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Happy Mother’s Day

May 9, 2009

A novel paradox?

jen and zach

Jennifer Lipton-O’Connor is not a computer scientist, she is a PhD in psychology. She is also my daughter, who I wish a happy mom’s day.

Since this is Mother’s Day weekend, I will not be able to post a technical article. I have a long one in progress on the efficient simulation of nondeterministic Turing machines, that I hope to have done Monday. Till then I am celebrating Mother’s Day with my wife Judith Norback, who also is a PhD in psychology. Seem to be surrounded by women with PhDs in psychology–hmm…

A story about Jennifer. She may have invented, when she was about ten years old, a novel type of diagonalization argument. One day in May, I was driving her and her older sister, Andrea, to the mall. Andrea was twelve at the time. Jennifer asked if I could take her to Six Flags, a great amusement park, sometime over the summer. Andrea, who was about to go away to camp for the whole summer, immediately complained. Andrea said that it would not be fair if we went when she was away. Andrea loved, and still does, roller-coasters, so she really wanted to go too. I answered something non-committial to both of them. But Andrea was clearly upset. Jennifer finally turned to Andrea and said,

Andrea, would it be okay if we went, but we did not tell you?

I almost lost control of the car laughing. Andrea, who was never at a loss for words, just looked at her sister.

Open Problems

Is Jennifer’s question a paradox or a diagonalization argument? In any event, have a happy Mom’s Day.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2009 11:23 pm

    Hey nice post on Mother

  2. May 9, 2009 11:58 pm

    Hey, this is very nice post on Mother

  3. November 14, 2012 11:45 am

    Jennifer: You don’t know me but I knew your Mom, Dad and Andrea when Andrea was a chubby baby. My husband, Bill, my two daughters, Wendy and Brittney and I lived in the apartment above your family’s. Somehow over the years, I lost contact. Today I was Googling something and up popped a picture of Andrea. Both you and your sister are lovely and your little one is adorable. Please tell your Mom I would love to hear from her.


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