Generating Regular Expressions from Examples

It was rather surprising that such a simple approach can go this far, and this case study should be shared in the community. – Reviewer 1

Synthesizing Regular Expressions from Examples for Introductory Automata Assignments
Mina Lee*, Sunbeom So*, Hakjoo Oh
GPCE 2016
Best Paper Award
paper · poster (english) · poster (korean) · code
proposal (for senior project)

AlphaRegex: Synthesizer for Regular Expressions from Examples


Regular expressions?

A regular expression is a way to express a text pattern.


For instance, *.txt represents all text files. A wildcard notation * is used for any sequence of characters; hence, any files with the extension .txt regardless of their names are selected by the regular expression above. You may use it to find all text files in certain directories.

Due to the expressiveness of regular expressions, they are widely used for various text manipulation tasks such as text extraction, classification, etc.

Introductory automata assignments?

Regular expressions are taught in many computer science courses such as automata theory.

a, b, c, … → 0, 1

In practice, all available characters more or less are used to construct regular expressions. However, in automata classes, students who learn regular expressions for the first time usually only deal with the binary alphabet (i.e. 0 and 1) for simplicity.

Program synthesis?

Program synthesis is the task of automatically generating a program that meets user intent.


This is a sample question in assignments for introductory automata courses.

Find a regular expression for the following language.
L = {w ∈ {0, 1}* | Strings have exactly one pair of consecutive 0s}


For students, they may not understand the meaning of the problem, do not know where to start, or give up after a few trials, not to mention they may come up with wrong answers.

Even for instructors, it takes a while to solve the problem. Moreover, they may wonder whether their regular expression is an optimal solution.

Scenario 1. When students do not understand the problem, instructors often use examples to clarify the meaning of the problem:

Student: I don’t understand what ‘one pair of consecutive 0s’ in the question means.

Instructor: It means ‘00‘ appears only one time in each string represented by the regular expression. For instance, correct strings would be ‘00‘, ‘1001′, ’010010′ and so on, whereas ’01’, ’11’, and ‘000’ would be wrong examples of the strings.

Scenario 2. Students often use examples and counterexamples to check whether their answers are correct.

Problem Statement

In lieu of having instructors demonstrating the meaning of problems to each student or wondering if their answers are optimal ones, let’s come up with:

A method for synthesizing regular expressions
from a set of simple, basic examples given by users.

00, 1001, 010010 (O)
01, 11, 000 (X)


In a nutshell, while regular expressions are widely used for lots of text applications, it is still hard for first-timers to construct them. Our method automatically finds an optimal regular expression from a set of examples they provide.

Problem Formalization


e → a ∈ Σ | ε | ∅ | e + e | e • e | e*

Regular expression problems

Students are given with a description of a regular language L. We assume that the description of the language is given by a pair (P, N) of example strings.

Positive examples: P ⊆ Σ*
Negative examples: N ⊆ Σ*

Positive examples are correct strings that must be included in the language, and negative examples are wrong strings that must be excluded from the language.

A regular expression problem: (P, N)


Basic search algorithm

Our algorithm checks all regular expressions in the order of their simplicity until it finds a solution.


Starting from the initial (i.e. simplest) regular expression, it iteratively constructs regular expressions. Because this approach results in a huge search space, we need to effectively prune out the search tree to find a solution in a reasonable time.

Pruning the search space

  1. Prune when further search does not produce any results
  2. Prune when the current candidate is subsumed by a simpler candidate

(Please check the paper for more details!)



Captured a raindrop.

I cannot believe it has been already a year and half since I traveled Europe by myself. In the Netherlands, I stayed in Rotterdam for three nights and went to Amsterdam only to take a train to Cologne. Despite brief trip, to me, Amsterdam was all about rain and light.


Bikes–they were everywhere, rain or shine; certainly same holds for Denmark.

Finally, colorful orange reflections of light on water ripples and little waves were so beautiful and calming. I would have walked along the way forever if I could.

