Schrödinger’s column

By Eli Gottlieb

I wrote a senior column, now you are reading it.

This is where I present to you the wisdom I accumulated over my four years at UMass Amherst.

Soundness equals preservation plus progress.

A well-typed program does not go wrong.

If an expression has a type and can be evaluated a further step, that further-evaluated step must have the same type.

If an expression has a type, it must either be a fixed-point syntactic value or have a further step of evaluation it can undergo. As Professor Yannis Smaragdakis puts it, “No idea is too obvious or dreary, if appropriately expressed in type theory. It’s a research advance that no one understands, but they are all too impressed to be leery.”

By God, if there’s one thing writing a Capstone in research-level programming-languages has taught me, it’s to heed that thesis. The research community loves nothing more than to prove sophisticated theorems nobody else cares about; so always make sure to think about the practical applicability of your work to the real world. Otherwise you too may wind up stuck on the Wheel of Academic Samsara, publishing papers for their rigor and novelty rather than for having accomplished anything you can grant to the world.

 Disregard Tribbles, acquire honor. They may be fuzzy and cute, and they may purr like oblate spheroidal kittens, but those little scumbags will eat up every last molecule of food, dust, and even carpeting in your entire damn ship. In that, they’re exactly like kittens. Stay your hand from petting them and continue on the path of the mighty Klingon warrior. While everyone else stands around like a damn fool, open the battle by massacring the Federation troops. The UMass Enterprise shall burn in the fires of the Children of Keldes, and your name shall live for forever and eternity!

Who is wise? He who learns from all men.

Why is this night different from all other nights? Because on this night someone actually showed up to the Reform-Jewish services at Hillel.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side… of the gates of Heaven.

Why does Commonwealth Honors College have so many bizarre, needless requirements?

Just who the hell do you think I am? I am not my brother.

You mad, bro? You deserve to be mad. You’re mad as hell, and you’re not going to take it anymore. After all, all this wasted column space uses up a small but significant quantity of negentropy that’s now gone forever. The universe will die its slow, painful heat-death slightly faster.

There’s a rumor going around that the Morning Wood has covered up a story for Chancellor Holub, so you should investigate that, too, by emailing this columnist. While it has absolutely nothing to do with the man who materialized a blue police box at the British Royal Wedding or the fact that silence will fall, it remains of vital interest to the UMass community, especially those who have made the Contract to become Members of Commonwealth Honors College. They need to be told.

Your thesis is the thesis that’s going pierce the heavens!

If there’s a wall in our way, we’ll smash it down.

If there isn’t a path, we’ll carve one ourselves.

The magma of our experimental apparatus burns with a mighty flame. Go get the fire extinguisher! You’ve done it; that behemoth project belongs to you now, so what are you waiting for?

Get going, blood brother. And never forget: just believe in yourself. Not in the you who believes in me. Not in the me who believes in you.

Eli Gottlieb was a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]