By popular demand, here’s a post that’s not about animu. Let’s see what delights my 3B term is bringing me.
CS 462: Formal Languages and Parsing (He)
This was one of the courses I was most looking forward to. And then I found out the prof I that I thought was teaching the course (who is a really awesome prof) was going on sabbatical. щ(ﾟДﾟщ)
The actual prof isn’t that great in lecture. His speaking isn’t very good and neither are his board notes. He’s pretty good when emailed though, so I just read the textbook and imagine it’s the author (who was the prof I wanted to get) lecturing instead and I just take notes.
The course itself is pretty cool. It seems to be more CS 360 stuff and in the same order too, going from finite automata and regular languages to context free languages and then to Turing machines. Thank God for Jeffrey Shallit’s book, A Second Course in Formal Languages and Automata Theory. I think I’m going to keep it.
CS 466: Algorithm Design and Analysis (Biedl)
This is another really cool course. In terms of content, it seems like it’s just more CS 341: here’s a problem, now let’s try to solve it and refine the solution. Now, we have a few more techniques that didn’t make it into CS 341.
I really liked the prof for this course when I took CS 360, enough to change my plans and push STAT 231 even later. But, having Timothy Chan guest lecture one class sort of convinced me I probably would’ve been okay if I’d decided to hold off on it until spring. Still, really good prof with really good board notes, although I find her equations and formulas really, really verbose. This preference for verbosity over notation seems to be a thing that’s really common among CS profs, actually.
PMATH 352: Complex Analysis (Spronk)
This was probably the class I was most worried about, since the last time I had anything to do with calculus was in 2A, which was two years ago. And it turns out my fears were completely realized. The class itself seemed pretty interesting, but it became clear that I had no idea what was going on when the time came to do assignments.
The prof was really helpful when I talked with him about it. This eventually lead to me dropping the course on his suggestion and altering my program plan to a more achievable one. He’s also really good in lecture and is one of those profs that proves and notes every detail. He writes really fast though.
PMATH 432: First Order Logic and Computability (Csima)
So I learned too late that I probably should have chosen PMATH 434 (Computational Number Theory) over this one. The course content for this was essentially a more intense version of CS 245 combined with what I believe will end up being the solvability parts from CS 360 and CS 341. Well, the stuff on solvability might make it worth taking this course, so we’ll see. This course is also kind of annoying because there’s always something that I’m missing in a proof that causes me to hemorrhage marks.
The prof is alright and has pretty good board notes, although she does get mixed up a bit sometimes. I don’t blame her, when you’re going on about models of stuff and interpretations of stuff, it’s not easy to keep track of it.
PMATH 442: Fields and Galois Theory (Liu)
Best course of 3B. Remember when I said rings and fields were awesome and groups were kind of meh? Well, Galois theory tells us that groups can be alright. It just takes something interesting like fields to make groups cool, that’s all. So yeah, field theory (and by extension, ring theory) is pretty awesome.
The prof for this course is great. Her accent needs about one class to get used to and then you’re good. Best board notes of the term. The thing that sets her apart, though, is that she cares about the students. She’s always asking us for our opinions on things about the class and tries to make sure that we understand everything and reminds us that if we’re having trouble, we can always ask her for help and stuff.