– Amsterdam, Netherlands
December 18, 2014

PLDI 2016

The 37th annual ACM SIGPLAN conference on
Programming Language Design and Implementation

Santa Barbara, California
June 13-17, 2016


Dear Mina Lee,

Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that we will fund your trip to attend PLMW@PLDI and PLDI.

I was thrilled when I first read this very beginning of the email! I was super surprised and elated just by looking at it, realizing that I actually got to go the conference.

Since I was still in my last semester of university, I had to ask professors to reschedule my finals; luckily they let me take them in advance–thanks a lot! After finishing up my graduation project as well as the last final, I flew to California with a big, big smile.

※ Note that there are lots of parts left blank below where I haven’t finished writing yet. I am filling them one by one, so please excuse me for that :-)

June 14

On my first day of the conference, I mostly attended sessions provided by Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop (PLMW), which is the program that funded not only me but also many other students from various countries. The only time that I went to another session on this day was attending a tutorial given by Sumit Gulwani and Oleksandr Polozov, Programming using Examples, which dealt with the exact topic that I am deeply interested in!

Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop

Below are some brief notes I took while listening to each talk during the workshop.

PLMW: Mentoring
Armando Solar-Lezama

He is one of the authors of the paper, Automated Feedback Generation for Introductory Programming Assignments, which is the very first paper I read and which eventually led me to immerse myself in program synthesis.

PLMW: Professional Communication
Matthew Might

How to email professors?

  1. Don’t email them
  2. Make it short
  3. Use the subject
  4. Use points rather than paragraphs
  5. Reply in points
  6. Place actions at top
  7. Sort points by priority
  8. Don’t replay all
  9. Be polite

PLMW: The Secrets
Jason Mars

Get motivated, inspired, and proud.

  1. Identify your mentors
  2. Latch on, hold on tight
  3. Build lifelong relationships

Embrace the unknown-seek to learn.

  1. Get out of comfort zone
  2. Leverage all resources
  3. Learn to navigate new territory

Be convinced.

  1. Buy into your problem
  2. Pitch your idea
  3. Convince others

The community can be fallible; if you don’t agree, persist. Believe and take yourself seriously! (His paper had been rejected for 4 years, but it was accepted as the best reviewed paper at the end)

Q. How can I not be discouraged?
A. Think about paper level parallelism.

PLMW: Getting People to Listen
Marry Hall

  • Communication and confidence are related.
  • Give constructive feedback
  • Many people struggle with:
    • Impostor syndrome
      • high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”
    • Dunning-Kruger effect
      • low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is

PLMW: What’s Next for Program Synthesis
Armando Solar-Lezama

Civilization runs on software.

  • Program optimization
  • Repair
  • Bug finding
  • Security
  • Automated tutor

Search + Verification = Synthesis

PLMW: Programming with Estimates
James Bornholt (Student at University of Washington)

  • Uncertain<T>: 86% more accurate
  • Probabilistic programming
  • Programs are graphical models
    • We know probability distribution of x, y, then also that of x + y
    • Thus, we can compute the probability that the condition is true, and use a hypothesis test to decide the branch; decide sample size automatically
  • Optimizing Synthesis with Metasketches [POPL 2016]

He was so good at presentation even though he was the only student presented at the workshop. I wish I could research something interesting and practical like his, and present it at the conference in the future :)

Tutorials: Programming using Examples
Sumit Gulwani, Oleksandr Polozov

June 15


Keynote: Programming Languages and Technical Disruption
Benjamin Zorn

Research Papers – Verification I

Data-Driven Precondition Inference with Learned Features
Saswat Padhi, Rahul Sharma, Todd Millstein

Cartesian Hoare Logic for Verifying k-Safety Properties
Marcelo Sousa, Isil Dillig

Verifying Bit Manipulations of Floating-Point
Wonyeol Lee, Rahul Sharma, Alex Aiken

Research Papers – Energy & Performance

GreenWeb: Language Extensions for Energy-Efficient Mobile Web Computing
Yuhao Zhu, Vijay J. Reddi

Research Papers – New Languages

Configuration Synthesis for Programmable Analog Devices with Arco
Sara Achour, Rahul Sarpeshkar, Martin Rinard

