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Lindsey Kuper

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T minus 8 hours [Aug. 22nd, 2008|01:33 am]
Lindsey Kuper
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Orientation starts tomorrow, and I have the first-day-of-school jitters like you wouldn't believe.

I'm at the library working on problems from the 2006 foundations qualifying exam, having now gotten through the first six chapters of Sipser. So far, I've written up answers for problem 1, problem 3, and, uh, half of problem 2. Merely getting this far has taken all week, a lot of scratch paper, and a ludicrous amount of Diet Coke.

I don't think I get to bring notes to the exam. Remind me to get the three conditions of the pumping lemma tattooed on my arm sometime before 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The custodial staff are coming in and saying "Good morning" to one another. It must be time to go home.


[User Picture]From: keystricken
2008-08-22 06:01 am (UTC)
It's gonna be great. Now get some sleep.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-08-22 11:16 am (UTC)
Thanks. You just reminded me that I was nervous before my visit last March, too, and that worked out fine. (This proves nothing. However, it makes me feel better.)

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[User Picture]From: pixelherder
2008-08-22 06:16 am (UTC)
If it helps to know that someone else is suffering too, I'm actually at school myself, working on the written part of my qualifying exam.

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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-08-22 11:13 am (UTC)
Well, in case you need a laugh to ease your suffering, here's a conversation that actually happened:

Lindsey: Andrew wrote a ray tracer and it fits on the back of a business card. I might as well just quit computer science right now!
Alex: He's probably amazingly badass, but I think graphics stuff just seems more awesome, per unit awesome.
Lindsey: Yeah. I guess it's not inherently more awesome than the less flashy stuff.
Alex: It's really not. Also, ray tracers are very well understood.
Lindsey: ...
Alex: ...by people who understand them.
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[User Picture]From: pixelherder
2008-08-24 11:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks, that is good for a laugh.

Honestly, though, it's mostly because I've been writing any number of a ray tracers for a few years now and the core idea is pretty small. I'd bet that most grad students who've been around for a bit could find something slick that's small enough to write up on a back of a business card. I'd be surprised if the PLT kids, for example, couldn't squeeze a small metacircular evaluator into that space, or if the AI folks couldn't produce a miniature inferencing or unification engine.

Heck, the winning entry in the 2002 International Obfuscated C Code Contest was a friggin' self-compiling compiler in 2k of C source code! I still find that one completely stunning.

I'd love to see what else people could manage to fit into, say, a 40x40 character space.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-08-25 12:12 am (UTC)
I'd be surprised if the PLT kids, for example, couldn't squeeze a small metacircular evaluator into that space

I have a new medium-term goal.
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[User Picture]From: gawm
2008-08-22 12:31 pm (UTC)
YAY first-day-of-school jitters!! I miss those.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-08-22 06:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I hadn't had them in a while. (This was only the first day of orientation. I get to have first-day-of-class jitters in eleven days.)
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From: boojum
2008-08-23 07:48 am (UTC)
Yay, school! I miss school.

How did orientation go?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-08-23 03:00 pm (UTC)
The first day of it was great! It goes on for another week.
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