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About MDI

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  1. MDI

    LaTeX troubles

    I use LaTeX every day on Linux, and much of what you say is incorrect. If you've installed texlive using a decent package manager, like apt-get, you don't need to mess around with environment variables. Similarly, unless you're doing some really obscure stuff, texlive has literally everything that you need. Chances are, though, that you haven't got all of texlive installed. Have you got texlive-latex-extras? Quote:Original post by Lode LaTeX allows making a document with style and contents separated and so on, which is a beautiful idea and concept. The LaTeX syntax is also fine to me. No problems there. But there's some things about LaTeX that have always disturbed me. Why do people keep using this old monster and why are there no modern alternatives that allow the same concept but much more well-executed than LaTeX does? A bit of a coincidence: I've been thinking about trying to write a replacement for LaTeX for a while, as there are some things genuinely wrong with the system. However, the more you think about it, the more gargantuan the task appears. That's the reason.
  2. MDI

    Germany as the EU hedgemon

    Both the French and British governments were privately against the reunification of Germany. They feared marrying a first-world nation with an essentially dirt poor, third-world nation would bring West Germany's economy down, and with it the rest of Europe. This wasn't some wacky fear, it was a very real risk at the time.
  3. MDI

    When can I call myself a computer scientist?

    Quote:Original post by LockePick You are never a computer scientist because it's the lamest sounding profession ever. Working with computer science is fine. Being a software engineer is fine. Calling yourself a programmer is fine. Computer scientist sounds like something from the 80's and that's never a good thing. Meh. I'm not a software engineer, nor a programmer. My research is in CS, so I describe myself as a computer scientist. The name for the field is crap, I agree, but then so are the alternatives (Informatician? "Working with computer science"? God no.)
  4. MDI

    When can I call myself a computer scientist?

    When you spend less than 5% of your time programming or doing anything related to code, and only use your computer for typing up your results, you can call yourself a computer scientist :p More seriously, when you've had a paper published in a peer reviewed journal/spoke at a conference or workshop in CS. I don't think having an undergraduate degree in CS counts.
  5. MDI

    Ontology Books

    I did a course in ontologies as part of my undergraduate degree. The book we used was "Ontological Engineering" by Gomez-Perez, Fernandez-Lopez and Corcho. I didn't really use the book all that much, so I'm not in much of a position to recommend it, but flicking through it, it seems to cover all the standard stuff you'd expect in a course on ontologies, like OWL, KIF, description logics etc. (Most ontologies aren't expressed in XML! There's special logics for describing ontologies.)
  6. MDI

    grad school

    I'm a current CS PhD student in the UK. So, things may be different in America (actually, I know for a fact that they are), but here's my experiences. I went straight from BSc (4 years) to PhD. I had a couple of offers, from Edinburgh and Cambridge, but only got one offer of funding from the school that I'm currently at. I expected I had to write a very specific set of research proposals for Cambridge, with goals for the first year of study, etc. When I got to the interview, they were quite bemused that I had done this, and were only interested in a general area in which I wished to work (i.e. automated reasoning). The most important part of the process was my references, and how well I interviewed. The interview was pretty general, and I think was more a way of allowing the supervisor to gauge how well we could work together. (Edinburgh was different, as the guy who was going to be my supervisor was also my undergraduate dissertation supervisor, so I'd already worked with him.) My current research is in an area only tangentially related to the area I initially applied to do a PhD in. My supervisor was in need of a student, and my supervisor-to-be at Edinburgh set me up with him, as he couldn't offer me funding. (Actually, if you aren't successful in obtaining funding, then make sure you ask your supervisor-to-be for any contacts that he may have.) Also, if you don't already know this, how well you get on with your supervisor is the most important thing of doing a PhD, especially in a field like CS, where research topics are especially byzantine. Fall out with your supervisor, and you're fucked. Make sure you will be able to get on with your supervisor before you enroll on your PhD. This may or may not help, but it's at least bumped your thread for you.
  7. MDI

    grad school

    Double post, sorry.
  8. Go to your library and get the book ``PROLOG Programming for Artificial Intelligence", by Ivan Bratko. Also, download SWI-Prolog and learn how to use its graphical debugger. iMalc is correct, your prefix relation is incorrect. The best way to read a Prolog relation is to remember that :- is secretly logical implication oriented backward. For example... append( [H|X], Y, [H|Z]) :- append( X, Y, Z). ... reads, if you append X onto Y to obtain Z, then we may conclude consing H onto X and then appending this to Y gives us H consd onto Z. It may also help you to translate your relations into a functional form (this won't always work, relations are strictly more general than functions). For example: fun append [] y = y | append (h::t) y = h::append(t, y) In the translation, it's important to keep straight in your mind what is acting as input, and what is acting as output (there's even a convention in Prolog for notating this information). HTH.
  9. MDI

