||[Sep. 15th, 2008|06:56 pm]
I didn't pass the foundations qual. My letter from the anonymous exam review committee reads, "You have a basic understanding of the definitions of computability and complexity theory. However, you need to demonstrate the constructions and proofs that are required to give complete and correct answers to the questions on the exam." I just mention that "basic understanding" part because I don't want you to think that I entirely suck.
It's hard to take. I keep telling myself it shouldn't be. It doesn't mean I'm worse at foundations than the other Ph.D. launchies -- most of them didn't take the foundations exam at all, choosing to take the algorithms one instead. There are only about three of us who even like this stuff. But, well, for a long time my concept of myself as a computer scientist has been Lindsey Kuper: Bad At Systems, Good At Theory!, so...what's left when that's what you think of yourself and then you fail at a test of your knowledge of theory? Yeah. Ouch. Thank goodness for Alex oniugnip, who always tells it like it is: "Well, you are good. You're just not Ph.D. good. Yet."