April 8, 2003

Bulk view

Aadisht Khanna and t-shirts

Aadisht Khanna’s recent W-Fillet is right. Plain T-shirts are
useful. I can write trendy political messages on them (geek code
alert!), advertise my website, and generally have fun.

Unfortunately I will probably have to more or less dress like a
teacher next semester, and I feel an urge to be somewhat dressier than
the T-shirt and shorts/pants guys at the CS department.

In other clothes news, my mom (in a fit of indulgence, no doubt) got
me a red leather dress. Ooooooooh, goodie… =)

Thanks to Thomas Gehrlein — planner

Thomas has been patiently helping me figure out how to become a better
maintainer, with loads of useful comments, patches, and tips on
maintaining better changelogs. Thanks also to people like Jody Klymak
and David Forrest for the recent burst of feature additions and
bugfixes. =)

Catastrophix updates — cat

Catastrophix the kitten is alive and well, although somewhat
fishy-smelling (we’ve been feeding her solid kitten food). She still
hasn’t figured out the litter box or the water dish, but she makes up
for it with quite an appetite.

Some confusion about her age. I’ll go with the vet’s guess placing her
at around a month old. My sister contends that she’s far younger. At
any rate, Catastrophix can walk around (albeit unsteadily), purr
(quite delightfully), and snuggle (rather contentedly).

It’s been hard to type with one hand, but it’s worth it for that
little furball.

Paper: Laptops in the Classroom — education

Andrea Beth Campbell and Roy P. Pargas


This paper is about mandatory laptop use in the classroom, but since
our labs are one-computer-one-student, the insights are useful. Here
were the uses they observed:

– posting instructional material online
– animating and demonstrating concepts
– collaborative learning exercises
– instant feedback
– automatic program execution and visualization
– evaluation and testing
– communication

The instant feedback thing looks particularly useful, and I will certainly try to write an online system for that – or adapt http://www.moodle.org, which greatly impressed me when I last checked it.

Paper: Engaging Students with Theory through ACM Collegiate Programming Contests — education

Nikolay V. Shilov and Kwangkeun Yi


“Training sessions are good opportunities to present students with

challenging programming problems that cannot be solved without
theoretical background in spite of simple formulation. The trainers
should provide students with background theory as soon as
students realize the programming complexity of these problems.”

Related link:

Kwangkeun Yi’s site has a lot of papers on formal methods. Puzzles for Learning Model Checking, Model Checking for Programming Puzzles, Puzzles for Testing Model Checkers seems interesting.