ezyang’s blog

the arc of software bends towards understanding

October, 2010

Abstraction without a concrete concept

Hoare logic, despite its mathematical sounding name, is actually a quite practical way of reasoning about programs that most software engineers subconsciously employ in the form of preconditions and postconditions. It explicitly axiomatizes things that are common sense to a programmer: for example, a NOP should not change any conditions, or if a line of […]

  • October 6, 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

Tips for running a hackathon

A hackathon is an event, spanning from a day to a week, where hackers (not the cracking kind) get together to work on some common goals in concert. One use of a hackathon is to get some open-source contributors together and work hard on a particular feature: the combination of being together and being expected […]

  • October 1, 2010