Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yurttasisms to Live By...

Rare is the case that a Texas A&M computer science undergraduate doesn't have the privilege to take a course from the esteemed senior lecturer, Dr. Salih Yurttas. He is famous among the computer science student body for his quotes and sayings that are often peppered amid his lectures on topics of the design of programming languages, database systems, or distributed objects programming, among others. He is programming language maven with extensible educational programming examples on everything from smalltalk and simula to java, c, c++, c#, perl and python among others. His booming (and I mean booming) Turkish accent is a memorable and sometimes unnerving sound that has been described as a mix between Count Chocula and the "IKEA Guy." I had the pleasure of taking his programming languages design class last semester and have yet to regret it since.

Some of the memorable quotes, the Yurttasisms that have come to be priceless:
In Latin, they write left to right. Arabic writes right to left. Chinese write top to bottom. No one has thought of writing bottom to top.

Our angel on the fourth floor has taken care of this for us. -Speaking of Bjarne Stroustrup

Don't tell me 'I know these things.' I know you know these things but the problem is you never do.

You know what I always say, kill three birds with two stones.

You will learn this both properly and fully.

You will never do this; that is the 1950's way of programming.

Some may argue that his teaching style can be unorthodox at times, but I will fervently argue the opposite: that we in fact need more to teach in his style of teaching by example and sometimes lofty assignments. For when one keeps an open mind, one will always learn more than by keeping one's mind closed to instruction.


  1. Haha, awesome. I kept a running database of Yurttas quotes back when I was an undergrad. :)

  2. Very cool, John.
    Yurttas is one of the few profs at A&M who I have deep respect for.
    And his quotes are unparalleled.

  3. Thank you for your thoughts. I look forward to taking another class with Dr. Yurttas.