From Datalog to Flix: A Declarative Language for Fixed Points on Lattices
Magnus Madsen, Ming-Ho Yee, Ondřej Lhoták

Latte: A Language, Compiler, and Runtime for Elegant and Efficient Deep Neural Networks
Leonard Truong, Rajkishore Barik, Ehsan Totoni, Hai Liu, Chick Markley, Armando Fox, Tatiana Shpeisman

Poster Reception

I loved the vivid, enthusiastic, and interactive ambiance of poster reception. I felt much easier to mingle with people by asking questions, listening to their presentation, and having small chats here and there. In addition, thanks to their kind, detailed answers, I could learned and understood their work comprehensively.

After poster reception, 15 hungry students, including myself, went to downtown to have delicious Indian food. We all met during the poster session and became friends, yay :-) It was one of the unforgettable times that I had in Santa Barbara.


June 16

Research Papers – Down to the Metal II

Stratified Synthesis: Automatically Learning the x86-64 Instruction Set
Stefan Heule, Eric Schkufza, Rahul Sharma, Alex Aiken

Remix: Online Detection and Repair of Cache Contention for the JVM
Ariel Eizenberg, Shiliang Hu, Gilles Pokam, Joseph Devietti

Statistical Similarity of Binaries
Yaniv David, Nimrod Partush, Eran Yahav

Research Papers – Synthesis I

MapReduce Program Synthesis
Calvin Smith, Aws Albarghouthi

Programmatic and Direct Manipulation, Together at Last
Ravi Chugh, Brian Hempel, Mitchell Spradlin, Jacob Albers

Fast Synthesis of Fast Collections
Calvin Loncaric, Emina Torlak, Michael D. Ernst

Research Papers – Synthesis II

Synthesizing Transformations on Hierarchically Structured Data
Navid Yaghmazadeh, Christian Klinger, Isil Dillig, Swarat Chaudhuri

Program Synthesis from Polymorphic Refinement Types
Nadia Polikarpova, Ivan Kuraj, Armando Solar-Lezama



Santa Barbara is indeed a beautiful city with lots of charms and beauty. It would have been nice if I could stay there for several more days. At first, I found palm trees lining up along the streets exotic. However, when I was about to leave, they became pretty familiar to me.


My adviser, his students, and I took a walk by Stearns Wharf after having dinner one day. It presented us stunning view: the beach with the reflection of the glow of sunset. I could walk there for hours and hours.


Looking back on these days, I could not more appreciate all the moments I had there. I relished every day and still vividly remember them. I deeply, sincerely thank PLDI for giving me this opportunity and all of you whom I met on this trip. You all made it such a beautiful one.


GRE Verbal Reasoning


Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. – Henry Ford

This is what sentences that GRE deals with look like:

“But opinions diverge on whether the diverse and often unexpected phenomena that can occur in systems more complex than individual particles truly represent new physical principles at work, or whether the principles involved are derivative, relying, albeit in a terribly complicated way, on the physical principles governing the enormously large number of elementary constituents.”

Oh wait, was it one sentence?


  1. Vocabulary
  2. Short Sentences
    • Academic
    • Others
  3. Long Sentences
    • GRE Sentence Equivalence questions
    • GRE Text Completion questions


all but

  • all but (noun) = all except for (noun) <Close all tabs but this one>
  • all but (adjective) = almost (adjective) <The subject was all but forgotten>

anything but A = not A
everything but A = not A
nothing but B = only B

as yet = so far, up to now
yet 비교급 = still more, even <a yet sadder tale>

however (adjective) S V = whatever, regardless of, no matter

(As) (adjective) as S V = although / because

  • <Happy as they were, there was something missing>
  • <As surprising as the new findings are, I would not describe it as revolutionary>

at once A and B = A이자 B이다
not so much B as A

prefer A to B
substitute A for B
substitute B with A

overshadow (같은 것, 정도의 차이) vs. belie (정반대의 것)
irony (incongruity, unexpected) vs. paradox (contradiction)

