On Thursday, April 30th I successfully defended my thesis on “Agents that Play by the Rules” and was awarded the title of PhD.1 It was 4,5 years of work,2 and the last week was definitely the most stressful and exhausting one I had in my entire life, but now I’m done. There’s no more school to go to, no more exams and no more courses to take.3 The overwhelming feeling of completion is a very pleasant one.
It’s Friday the 20th of August, that is the last day of ESSLLI 2010. The morning lecture was the last lecture of Hans van Ditmarsch’s DEL course, and at the end of it he presented a “100 prisoners and a light bulb” puzzle, asking us for the solution. Unexpectedly, I’ve found the solution, but didn’t dare saying it aloud, since I was convinced it was wrong. Once prof. van Ditmarsch told everyone what it was, I was still convinced it can’t be true, and even Karolina (who understood everything very well) wasn’t able to convince me that it actually works.
Although I’ve always wanted to become a professional programmer, I never became one. I studied philosophy and went into a PhD programme in computer science because of my interest in formal logic. I like computers very much, I have professional experience in UNIX administration, and I’ve done a lot of Perl/Bash/Tcsh scripting, but I’ve never actually written any non-trivial piece of programming code. Whether you want to model something, verify, or check your proofs, being able to write a computer program that helps you with some task really comes in handy.