Education = Transforming + Informing

Finally – a way to understand Turing Machines ….

  Turing machines (named after a guy called Alan Turing) are a universal model of computation and play a central role in the theory of computation. TuringKara lets you solve many interesting Turing machine problems. It uses a two-dimensional ‘sheet’ as its external memory rather than the usual one-dimensional tape. This greatly simplifies your Turing machines for many problems, compared to Turing machines working on the standard tape. TuringKara illustrates typical problems such as basic arithmetic operations and pattern matching. Download the program here: Program: allkara-en.jar [2004/03/26, 5’000 KB]  and the user manual here: User’s manual: turingkara_manual-en.pdf or visit http://www.swisseduc.ch/compscience/karatojava/turingkara/


May 16, 2012 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random incoherent ramblings on the nature of TIME

Recently I had the thought that this “time” thing plays a major role in all the relational problems we experience in the world. It’ll take a while for me to explain my theory (which is more of a thought, at this stage, than a theory) but it’s based around the idea that in life we are required to prioritize – prioritize events and people, and when we prioritize one individual over another, or one event over another (which invariably we have to do because of the restrictions imposed upon us by time) we come up against problems. I tried to imagine a universe in which we had infinite to play with, not just slices of time that we need to divide between the people in our lives and the things we want to do. I suppose God has an infinite time slice for each of us as he is above and beyond and outside of the construct that we acknowledge as space-time. It is incomprehensible really, ‘cept conceptually – just about, but it’s an interesting thing to ponder. What is time? Ray Cummings – an early Science fiction writer – wrote “Time ….is what keeps everything from happening at once”. Time, according to Einstien, is the fourth dimension – a dimension in which things happen one after the other in sequence. Philosophers through the ages have speculated on the nature of time and tried to define it, but with little success. Is time something external to matter – something that clocks measure, and is that all? Or is time an intrinsic property of matter – inside it and at the very heart of everything created in this perceivable space-time bound universe? And how does any of this relate to Computer Science or ICT? Well, the other day I came across a post on the internet that was pontificating on the idea that this universe is a “Binary Universe” (Conrad Zuse said a similar thing and wrote several long books on the topic) The chap who wrote the thing mentioned how in his Binary Model the universe operates on fractal variations of 2 laws and 2 elements: “Space/time Quanta The law of conservation of energy No two quanta can occupy the same space/time”. The mention of time and its consideration in a Binary Universe was interesting simply because I wonder if “time” is something that could be understood by seeking to simulate it or indeed create it in a virtual world. Philosophically, I continue to think about whether time is the thing that limits us in our love and relationships and creates the delusion that “loving all” is a bad thing. Matthew 12:25 makes a peculiar statement in response to what people were asking Jesus about exclusivity of love and how it would be in the after-life. “When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Is this suggesting that the need for exclusivity is removed ….how could that be unless we were dealing in a universe in which time slices weren’t restricted and prioritization and exclusivity weren’t necessary ….

May 16, 2012 Posted by | General | 2 Comments