albeit = although
nonetheless = in spite of
notwithstanding = in spite of

시간 관련 표현

  • erstwhile: former
  • heretofore: before now
  • hitherto: until now or until the point in time under discussion

whether A or (whether[instead]) B



fallacious, fallible, erring, specious, spurious


pertinent, pertain, germane, material


apposite, apropos, apt, meet, felicitous, befitting


inclination, disposition, penchant, propensity, proclivity, predilection, predisposition, bent, leaning


explicate, expound, epitomize, typify, personify, incorporate, incarnate



perspicuous, patent, lucid, manifest, straightforward, explicit, palpable, pellucid, limpid


equivocal, opaque, nebulous, murky, oracular


recondite, esoteric, inscrutable, impenetrable, inexplicable, arcane, oracular, hermetic, unfathomable


convoluted, intricate, involved, labyrinthine, tangled, tortuous, Byzantine, turgid


thorny, touchy, knotty, ticklish, prickly, spiny


innocuous, benign, benignant


deleterious, detrimental, malign, malignant, noxious, pernicious, virulent, baneful, baleful, pestilent, venomous


succinct, laconic, terse, taciturn, reticent, pithy, curt, aphoristic, brief, compendious


verbose, prolix, circumlocution, garrulous, loquacious, voluble, verbiage, long-winded

Taking a stance


accede to, accord, concord, assent, consent, concur, subscribe to


dissent, take issue with, take exception to, object, demur, gainsay, buck


substantiate, corroborate, verify, validate, authenticate, confirm


belie, contradict, controvert, confute, refute, rebut


bolster, buttress, fortify, undergird, wax


undermine, enervate, flag, wane, debilitate, enfeeble, attenuate, sap, emaciate, undercut, downplay



replete, profuse, abound, copious, cornucopia, bountiful, plenitude


glut, surfeit, myriad, plethora, mint, slew, spate, scads


meager, measly, paltry, scanty, scant, in want of


dearth, paucity, modicum, destitution, deficiency, pinch, want



You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. – Rosalynn Carter

Short Sentences


  • The new theory has been espoused by many leading scientists.
  • It is necessary to consider any extrinsic factors in the success of the experiment.
  • This is not the time to cavil about petty details.
  • I do not think we should dismiss the matter lightly.
  • We are working on a deferrable project.
  • The author modestly deprecated the importance of his work.
  • It informs every aspect of life.
  • The speaker seemed to drone on endlessly.
  • Who do I need to speak with to expedite this?
  • His enthusiasm was in no way flagging.
  • He was so flustered that he did not know what to do.
  • Although some of her fellow scientists decried the unorthodox laboratory methodology that others found innovative, unanimous praise greeted her experimental results: at once pioneering and unexceptionable.
  • As a teacher, she is noteworthy for her humility; rather than presenting fully formed pronouncements, she is willing to let us watch as she works out her ideas.


  • The autumnal blaze of colors is always to be treasured, all the more so because it is so ephemeral.
  • Winter divested the trees of their foliage.
  • Euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.
  • It cannot be right to fetter discretion in that way.
  • He is a finicky eater.
  • I would never do something that would abase myself.
  • It is axiomatic that life is not always easy.
  • Everyone loved her for her blithe spirit.
  • The market for collectibles has burgeoned in recent years.

Long Sentences

July 2016

Unlike other examples of elegiac verse, Milton’s Lycidas not only mourns the death of Edward King, it also denounces corruption in the church in which King was ordained.

Without the psychiatrist’s promise of confidentiality, trust is impaired and the patient’s communication limited; even though confidentiality can thus be seen to be precious in therapy, moral responsibility sometimes calls for a willingness to sacrifice it.

Early critics of Emily Dickinson’s poetry mistook for simplemindedness the surface of artlessness that in fact she constructed with such cunning.

  • 5형식 도치: ‘S V O OC’의 구조를 ‘S V OC O’으로 도치
  • mistake A for B

Descartes and Hobbes, in the seventeenth century, rejected medieval philosophy: they did not think of themselves, as modern philosophers do, as proposing a new and better philosophy, but rather as furthering the warfare between science and theology. They were fighting, albeit discreetly, to open the intellectual world to the new science and to liberate intellectual life from ecclesiastical philosophy and envisioned their work as contributing to the growth, not of philosophy, but of research in mathematics and physics.

