Saturday, May 07, 2005

Another Disaster

I just finished the Complexity exam. There were only a handful of us left in the class by this point. A total of seven people took the exam. One attended less than half the semester's lectures. One attended every lecture, but all his notes could be reviewed in an hour. One wrote "Via a simple induction" in response to a proof question, one made the same error on two different problems - and again, for another pair of problems. One walked in late, one left an hour early, one needed coffee to keep awake during the exam.

I've rarely seen such a sorry bunch. But it was a fun course, and I'm sorry it's over.

Friday, May 06, 2005

For Cherry and Mridula

Funnily enough, I too had the remarkable insight that one could use an external text editor instead of Blogger's cursed text box. But Word? And vi?? I use Emacs, you insensitive clods. :-)

The only thing that could get me blogging again...

... another election. What is it with me and elections? I sit glued to my computer, watching as the results come in one constituency at a time. At least twenty times a night, I update my estimates of each party's final seat tally. Indian elections, that's natural. American elections, that's reasonable given that I'm currently in Illinois. But British elections? The actions of the Prime Minister are unlikely to have a huge impact on me in the near future. Still, I reload the results page every half hour, not trusting the auto-refresh that runs every two minutes. The BBC's fantastic online election coverage - much better than that of any American network during the presidential elections here - completely destroyed any resolutions I made about uninterrupted study.

Anyway, congratulations to Tony Blair, though the sharply reduced Labour majority might indicate that he won't serve a full term. The Conservatives did fairly well, gaining over 30 seats for a total of 197. The commentators who kept predicting 209 Tory seats must have been smoking something; it seemed fairly clear after the first couple of hours that they'd be lucky to reach 200. The big surprise of the night was the Lib Dem haul; they did much better than expected, winning a total of 62 seats.

Ordinarily I wouldn't mind wasting an election night, but this is a bad time. I have a Complexity exam tomorrow, and really should have been studying. (For that matter, I shouldn't be blogging now, but I can't help myself.) This whole week has been kind of crazy; more on that later, though. There've been times I've itched to post about something, but I just haven't had the time. After tomorrow's exam, I should have a short breathing spell, so expect a couple of posts then.

We now return to the PCP theorem.