Fib or Fact?

It took two terms to notice that two functions largely referenced while teaching recursion in functional languages formed such a juxtaposition. Shortening the factorial and Fibonacci series lookup functions we wrote and moving from one to the other caused myself and Fraser to pause and review what we were saying.

”I won’t write a fib, so I’ll write a fact?!”

Oh the things CompSci do to you. So I’ve just finished my exams, there were five in total, and am now just bouncing around some light lectures in my last term of the first year here. I’ve just had a five day weekend, have another one approaching, but it’s difficult to appreciate the time we have due to the lingering ”could have done better” feelings regarding the exams. Most people from the other subjects here have theirs in June, so partying excessively with anyone disjoint from the set of CompSci people would be out of the question, and doing so with CompSci people.. well.. we’re not really known for our social skills, are we?

”A life of cracking open tuples.”

Tuples, remember them from Haskell? (a,b) –> a, b? Pattern matching? Recursion? It’s all returned. We’re cracking open tuples again, just with a different hammer. It’s called Prolog. And sometimes, it says no. The term kicks off with a crash course in the Prolog language and ends with one in C. Events lined up include attending the BAFTA Awards and Imperial’s Summer Ball. Upon the exams ending, Fraser and I headed straight to a Burger King to undertake what is more commonly known as comfort eating, and clubbing was on the schedule for the next day at Fabric.

…and Gideon said yah.”

I can’t get through this blog post without writing about our general election and expressing a few reignited political opinions, especially after the first hung parliament since 1974. I’m a Conservative and pretty much always have been aligned so. For neutrality, I’ll also mention my family are mostly aligned to the Labour Party, while quite a few of my friends here support the Liberal Democrats. Mentioning all three for neutrality aside, I can say that Lib Dem always seemed to me the party one would vote for if one was sitting on the fence. Labour and the Tories seemed to be the dominant parties, and many blamed the two party system on the First Past The Post method of holding an election. Poking around Political Science briefly came up with some evidence to suggest this, namely Duverger’s Law, which states that given enough time, a two party system will eventually emerge from FPTP elections.

The Televised Election Debates, however, pitted the three parties against each other to compete in responding to tough questions posed by some sample of the public. As a result, the elections descended into what people may consider a popularity contest and Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems surged in popularity amongst the public, shattering the view that they were to be selected merely because one couldn’t decide between the two main parties. The appropriate action to be conducted in such a situation was done so by a few of my friends – that is to abstain. The surge in CleggMania did induce fear into the Tories and Labour supporters, and they seemed a realistic choice for many against the other two, but it was later shown that this had next to no effect in terms of the number of votes cast for the Lib Dems. The Conservatives had the most seats, but no overall majority, and so a hung parliament was declared.

I must say, I am very pleased with the overall outcome. A Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition was for many a no-go area, yet David Cameron and Nick Clegg boldly ventured in with potential to change the face of politics. Cameron leads the government as Prime Minister with Clegg as Deputy, having controversially installed George Gideon Osborne as Chancellor. Many protested at this since Vince Cable seemed more appropriate for the job, although I prefer Gideon myself.

Now that I’ve angered you with more talk of politics than mention of my own exploits, I shall bid thee farewell, until the next time I can be bothered to update!

Alex Kara


About Alexander Karapetian

Software Engineer & Computer Scientist from Imperial College.
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