ReportIt has been a long time (one session) since the Wolverine visited a session. But he came back. And it was not a normal session - it was the XXIX SMS session entitled „Mathematics and computer science". What did he see? What did he bring back? What happened there? Hereby I will give you this thrilling tale of action, romance, mad science and dancing badgers.
For the first time since times immemorial had the session take place somewhere else than in the University's holiday resort in Szczyrk - even though we saw it through the windows, we were not destined to go there because of the renovation process. The resort placed at the Widokowa street welcomed us with a very academic climate (i.e. „How to contain seventy people in a room for two") and we quickly distributed ourselves in the rooms while talking about organisational issues. The biggest room assumed the role of our headquarters and we quickly discussed our schedule. It was there that we were joined by the mysterious Murderer and a quasi-spy battle was about to commence... Ever vigilant we went to prepare the dinner, having eyes in the back of our heads and looking after our collective paranoia. It did not prevent Basia Małek from establishing some kind of a time record and murdering the whole resort in something about three hours after being elected as the Murderer. One could not even go wash the dishes safely, because Basia took advantage of every such occasion quickly and effectively like some kind of a Terminator. Well, after such a quick game we elected the Murderer for the second time, hoping to at least put up a fight this time. By the by, it was Szymon who was chosen as the second murderer and he won when six people murdered themselves, saving him a lot of work.
Our first collective success was to live through the evening. Sounds of shooting revolvers during many BANG sessions did not disturb the nocturnal silence and we were not thrown out of the resort, so we could eat our breakfast in the morning and get to the most important part of all Szczyrk sessions - to the grand Eating of the Cakes, while someone in the background talked about some weird things ;) Seriously though, talks launched on the Saturday morning along with doctor Tomasz Szostok's arrival. Piotr Idzik was the first, telling us about the decimal representation of pi and the problem of it containing all n-element sequences. How did it tie with genes and lingerie - we all got to know. Jolanta Marzec was the second to talk, even though she arrived only for one half of the session. She gave the tale of the Rijndael algorithm and cipher subcultures, conjuring in our heads a sad mental image of two brigands talking "Got any problem? Yupp, with breaking the polialphabetic cipher". The next talk was given by dr Tomasz Szostok, which dismissed any doubts anyone could have about applying computer methods in solving functional equations. And for those who did not know what a computer really is, Szymon Draga gave his talk about Turing machines. It gave us an opportunity to define television as an ordered seven and gave us the idea of calculating the Lebesgue measure of the numbers from the [0,1] interval, whose binary representation would be a random sequence in the sense of the definition given by Szymon.
As everybody knows, each open problem is to be celebrated with a dinner. To satisfy the tradition, Sabina and Marek started to prepare it with the help of Ania, while all of us bashed all forms of cutlery on the walls, yelling "WE! WANT! TO! EAT!". The SAM team, however, managed to prepare the food before we destroyed the whole resort and we thank them for it ;) After charging our stomach batteries we gave us some free time before going back to talks. It was also the sad time of saying our goodbyes to doctor Szostok and Jola, who departed prematurely. We sang some songs with Jola, thanks to our tutor. We planned to go trekking, but a snowball fight, BANG and a guitar in the resort collectively destroyed this plan.
As soon as we all gathered, we decided to continue our talks. The Innocent Wolverine, vel Mateusz Jurczyński, told everyone about the Busy Beaver, which was an activity encouraged by the Philosophic Guinea Pigs. To scare away all the animals, we decided to put the distances between them in a matrix and get an equivalent of "becikowe" for that. To translate it to English, doctor Tomasz Kochanek started his talk, considering binary sequences (information technology) and matrices, norms, metrics, functions and some other thing (mathematics). The balance between mathematics and information technology was mantained in every talk. Our next talker was doctor Rafał Kucharski, whose talk title „Kac na Dirichleta" could be found ambiguous by some people, but we all, of course, immediately thought of Mark Kac instead of some strange aftermath of drinking certain liquids (or, as some say, eating chips). The last talk was given by Marek Biedrzycki along with absent bodily, but present with her mind and talk Weronika Siwek, and the two of them told us about minimal spanning trees.
After the talking part (and supper!) it was time to elect the best talk and to choose the topic for our next session. The winners were, respectively, Jola Marzec and "Patologies and paradoxes in mathematics". Does that mean we ended our session on this? That we went to sleep, eat breakfast in the morning and that was all?
Dream on. It was a long night, filled with singing (mainly by the two doctors, while the rest of us collected our jaws from the floor), playing, filling ingenious surveys, discussing empty (interesting) and non-empty (less interesting) sets, eating the rest of our food and being very intensively awake.
We cleaned after ourselves in the morning and satisfied came back home, where I could enjoy my empty set of cottage cheese. Because if this session has taught me anything, it's that empty sets are nice, ha!
last update: 09.06.2012
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