Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Crazy Journal Solicitation

Dear Shallit, Jeffrey,

With great sincerity, we are writing to you today.

We happened to have the opportunity to read your paper titled "On NFAs where all states are final, initial, or both" recently and are impressed by your research work in this field. Given that you share the same research interest with our journal Progress in Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials (PNN), we are writing to sending you our earnest invitation for paper submission.

No, you morons, nanotechnology has basically nothing to do with nondeterministic finite automata.


none said...

Professor Shallit,

I happened upon your blog while searching the web for UW topics. I was a student of yours, a CS BMath in your Formal Languages and Parsing course in 2003. I am now mired in the industry of web and mobile gaming here in California, but I still fondly remember the years of theoretical computer science and mathematics back in UW. Your course rose above all the rest and was by far my favorite. The topics were the most fascinating, and your teaching style was fun and engaging. To this day in I still thirst for more knowledge on the subject while I work through databases and web servers.

After perusing the heated debates and issues on your blog there's no doubt I'm on the opposite end of the political and religious spectrum from you (I even recall your promotion of the NDP in class). As a semi observant Jew and political junky I might otherwise feel no connection to such a blog, but I have only joy and fond memories.

There is one unresolved issue however. You had distributed index cards for all the students to write a random trivia fact about themselves, and read them out as you called on us. You hadn't called on me so my fact wasn't shared. On my card I wrote that I had the opportunity to attend the University of Toronto completely tuition-free. But at the last minute at the end of the summer, of course, I received the acceptance to UW and I made the financially difficult choice to attend there for the full cost, student loans and all. It was a decision I never regretted, even a little bit.

I wish you the best.

Oh, I guess to be proper I should comment on the blog entry. I suppose if a nano machine follows a set of behaviors, and has states where it performs work, rest, and seeks out energy to recharge, it couldn't hurt to understand it in terms of DFA if that's crucial to its development. But NFA? I remember that you taught me they have some equivalence in that they can recognize the same class of language. But still, what a funny letter.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Thanks for your note.

Just one thing: I did not and do not promote any political parties in my classes. It is improper. I occasionally make jokes but I try to rotate the parties I am joking about.

MNb said...

Perhaps you should read

The first novel, Soft Soap, was written in 1924. Yup, the scam was invented in Flemish literature.

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos said...

You'll eat your words once I start distributing my nondeterministic finite state nanobots!

~~ Paul