Checkers game

Long, long time ago, when I was still a full time student, I once became first in a checkers cup with a program I wrote. Alas, those days of glory are over. Looking back, the program was pretty simple. Choosing an efficient board representation made generating the moves a piece of cake and my program didn’t make use of any opening libraries or endgame strategies. It just implemented minimax search with alpha-beta pruning. Although it wasn’t really sophisticated, I still think the program was pretty sweet and I felt disappointed when I realized I had lost the source code. That’s why I decided to implement this game again only this time in Java (the original was written in C++). I fired up NetBeans and this is the result.

Mathematician’s Birthday Calendar

In my previous post I described a way of doing web scraping using XPath and VB. I showed how to get stock quotes from the web into Excel using this method. Recently I used the same method to get a list of birthdays of mathematicians. The data was scraped from Wikipedia lemmas like January_1January_2, etc. looking for lines containing the word “mathematician”. If you’re a math enthusiast you can get the calendar from here. Check out the code if you want to make a similar thing for physicists.