Monday, January 28, 2008

Algorithms and Data Structures

While I'm sitting here in one of my favourite places in Vienna, the Blue Orange Café which is very close to both university and my flat (Google Maps Link, in case anyone is interested) I can't stop thinking about algorithms and data structures. Yes, I know that's odd! But let me explain.

I've got an exam coming up in 'Algorithms and Data Structures 2' later this week and I've spent most of today studying for it. So far I've mainly dealt with text-search and randomized algorithms, more specifically things such as the Miller-Rabin primality test, randomized quicksort and skip lists. And I'm actually enjoying it!

Now the weird thing is that my interests when it comes to my studies and computer science / information and comunication technology in general are oddly distributed. While I'm generally mostly interested in the 'big' topics such as how ICT influences society (and vice-versa) and usability issues, I also have a thing for topics such as theoretical informatics, cryptography and (you guessed it) algorithms and data structures. At the same time I'm also really into hands-on projects such as the One Laptop per Child initiative. Plus I've spent much of my free time these past few years reviewing hardware and writing for technology-related online-publications such as, and And looking into my future I can see all kinds of different projects and research (possibly even jobs, but let's not go there) being interesting ventures worth pursuing.

I guess in the end that's one of the things I like best about being a student: the luxury of choice, all kinds of resources at my hands (don't get me wrong, I love Google just like the next guy but there's something about sitting in an actual library and having all those interesting books, thesis, publications and magazines at my disposal) and access to smart people such as my collegues and professors.

So, 'nuff said for now, my coffee mug is empty, plus the BS-talkin' couple sitting next to me is getting on my nerves. Algorithms and Data Structures, here I come again... :-)

BTW, did anyone else notice the cool Google logo today?

Happy birthday Lego!

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