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Saturday, March 12, 2005


It's snowing like cats and dogs, or buses and trams, or whatever one has to say when it's snowing a lot. It's interesting that sometimes we just want to convey our meaning with least interest in the words we choose and some other times, it's just the beauty of the words that we want to share. Consider, an excerpt from Faiz' poetry:

وہ لوگ بہت خوش قسمت تھے جو عشق کو کام سمجھتے تھے
یا کام سے عاشقی کرتے تھے،
ہم جیتے جی مصروف رھے، کچھ عشق کیا، کچھ کام کیا۔
کام عشق کے آڑے آتا رہا اور عشق کام سے الجھتا رہا۔
پھر آخر تنگ آ کر ہم نے، دونوں کو ادھورا چھوڑ دیا۔

See, what a beautiful combination of both the worlds!

So, I was talking about the weather. After a few days' fluctuation between -3 and +1, the temperature is back to -5 today and I had thought that it's over! I have seen -13 so far and I hope that it doesn't go back to that point.

And the words "so far" remind me of the temporal combinator Sofar in Luke. Actually, I just came back from my first exam of third term: Software Engineering Using Formal Methods and I guess that I did pretty well. Also, I received an email from Reiner Hähnle that they do have some thesis work for students. Good news, indeed!

I had been doing voluntary teaching of Formal Methods to my own class this term - real, formal lectures where students sit and listen to you when you draw diagrams and write equations on the board. I really love Mathematical Logic and the ideas - consider Sequent Calculus and Tarski's Definition of Truth, for example. I got very good feedback and some even claimed that I teach better than the course assistants, Angela and Philipp.

Next is Concurrent Programming and then Parallel and Distributed Real Time Systems. I know that I won't be able to do that good in the Real Time Systems course - it was a very tough course dealing with Mathematical Analysis of Scheduling Algorithms. I am confident about Concurrent Programming but the graded assignments of Real Time Systems have been a killer. There were two assignments of 7 questions each and for answering each one you needed to read research articles and papers with theorems and proofs regarding schedulability. Now, one can manage that as well if that is a single point agenda but we had other courses in parallel. Still, if I manage to get a 5 in that one as well, it would be a record, I guess.