Spam

Moss Café - Menu: Σ = {Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Spam} Today's Special: Σ*SpamΣ*

It's a Sigma Star Spamwich!

Let U = “You understand this comic.”

Let N = “You are a nerd.”

U→N

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5 Responses to “Spam”

  1. feross Says:

    Sadly, I don’t understand it. What does the sigma star notation mean?

  2. Ben Christel Says:

    Man, how have you not taken CS 103?

    It’s a regex thing. Sigma means the entire alphabet of a regular language – in this case, the set {eggs, bacon, sausage, spam}. The star notation means “repeat any number of times” and in the regex, the sigma means “any element in the alphabet.” So the whole regex means “a series of any length of the elements of Sigma containing at least one occurrence of “spam.”

  3. Ben Christel Says:

    Don’t worry, though — it wasn’t a biconditional, so you can still be a nerd even if you don’t get it 😛

  4. feross Says:

    Doh! I should remember my CS103 better — but it’s been over a year, to be fair, hehe. I’m familiar with regex, so the star notation makes sense. Mixing the stars with the sigmas is what confused me. :-/

  5. Rebecca Says:

    Wow. *headdesk*

    I’m sitting at work, where I spend my time coding–and occasionally use regular expressions–and I’m headdesking. Because I understand this comic.

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