Miscellaneous 8

SURF started, life has become a mix of procrastination and guilt about procrastinating. I guess it is probably I have got back my control over my emotions, that’s why I haven’t wrote a post for so long. Or may it’s because I have just too much work to do. Oh well.

Home: Home has never sound that sweet before. It’s been 10 months since I last stepped on Hong Kong soil. Ling is at home already. These 7 weeks is going to be so long. I’ve never realized that home is that important, so important that I would really change the time of flight the midnight the day SURF ends. “Tech sweet tech” may be true, but “home sweet home” remains the ultimate truth. I think it is time for me to make a list of must-dos once I get back to Hong Kong. Glad that I would be back in Hong Kong on a Sunday morning. Sunday, family day. Miss you, Ling, mom and dad.

July 4 weekend – Korean BBQ: To be frank, I got really full at like the 5th plate. But some people (cough, Jarvis, cough) really eat so much and still ordered 5 more rounds. Guess sitting at a table without eating is awkward, I just ended up eating too much. This is the first time when I overeat so much that I could barely stand up.

July 4 weekend – Nina’s house: That was a really quirky experience. Being so far away from home, suddenly hearing Cantonese or even speaking Cantonese felt so weird. Not to say when people would actually know the high school I came from. And somehow, they even played the movie “Echoes of the Rainbow”. All I could say was, “That movie was filmed in my high school, based on my high school. I was still wearing that uniform this day a year ago.” If an inconsistency in time can be called as an anachronism, I wonder if there is a word for this inconsistency in the environment / place / I-don’t-know-what-it-was.

Cheesecake making: So I underestimated the temperature of a boiling strawberry jelly solution. It was supposed to be two layers, not like one layer with intense strawberry flavor! Oh well, the Jacobian fridge got owned the second time. On the bright side, at least it would smell better than it used to be now. The strawberry flavor can’t be worse than bad meat smell. Glad that the cake still turned out good. “Happy birthday, Julia!”

Some more feelings and emo crap: I realize that there are certain things that could be done in a wrong way but were done, for good. Looking back, I sometimes do wonder whether that decision was made correctly or not, wonder what would have happened if I did it the other way. But looking backwards, I guess it was all done for good. Cutting the crap here.

Also, I feel good.


Mrs. Dalloway

I did not have enough time to read through the whole book. It would have been such a good book if I am not asked to finish it before tomorrow.

I haven’t read books for a long time already, not to say anything literary. Probably the last book I’ve read was V 城繁盛錄. But I don’t think I have ever identify myself with any characters in any books. But for this book, I did not only identify myself with one character. I could see traces of several main characters in me.

One more thing put on to my to-do list “Reading Mrs. Dalloway”.

A Pledge

Below is a pledge for myself:

  • Never ever idealize anyone.
  • Never ever help anyone with her work in her room.
  • Act cold for 2 days, stop all replies on Skype, WLM, GTalk.
  • Stop that feeling in 2 days.
  • Act normal afterwards.

Kenneth Hung, don’t fail this time.

Good Game, Math TA’s

One more proof that I can’t work with numbers. Got 147 / 200 on a math midterm.

Problem 1: The fact that I came up with a perfectly logical solution doesn’t give me full score. Why do I need to explain how I got \begin{pmatrix} 2 & -5\\ -1 & 3 \end{pmatrix}? That does not matter at all. Maybe I took a nap during the exam, and had a sudden vision of this matrix, which turns out help me to solve the equation. That totally doesn’t undermine the logic flow of the whole solution! 20 points out of 50 points for an unnecessary explanation.

Problem 3: So I am supposed to say that the associated system of the original equations is homogeneous. Seems like proving a definition can take up to 25 points out of a 50 points question.

Problem 4: I did explain both cases. The fact that the TAs deliberately / accidentally omit my second case, and write “What if b = (a - d) =0?” is just perfect and couldn’t be better.

Good game, TA’s. I’m all eyes.



My first all-nighter here! The sunrise should better be beautiful.

And yes, this all-nighter goes to a humanities class.

Bond Order of 0.5

I don’t know how I came up with this analog, probably I should have come up with a math analog, but anyway, bond is something appropriate to describe this.

In short, bond order of 0.5 sucks.

Miscellaneous 7

Speakers + Subwoofer: Never thought that I would need them, but the more Silbermond I was playing, the more I realize that a subwoofer is a necessity. Excuses, excuses…


Evil Facebook: So apparently however settings I have on Facebook, it just won’t import my blog posts on Blogger. Looking into the case, Microsoft is one of the Facebook shareholders while Blogger is a Google product. I guess this explains everything. But, yeah, Facebook, you’re evil!

The more evil CS 2 pset: Dear TA, you uploaded the set two days late, and it took you two days just to debug it, while I still saw a lot of bugs in the template code. I understand this is the midterm week. I understand probably you have been working on your own midterms too. But please consider those taking this class: they have their midterms too. With the minimalistic docstrings and comments, the bugs here and there, it was a real nice present to all CS 2-ers in midterms week. Maybe next time you really should come up with the code earlier and save yourself the trouble of doing this right on the deadline and cut us loose too. A CS 2-er, Kenneth Hung

The even more evil Ma5b midterm: Maybe the story should start with the questions in the last problem set. There were 5 questions, 3 of them quoted from Dummit, and 2 directly included in the set. And the two had typos.

But typos / logical errors in midterm is rather irritating. For example, question 1, I suppose what you mean here is that K is not just a commutative ring, but also a unital ring. ‘Cause otherwise, take K = 2 \mathbb{Z}. Then take f = 2. So suppose i is a multiplicative identity, we have

2 = f(1) = (fi)(1) = \sum_{xy = 1} f(x) i(y) = f(1) i(1) = 2 i(1)

i(1) = 1 \notin 2 \mathbb{Z}, which is a contradiction.

Alright, question 5 is even worse. I suppose using the hint, we are supposed to prove \phi_p (x)^{-1} (\phi_p (x)(f)) is a prime ideal, which is true. Yet \phi_p (x)^{-1} (\phi_p (x)(f)) \ne (f).

Indeed, some concrete example can be constructed! Take (p + 1) x as an example, \overline{(p + 1) x} = \overline{x} which is irreducible yet (p + 1) x is reducible. Similar examples can be constructed for the second part – x^2 + (p + 2) x + 1.

But the problem is for the last part, from Dummit, x^4 + 1 is a counterexample, but it isn’t proved in the book until Galois theory is covered. Can I assume I wasn’t supposed to prove the whole Galois theory and x^4 + 1 is reducible modulo all prime numbers within three hours in a midterm, can’t I?

This raises another question too – three hours was seriously not enough. It usually took us about 4 to 5 hours to complete a pset, not to say a midterm as difficult and filled with bugs as this.

And as for question 6, I really could have done it, if I didn’t get stuck at question 1 and 5.

P.S.: Bye, Rudy! Hi, Dummy and Carol. (Please don’t think wrongly on the last name.)