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The Diary of Anne Ku

17 July 2000 Monday


I have three days to see everyone I need to see. The ones I most need to see, I had written in advance. The ones that want to see me are flexible to my schedule. The ones I've never met before but need to see, I have to schedule the first to see.

But how do I schedule my appointments without a mobile phone or voice mail? Via the Internet and somebody else's phone!

Back in school, I had learned scientific approaches to scheduling. Get the critical path out of the way, i.e. the hardest ones to schedule - the ones I most need to see but have the least time or flexibility to see me. The other way is backwards scheduling (dynamic programming). Start with the day I'm leaving and work backwards.

It's not just time that is of the essence. Availability depends on time and distance. How far do I need to walk or drive? This is the second dimension. One could use optimisation, I suppose. Minimise the time travelled between visits while maximising the number of people seen.

Subject to my energy level.



20 August 2000

I had jotted down my thoughts of the day during my travels. Now that I've FINALLY unpacked and cleaned up my room, I found these notes. So I will now "back-fill" my on-line diary.