    China has acknowledged it has the US by the balls

    Quote:Original post by Talroth Quote:Original post by phantom In closing "we" didn't put it there, everyone else agreed it should be. And I'm sure "you" had nothing at all to do with convincing people to support it being there. *Note* For those that are not Canadians or from the UK, the above exchanges have been a joke. Researches are still trying to understand why Canadian and UK (and even more so, just the British) humour is lost on many others. FWIW, the United States had long adopted the Greenwich Meridian as the base line for calculating their times. By the time a vote came to pass, around 75% of all naval commerce was operating wrt the Greenwich Meridian. Greenwich was chosen so as to cause the least amount of inconvenience to the least amount of people.
  10. MDI

    China has acknowledged it has the US by the balls

    Quote:Original post by TheUnbeliever Quote:Original post by MDI The Chinese word for China literally means "Centre of the Earth" - you can't get much egotistical than that! Or perhaps it was given its name sufficiently long ago, that China effectively was the centre of the Earth for the Chinese, since it's one of these completely arbitrary things (we draw the map with North up, some Southern countries draw it 'upside-down'; timezones are given in offsets from the time at the Greenwich Meridian, etc)? Uh, I can't help but feel that everyone's jumping on the wrong point in my post. The claim was America was unique amongst nations in having a messiah complex. China is the obvious counter-example. The Chinese name part was pretty much ancillary to my earlier point, in that China wishes to dominate surrounding nations. Also, the original argument is enthymemetic in nature. We're supposed to take it on faith that American does actually have a "messiah complex".
  11. MDI

    China has acknowledged it has the US by the balls

    Quote:Original post by Talroth Quote:Original post by MDI The Chinese word for China literally means "Centre of the Earth" - you can't get much egotistical than that! Said by someone from a country that just happened to put the Prime Meridian through their lands. And I'm sure I could come up with something far more egotistical than that. Now, I'm off to found a new town: "Better-than-Godton" Yeah, it had me baffled when everyone agreed to put the prime meridian through the foremost observatory in the world, at the time, too. Even more perplexing, when said country literally ruled the waves.
  12. MDI

    cooking: controlled crash or exact science?

    Quote: 7) Vegetable oil is a load of rubbish. When was the last time you ate a bowl of rapeseed? If you stir fry something, use olive oil butter or lard. Saturated fats are a part of the body of whatever it came from, and that plant or animal doesn't just suddenly get a heart attack because it contains saturated fat. Im not sure where the campaign against real fats came from, but I suspect supermarkets had something to do with it. Oh good God yes. Lard simply must be used in some recipes. Trying to get away with just butter, or even worse, margarine crap, is a crime against humanity.
  13. MDI

    China has acknowledged it has the US by the balls

    Quote:Original post by Karnot We will be quite better off. US is pretty much the only nation in the world that is quite sure of its "messiah" status, and that it has a divine mission to spread "Democracy". This is a joke, right? China, the most likely contender for taking the baton from America, occupies Tibet, Mongolia, and is only stopped from taking Taiwan by the threat of American military action. The Chinese word for China literally means "Centre of the Earth" - you can't get much egotistical than that! Quote: That everything good there is in the world is made in USA. Meh, I don't share that opinion, as fashionable as it may be. Quote: Anyway, if someone wants to talk about politics - i can provide links to some quite populated political forums. Politics only leads to discord, while this place is supposed to be a haven for us creative folk, right ? We're in a thread dedicated to politics. Nice try, though.
  14. MDI

    China has acknowledged it has the US by the balls

    Quote: Which is why the sooner this happens - the better it is for the rest of the world. We'll live without this hanging over our heads, thank you very much. Uh, and then what? Some other nation takes up from where America left off? How are we any better? I don't see the rush to push for the Dollar's demise, to be honest.
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