The Punter's Love-In

I don't know what it is about me and Cassini these days but we appear drawn to each others' writings on a daily basis. Obviously some sort of mid-life crisis. Tongues will begin to start wagging and a wife will start to get worried. Thankfully, I unloaded my wife a number of years ago so it is Mrs Cassini who will have to be placated.

Anyway, the Cassini/de Fermat Butler love-in continues with Cassini's latest post, which mentions The Punter's Revenge, a seminal work for people who were dabbling during the early days of computer aided sports betting during the 1980s. The book mentions BEAGLE (Biological Evolutionary Algorithm Generating Logical Expressions), my first encounter with artificial intelligence and evolutionary computing in particular. 

At the time I first read of BEAGLE I was a student at the then Lancashire Polytechnic (now Central Lancashire University), studying for a combined studies degree in astronomy and computing. I believed myself to be a better computer scientist than astrophysicist so I left the course after passing the first year and worked for a few years before enrolling in an artificial intellgence degree at Essex University.

In all probability I am a better computer scientist than astrophysicist even though I still watch The Sky at Night (it's not quite the same without Sir Patrick) and any cosmology based episode of Horizon. I am woeful at pure mathematics, which seems to trip off the tongue of cosmologists such as Max Tegmark, whose career and mind seem perpetually in outer space (man!).

My computing work did help in the creation of the CCFEA (see banner to the right of this article) so I suppose I was good for something. Getting back to The Punter's Revenge, the book is still a good read, even today. I gave the book a partial review during the early days of this website. My copy of the book is coming apart at the seams, as probably myself and Cassini are too but at least we have each other. Sorry Mrs C.

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