My recent obsession is Moulin Rouge. I've decided that I definitely want beautiful fictional women in my head trying to influence me... and no sooner did I decide it than I realized that it was already true.
This week was Olin's "Exposition" (motto: "Everybody expects the Olin Exposition", a pun off of "Nobody expects the Olin Imposition", the motto for another event which no one outside of Olin can understand anyway): three days of students showing off their various projects from the semester. From about 150 students, we got around 120 posters (with associated projects and demonstrations), 20 presentations (one on 15th century Italian garb), and 5 theatrical performances. For one of my classes, we asked for some presentation spots that we decided we didn't want, but by then it was too late to take them off of the schedule. So I sent email to three students asking if they could put something together on their individual projects, the day before the presentations. The result: 4 presentations, all beautifully done. Olin students are scary.
I am currently composing an Artificial Intelligence Workshop class for Olin. It will be exciting, as soon as I figure out why other A.I. classes spend so much time on search algorithms. I think it's from some mistaken wish to justify A.I. by systematically sneaking up on intelligence. Perhaps they will give us more grants if we talk about graphs, optimal paths, and informed algorithms than if we let slip any talk of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, or Love.