Recently, the poet wife of a good friend left this world. She had once asked me what I missed most about my days as a lecturer. Without hesitation I said it was witnessing those brilliant moments when students suddenly understand something complex or see, for the first time, the elegance and beauty in a software algorithm. She could relate to that.
Yesterday, purely by coincidence, I decided to open my most recent reprint of Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming and start from the beginning, as I did many, many years ago. I have no idea why, but if you believe in “those kind of things” you may be stunned by the opening line from Chapter 1 (emphasis mine):
The process [click title to read more…]