Academic work and insect strategy

2015-11-14

in Daily updates, Geek stuff

Life is hectic with advising my undergraduate students on the first written assignment while grading assignments from the graduate course where I am a TA.

I have been using a few breaks to play the excellent and engrossing boardless board game Hive, both online and with the portable pocket set. I haven’t progressed to the advanced mosquito and ladybug pieces, but I have been getting better at effectively pinning the enemy queen and at thinking in terms of the game’s tempos.

Once this round of grading has been wrapped up (after the undergrad papers come in and are dealt with), I undertake a determined PhD proposal and ethics review push. The winter break should provide an opportunity to make progress in the absence of teaching obligations.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan November 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm

In Hive, I have been playing with the view that placing a grasshopper first is a questionable move, since grasshoppers can jump into otherwise-inaccessible spaces at the end of the game and are therefore better saved until late. A less valuable spider seems a safer piece to leave in a spot where it could easily remain stuck for the whole game.

Since then, I have lost a couple of games where a sudden move of an opponent’s hopper (placed early, but made mobile late in the game) shifted the tempo to them and gave them a victory. As a result, I am experimenting with earlier use of a hopper.

That said, I am still at the stage where I overlook hugely negative consequences from my moves and blunder into letting the opposing queen move. It’s certainly a game where there is a lot to keep track of, tactically as well as strategically.

Milan December 15, 2015 at 5:40 pm

With two TA jobs, the grading really never ends.

I am still dealing with the last late papers for my Canadian politics class.

Then, I have an entire assignment to grade for my environmental decision-making class.

Tomorrow, I need to pick up the midterms for the Canadian class.

I was intending to use December to finish up my thesis proposal, but less and less time is available for that, even before factoring in climate and photography obligations.

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