Computational Diversions: Free Ideas
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As I write this column, the holiday season is in full swing. It will (perhaps mercifully, from the perspective of the reader) be over by the time this is published; but the intent is nonetheless to make this particular diversion redolent with gift-giving cheer. So–just to get into the proper mood–you might want to trudge over to the closet; then fish out the twinkling lights, ornaments, menorah, little plastic reindeer, uneaten hideous fruitcake, or whatever, and set them around your reading table before proceeding any further.
In this column, I’m giving away free ideas. There’s a certain sense of regret in doing this: these are small-scale project ideas that I’ve hoarded away for a while, hoping to see them brought to fruition. Occasionally, I’ve tried to assign one or another of these as special projects to students, but without success. Now, I’ve reached the point at which my backlog of unaccomplished ideas is so vast that it’s hard for me to worry about questions of credit, or...