PyCon UK 2019

You are in a maze of twisty little passages
2019-09-13, 11:30–12:00, Assembly Room

You are a robot tasked with mapping a maze, but a lot of these rooms look weirdly similar. What do you do? A light hearted introduction to some neat algorithms.


You are a poor little robot, lost in a maze. Your mission, you should choose to accept it (robots don't get to turn missions down) is to map out the maze.

But there's a problem! Maybe it's your tiny robot sensorium not being good enough, but you can't tell the difference between most of these rooms! How can you possibly map the maze when all of these rooms look basically the same?

Fortunately, there's an algorithm for that.

In this talk I'll teach you a little bit about a neat area of theoretical computer science called formal language inference. You probably don't need to know anything about this area, but it's a lot of fun, and will serve as a nice approachable introduction to some foundational computer science.

This talk will be accessible with minimal technical background. Some very basic maths and Python might be helpful to know, but certainly no computer science degree required.


Is your proposal suitable for beginners? – yes

David is a long time PyCon UK speaker. Past talks include one about Hypothesis, a neat testing library that you should all be using, successfully trolling the PyCon UK organizers into using linear programming for scheduling, and a keynote introducing 800ish Python programmers to anarchist social theories. He's not very good at taking talks, or biographies, seriously, but somehow he keeps getting allowed back and people keep attending his talks anyway.