Sunday, September 17, 2006

Seafood, steak, and algorithms

I experienced some life-altering episodes this weekend that have left me humiliated, stunned, and bloated. My brother Francesco got married to a wonderful woman yesterday in a (dare I say) typical Italian wedding - too much food, lots of wine, and hundreds of guests. In the context of that event, I have learned the following:

1. You can never really know everything about a person. For example, I had no idea that my brother leads a double life as a street dancer in the breaking community - until I watched him perform the Worm in his designer suit during a dance-off with my other brother Gaspare. Represent.

2. It is okay to eat bread, cheese, pasta, rice, filet mignon, potatoes, lamb, lobster, shrimp, calamari, and cake. On different days. Never in one sitting. My stomach hates me right now. But I couldn't help myself. I love food. Once it's hits the lips... it's so good.

3. In relation to the above, seafood, steak, and algorithms do not mix. I tried the computer science exercise today, but my desire to finish the assignment was in constant competition with my bloated stomach that demanded answers for my reckless eating (and drinking) from last night.

4. I can't add. It's embarrassing. I have been trying to determine the time efficiency of the Simple, Insertion, and Selection Sorts but haven't been able to calculate the correct sums. I started having flashbacks of elementary school math class when my teacher showed us flash cards to help us practice addition and multiplication. In my mental image, the cards were blank.

5. As a PhD student undergoing comps, I appreciate the unambiguity of algorithms in Computer Science. If only we could convince some historians to discard their verbal refuse.

6. Knowing the way I am, I need to see algorithms in practical use before I'll truly understand how and why to use them in relation to digital history.

That's it (for now).

1 Comments:

Blogger Adam Marcotte said...

I had some trouble with the algorithm assignment too.

You can check out my blog for some info on working with summation algorithms (if you're interested).

Otherwise: if you are finding the problems difficult, keep in mind: the problem set is asking for how many comparisons and copies are being made in each sorting method example. Just go back to each example, and check how many operations were performed!

9:58 AM  

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