Paper or Parser.
Due Tuesday 12/10/2002 -- hard deadline
You have observed Larry in class -- a unique and hopefully fun
experience. You have helped him construct many semantic
Now is the time to do it on your own. Write up an analysis a la
There are very few constraints on this paper, and I do not care
about the usual ones.
- No research. You are smart, think!
- Pick a topic that is small enough that you can handle
it. Pick a topic that smart lay people can understand or , even
better, one that stupid lay people can understand.
Good Examples: Comparison of a still and a rocket
engine, How to break a habit, How to hide. (You can't do any
Bad Examples: TCP-IP stacks -- too technical,
Linguistics -- too broad, Interpersonal communication -- too
broad (but a particular kind of interpersonal communication
would be good), A description of your favorite strategy game
-- too technical, and probably too simple. What makes a good
video game could be a good topic, but not if you just list the
features. Actually one aspect of video games would be
- Pick a topic that is intriguing to you and that you know
- This paper has to be insightful. If you are bored writing
it, I will be bored reading it. Bored Ayman --> bad
grades. Well, not really, but bored Ayman is a bad thing in
- This is a very important assignment because here you have
the opportunity to show what you have learned. And, it is a lot.
- Finish writing when you are done. Ok, 15-30 pages. It is
really easy to write 15 pages, just start. Diagrams are
- If you are unsure about your topic, clear it with me. For
prompt responses, visit me or email me. If you want to ask me
about margins or a title page, please come in person so that I
can hit you with my stapler.
- This posting is probably going to leave many of you mildly
frustrated. I understand, but there is nothing I can do about
it. What did you expect? An outline? On the other hand, if you
follow the instructions, you will do very well. You'd be
impressed how interesting students can be when they try.
- Look at it this way: this paper is a great opportunity to
think on a topic of your choosing. If this much freedom scares
you, think: Which of your early childhood experiences made you
so prone to require precise instructions? It will make for a
A sure way to fail this assignment is to assume that I did
not really mean any of the above, and just turn in a standard
Due Wednesday 12/11/2002 -- hard deadline
We spent plenty of time running through recipies and breaking
down the order and sequence. By doing this we found alot of
things about recipies that you can write a parser to find.
You should be able to pick out the following:
- Ingrediants. What is needed and how much.
- Dependancy. What steps require what previous steps.
- Semantic Parts. What general parts are there to this
particular recipe. We said in class this should focus on:
- Hard Parts. Try to identify what might be considered
a difficult step.
If you want to write say a "Pie Parser" or a "Baking Parser"
you are welcome to. Just remember, if you pick a specific type
of recipe, make sure you pull out the important features of that
On top of this, you can work with a partner if you like,
and use the language of your choice -- just make sure I can
run it when you are done. I feel this is much easier and much
more fun than the paper, particulary for me to grade so I hope
some of you choose this option.