Well, today has gone very well so far. I woke up in plenty of time… - John C. Kirk
Jan. 17th, 2003
Well, today has gone very well so far. I woke up in plenty of time for my exam, despite neither of my alarm clocks going off (not entirely sure why that happened). Then the actual exam was fine. It was Data Structures and their Implementation in Java today, which was the easiest module I did last term. In fact, I've spent most of the last two days waiting for the other shoe to drop, in the sense of "it can't be this easy - there must be a catch somewhere, e.g. something in the textbook that wasn't covered in class, but is in the exam paper". But there wasn't - it really was as easy as I thought, so I think that if I'm lucky I'll get a perfect score. Mind you, it helps that the questions we had in the exam ("write a class with functions to do such and such") are basically the same thing I was doing every day at work for 7 years :)
After that, I went round to the department, to meet up with Prof Lappin, re: my MSc project. He's agreed to supervise me for that, so that means I've got my first choice of project. Yay! It's the anaphora resolution that I mentioned a while back, i.e. working out who/what pronouns are referring to. E.g. if you have "Peter picked up the ball. He gave it to Bob." then it should say "In the second sentence, 'he' means 'Peter' and 'it' means 'the ball'". He's also given me a nice pile of reading to do. "Here's a textbook, so read this chapter and photocopy it before you give the book back to me. And here's some slides from the last seminar I did, so I'll email them to you. And here's a website with a couple of online textbooks, so have a look at them..."
We also discussed the issue of lectures where I'm not registered for the modules. Specifically, there are a couple of AI courses that are very relevant for this project, but I can't register for them, because I'm not on the right MSc course. Basically, I would like to attend the lectures anyway, just to learn more about the subject, even though I won't take an exam at the end of it. When I emailed my tutor about this a while back, he said that I couldn't do this, because of fire regulations - Kings wouldn't be insured if I got injured, so the lecturer who let me in would be liable. When I spoke to Prof Lappin about this, he was pretty dubious about it. He recommended that I should speak to the School Office, so I did - they said that it was ultimately at the department's discretion as to whether they'd let me in or not, but that unofficially they thought I could sneak in without anyone noticing, since they don't take an attendance register in class. I reported this back to the prof, and he then tried to see whether I could be an auditor for these courses, i.e. I would turn up for the lectures, but my work wouldn't be evaluated. That didn't work out for some reason, so in the end he basically said "Screw it". The new plan is that I'll just turn up to the extra modules anyway, and he won't complain as long as I don't sue anyone :)
So, this is all very good - I feel like I'm really on track for the PhD now. Of course, I still need to get the official results back from these exams, and actually do this project, but it all bodes well.