A thankyou to Rob: Amazing supervisor!

09 May

I have my second exam tomorrow.. I mean today :-$ Scary, as you can imagine! Any final degree exam is not to be taken lightly, and yet when you have nine of them to study for, you feel as if you’re spreading yourself very thin on the ground as far as any particular subject is concerned. Especially when its a subject you’re less confused about than most, and therefore thought your time would be better spent pulling up those that are more likely to fail.

It’s rather nostalgic in a way too. The lecturer teaching this subject is easily one of my favourites. He it is that is partly responsible for giving me enough of an insight into this subject to inspire me to realise that it is in this area that my main talents lie. His subject – and related areas – I find immensely interesting, and it has been an honour to have him as my project supervisor this past year.

He has pointed me in the direction of investigating a worthwhile area of research, and has constantly encouraged me to explore the problem area in any way that I found productive and informative, sparking many varied discussions on such issues as ‘fairness’ when dealing with groups of people; ‘correctness’ when considering how programs run; ‘optimality’ when considering problems that there is no known optimal solution to, and we do not even know how to recognise an optimal solution if it stared us in the face; ‘good practice’ when considering different ways of programming, and the different generations of programming languages and what we were each accustomed to; whether it is better to run a brilliant program just once, but that may take a while, or a not-so-good program lots of times, but that is much quicker and may still produce a nearly-as-good result by combining all the results obtained; how thoroughly it is beneficial to test a program, and conversely how much should be proven by logical reasoning about the semantic meaning of the program.

I even feel he can read my thoughts, in some kind of geeky way. When I talk about some detailed little intricacy that occurs in my project algorithm – right down the left-hand side in the middle – I just know he knows *exactly* what I’m talking about, without me even having to explain it, just by giving a brief point in the right direction. And so, as far as this conceptual – and unexplainable – idea is concerned, he always knew exactly what I was thinking. Ok, maybe not a true ‘mindreader’ in the traditional sense, but a very believably real form of mind-reading.

Having the ‘last ever’ lecture from him, and now sitting the final exam for his subject (and, incidentally, my favourite subject – not that that qualifies me for a direct pass, but at least it gives me motivation to try) it feels like the closing of another chapter of my life. To be truthful, I will miss his friendly advice that has proved so beneficial and appreciated over this past year. And I would always wish to remember the kindness he has shown me, and the patience he has had with me.

However, I don’t want to let myself think of the closing bit too much right now… I’ll still have another seven exams to sit after this, so I can’t quite afford to slip out of harness yet. Speaking on a more personal level though, I feel as if it really is the final end of something I’ve loved and enjoyed.

Anyway, I shouldn’t still be here though, so tigara buya. xx

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Posted by on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 in selfish



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