Archive for February, 2014

From Kenneth Burke:

February 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Imagine you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long proceeded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is all about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that have gone before. You listen for awhile, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponents, depending on the quality of your ally’s assistance. However the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress

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From CS 424

February 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Prof. David Blei recounted a funny story from his childhood. As a 6 year old, he sat in the front row of his Dad’s Complex Analysis class. One particular lecture, his Dad started off with ‘Let z be a fixed number’. David raised his hand to ask a question. His Dad chided him with ‘Dave, put your hand down’. This went on a couple of times. Dave was 6, but he could read and he knew enough to tell that what his Dad just said was wrong, and he couldn’t let him proceed. So he held up a paper to show him, which said ‘z is a fixed letter, not a fixed number!’.  A framed copy of this paper can be found in his office 😀

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