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Lecture quotes.

martin@pergolesi.demon.co.uk (Martin Harvey)
(smirk, true)

Seeing "The infinite wisdom of Mr Kevin Giffhorn," I figured that I'd demonstrate that such people exist in the UK too.

Some Computer Science students at Cambridge University (including myself) have their days enlightened by lecture courses of Dr Arthur Norman; who is well known for being the only computer science lecturer to have fine art students attend his lectures.

Here are a few of his quotes, some taken from http://www.arthurnorman.org/, some of which I have heard myself.

"Because you're computer scientists, you have no need to go to the college bar"

"People who don't use computers are more sociable, reasonable, and ... less twisted"

"You can swear at the keyboard and it won't be offended. It was going to treat you badly anyway"

"Microsoft has world class quality control"

"The code should be beaten into submission"

"The theoreticians have proven that this is unsolvable, but there's three of us, and we're smart..."

"There is something in the lecture course which may not have been visible so far, which is reality ..."

"For those of you who are into writing programs that are as obscure and complicated as possible, there are opportunities for... real fun here"

"There are almost unlimited ways for making your programs more complicated or bizarre"

"I hear gasps of breaths that a word like that should be mentioned in a computer science course [referring to "goto"]"

"... and the REALLY GOOD THING, is that after you have gone to the trouble of compiling that once, you can run it MANY MANY times!!!"

"Utter masochists can inspect the handbook in the main Computer Laboratory library and admire its collection of references to the primary literature and for its price (last seen as comfortably over 100)."

"This machine has a modular architecture, and the beauty of that is that you can take all the boards out of it [does so...] and ... er ... forget which order they go in"

"If you haven't settled on your final year project, perhaps you would like to write a C compiler that turns code into Turing machines : I don't see anything wrong with that"

"If you were to implement this in ML, most of you would say : SCREAM, run from the room in terror, but we could set it as a tickable problem whatever, and give it to part 1A [first year students]... and that idea seems rather pleasing doesn't it?"

"This is very curious ... as if someone was eating the wrong sort of mushrooms when they invented this sort of thing"

"[In the first lecture of a course on complexity theory]. If I teach this course thoroughly enough, none of you will attempt the exam questions on this topic, and I shall consider this to be a complete success."


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