Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Senior Exit Exams

So the friendly rivalry between the CS and CSA students at my university is quite hilarious at times. I'm currently taking the senior class all seniors are required to take in our school of computing. It just so happens that we've naturally segregated each other to where the CS students are sitting on one side and the CSA students on the other. I think this is due to the fact that we are generally better friends with each other from our respective majors from having taken a lot of classes together and less because we don't like each other.

So yesterday our professor is telling us about our exit exams we're required to take before we graduate. He first shifts his gaze to our, CS, side of the class and starts telling us what our test is. It's going to be the Computer Science major field test, which is a national standardized test...blah blah blah. I'd heard about it before so I wasn't paying attention. Instead I was scheming.

I saw that in a few seconds he was about to start talking about the CSA exam and thought this was a great opportunity to make a great stab. So I thought for a moment and it clicked. I had the greatest joke ever!

So he's done talking to us and shifts his gaze over to the other side. He starts out with "And for the CSA exam...". Then he places a pause at the perfect time. So not wasting a moment I jump in with "Yeah, you can pick up your coloring books in the office!!" Not that this was funny enough, but the guy behind me was planning the exact same thing with "A review of kindergarten".

This might not seem as funny written in a blog post, but having been there, I was crying and the class was laughing pretty hard for a few minutes. Both sides thought it funny, that's the great part, the CSA guys take it pretty well. They've just decided it's generally hopeless, and take it like men. I'm so proud of them ;)

EDIT: I guess they were kinda ticked after all. Oh well, sniff sniff.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dream Monads

So I was sleeping the other night and had one of these weird dreaming/coding experiences. Then a thought came to my mind, either while sleeping or while awake. Is dreaming a Monad? Then I got to thinking some more, and I think I've concluded that yes it is.

It maps objects and operations from life into this new context of a dream. The structure of a dream is nearly isomorphic to life except for those special flying powers you get from time to time. So structure is preserved. Thus, I think it fair to call it a functor.

Since it allows you to lift objects from life into this context it has unit. And since a dream in a dream is really just a dream also, we have join. So being a functor with unit and join, we can conclude it's a Monad.

Now, deciding it's a Monad, what other properties of Monads can we infer onto dreams that we haven't though of before?