April 7th, 2006


Python For Fun

When people ask me for suggestions regarding simple Python projects which they can do, I direct them to Python for Fun. Chris Meyers has a set of very interesting `intermediate level' projects on this site; I use his Digital circuit simulation program as an introduction to object oriented programming in Python. I find his demonstration of Fourier analysis on the basis of certain simple properties of the sin/cos functions as very appealing to the beginner.


Things a Computer Scientist rarely talks about

Well ... don't jump into any naughty conclusions - this is the title of a book by Don Knuth on, hold your breath - religion, God and Computer Science - which I am trying to read!(Thank you, Vineeth).As I have the distinction of having stopped reading books in the TAOCP series after the preface, I thought here comes a book by Knuth which I can read (and maybe even understand a little bit) completely! I am into the second chapter and I start getting that old feeling of `things flying over my head' once again - Kunth will be Knuth!

The book has six lectures on stuff like `Randomization and Religion', `Aesthetics', `God and Computer Science' ... skimming over to chapter 6, I found this:

When I talk about computer science as a possible basis for 
insights about God, of course I am not thinking about God 
as a super-smart intellect surrounded by large clusters of 
ultrafast Linux workstations and great search engines....

So, the secret is out, God uses Linux!

Each chapter has a Q&A session at the end - one question at the end of lecture 1 was on the rate of growth of Computer Science:

Ah .. if only growth of CS slows down so that I could finally 
finish my books! I sort of keep hoping that red herrings will 
come along steadily to keep people busy; I get secret 
satisfaction when bad ideas take hold and suck a lot of people 
in ... like Java (just teasing)!

Knuth has talked for us, yes JAVA SUCKS ;-)

Lots more interesting stuff in the Q&A part - read the book to find out yourself!