CS373 Fall 2021: Week 5

Ethan Tan
3 min readSep 26, 2021

Week 5

What did you do this past week?

This week was fairly busy as I had several assignments due as well as an exam. I did find time to do a bit of cooking, which should hopefully last me until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. I also met with my IDB group and we put together a proposal.

What’s in your way?

General busyness. With the IDB project starting, I now have five classes worth of work for next week. Balancing time between them is a bit of a challenge.

What will you do next week?

Next week will be busy, mostly due to projects in two of my classes. My group and I will work on implementing phase one of the project.

If you read it, what did you think of Paper #5: Pair Programming?

This was a very convincing endorsement of pair programming. The paper list the many many benefits of working in pairs — increased productivity, enjoyment, and bug-free code. However, it points out that many things also have to go right for this to be effective. Both partners must be open-minded about pair programming, continually take turns, and have a good mindset. I’m looking forward to applying some of these tips for the IDB project this semester.

What was your experience of Python’s object model, list, tuple, set, dict, and iterators?

Python’s object model is interesting. It’s very similar to C++ and other similar class systems, but it is dynamic, allowing modification during runtime. I’m not quite sure how useful that is, but it seems to fit with the paradigms of Python. In any case, it means that it’ll be pretty easy to learn it, since the most significant difference is syntax.

Python’s built-in types seem pretty useful and easy-to-use. There are some edge cases and specific details (such as one-element tuples), but for the most part they are all straightforward. It’s a set of basic data structures that are useful for a wide variety of algorithms and applications.

What made you happy this week?

Getting everything turned in felt really good; so much so I basically took the next day off. And now the deadlines loom again…

What’s your pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

The IBM Quantum Experience is an extremely cool tool that allows you to create quantum circuits and run them on a real quantum computer! We used it as part of the Quantum Information Science course with Scott Aaronson. Everything we learn in the course is very theoretical, for good reason, but this tool gives us a way to make empirical measurements that can confirm what we learn as well as show us the shortcomings of current quantum computers. My view of quantum mechanics is pretty disconnected since I don’t have the physics knowledge to understand how it would be implemented. Being able to see things work (to some extent) helps to solidify my grasp of these very new concepts.