Some statements

In the Netherlands there is a tradition to add a number of original statements to a Ph.D. thesis. Here follows my list of ten statements, which I would use in case I would ever write a Ph.D. thesis in the future.

  1. Sometime computer scientists would be better of making up new words (like chemists and biologist) instead of using existing words, because it would reduce the ever more increasing ambiguity of the existing words.

  2. Diagrams are more often mystifying then clarifying. Because there does not exist a general semantics for diagrams they should not be used in scientifical papers unless the semantics is explained or be defined within the context in which the work is published.

  3. A square sheet of paper can be folded into a self sustaining cube with a surface of 6/16 of the sheet, in such a way that all the sides are flat on the outside.

  4. Let C_G^P(n) be the number of spanning subgraphs of G \times P_n with the property P. A homogeneous linear recurrence equations with integer coefficients can be constructed for C_G^P(n) when P is a combination of restrictions on connectivity, acycliness and restrictions on degree.

  5. The graph property `having a spanning tree with only degrees 1 and 3' is at least as interesting as the graph property `having a Hamilton cycle'. It is due to historical reasons that the latter is studied extensively in literature, while the first is not.

  6. One of the most difficult issues of designing specification languages it not making thing possible by adding features, but to restrict the features such that everything what can be written makes also sense. There is often a great gap between what one wants to express with a specification language and what can be expressed with it.

  7. The most commonly used commercial encryption method is compilation of sources into executables. In this view a CPU can be considered as a decryption device.

  8. A slightly modification of the bubble sort algorithm can make it a near optimal sorting algorithm.

  9. People cannot be rolled back.

  10. Some objects (like pens) seem to move around on their own. This should be taken in account in the design of objects that have a greater importance than pens, like credit cards and bank passes.

Of course these statements are copyrighted by me.

Some quotes from others:

Here are some plucked at random from Code Complete:

We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.

Jackson's Rules of Optimisation: Rule 1: Don't do it. Rule 2: (for experts only) Don't do it yet - that is, not until you have a perfectly clear and unoptimized solution.

There is no code so big, twisted, or complex that maintenance can't make it worse.

And the classic,

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

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