet with goals, abilities and limitations, and we set you loose […]

  • October 22, 2010

Why I am in Cambridge

I am studying computer science this academic year at Cambridge University, not MIT. For some people, this seems quite strange: when I tell old friends at MIT and new acquaintances at Cambridge about the fact that I am a Cambridge-MIT Exchange student, they say, “Why?” Sometimes, it’s some disbelief at the fact that I am […]

  • October 4, 2010

So long America!

For tomorrow I get on a plane traversing three thousand miles from my home to a little place named Cambridge, United Kingdom. I’ll be studying abroad for the 2010-2011 academic year at Cambridge University (specifically, I’ll be at Fitzwilliam college). While I know Baltimore is a fashionable place to be these days, if you’re in […]

  • September 27, 2010

Day in the life of a Galois intern

Vrrmm! Vrrmm! Vrrmm! It's 9:00AM, and the cell phone next to my pillow is vibrating ominously. I rise and dismiss the alarm before it starts ringing in earnest and peek out the window of my room. Portland summer is a fickle thing: the weather of the first month of my internship was marked by mist […]

  • August 20, 2010

What high school Algebra quizzes and NP-complete problems have in common

What I did for my summer internship at Galois World of algebra quizzes. As a high schooler, I was using concepts from computer science long before I even knew what computer science was. I can recall taking a math quiz—calculators banned—facing a difficult task: the multiplication of large numbers. I was (and still am) very […]

  • August 16, 2010

Little’s law

A short thought from standing in line at the World Expo: Little’s law is a remarkable result that relates the number of people in a queue, the arrival rate of people to the queue, and the time spent waiting in the queue. It seems that it could be easily applied to a most universal feature […]

  • July 5, 2010

Thinking about talk

This one's for the MIT crowd. I will unfortunately not be in Boston over IAP, so I won't be able to do a redux of the class I taught last year, Advanced Typeclasses in Haskell. However, since I will be in Boston for September, it might be a good time to do cluedump for SIPB […]

  • June 28, 2010

Class Reflections

Last February, I posted about classes that I was going to be taking. Here are some reflections, now that final projects and examinations are over. 6.005: Software Construction. Teaching students how to engineer large software projects is one of the oddest paradoxes that you might encounter in academic life. The institute is certainly capable of […]

  • May 19, 2010