But opinions diverge on whether the diverse and often unexpected phenomena that can occur in systems more complex than individual particles truly represent new physical principles at work, or whether the principles involved are derivative, relying, albeit in a terribly complicated way, on the physical principles governing the enormously large number of elementary constituents.

  • whether … (or not) = whether … or …, whether … or whether[instead] …

During the 1960’s assessments of the family shifted remarkably, from general endorsement of it as a worthwhile, stable institution to widespread censure of it as an oppressive and bankrupt one whose dissolution was both imminent and welcome.

It has been argues that politics as a practice, whatever its transcendental claims, has always been the systematic organization of common hatreds.

As serious as she is about the bullfights, she does not allow respect to suppress her sense of whimsy when painting it.

  •  문두의 As … as: 맥락에 따라 Although 또는 As 로 해석

The activists’ energetic work in the service of both woman suffrage and the temperance movement in the late nineteenth century undermines the assertion that the two movements were inimical.

***Although the meanings of words may necessarily be liable to change, it does not follow that the lexicographer is therefore unable to render spelling, in a great measure, constant.

August 2016


Precedent promotes judicial restraint and limits a judge’s ability to determine the outcome of a case in a way that he or she might choose if there were no precedent. This function of precedent gives it its moral force.


Not wishing to appear presumptuous, the junior member of the research group refrained from venturing any criticism of the senior members’ plan for dividing up responsibility for the entire project.

  • 선택지의 intractable 대입 후 해석하지 말 것; 문장 골격으로부터 인과관계 유추해내야
  • presumptuousness <-> propriety (the state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals)

Up to the 1970s, histories of science tended to be anachronistic not least in their focus on discoveries and theories that could be read as anticipating later scientific orthodoxies, rather than on those deemed major in their own periods. Historians of science are now routinely far more sensitive on such scores.

  • not least = in particular, notably

Historical research makes two somewhat antithetical truths that sounded banal come to seem profound: knowledge of the past comes entirely from written documents, giving written words great consequence, and the more you uncover, the more elusive your subject becomes.


A complacent acceptance of contemporary forms of social behavior has misled a few into believing that values in conflict with the present age are for all practical purposes superseded[supplanted].

People who are nervous about opposing a court nominee straightforwardly on ideological grounds search for any sort of peccadillo to serve as a non-ideological pretext for opposition.

Much fuss has been made over the significance of emerging trade networks in the High Middle Ages. It is incontrovertible that local trading intensified and that enterprising merchants established contact with distant lands. Nevertheless, despite these few counterexamples, research has not substantiated that the norm was anything other than the traditional, self-sufficient manorial holding.

  • anything other than = anything but = not at all

The decision to have a child depends on innumerable personal considerations and larger, unaccountable societal factors that are in constant flux. Yet even knowing this, demographers themselves are often flummoxed. Projections of birthrates and population totals are often embarrassingly at odds with eventual reality.


Plato’s vision of the Republic was that poets must be exiled lest they should lead men astray. But was it not also Plato’s wisdom to complement his reasoning with myths, which evidence man’s figurative thinking? Surely Plato was a man who was at odds with himself.

  • lest = for fear that, so that … should not
  • denotative 표시적인, 외연적인 <-> connotative 함축적인, 내포적인

*To test the efficacy of borrowing from one field of study to enrich another, simply investigate the extent to which terms from the one may, without forcing, be applied to the other.

  • Blank 1의 선택지 universality / risk / efficacy 중 extent 로 판별할 수 있는 것 선택


Although the composer quickly gained fame with his last symphony, his legacy is hardly indelible[memorable] due to the superb works of other, more noticeable musicians of his time like Haydn and Mozart.

  • SE 문제: 선택지 recognizable 의 동의어가 없으므로 indelible 과 memorable 선택
  • indelible = memorable, unforgettable

In sum, whatever the acknowledged shortcomings of the market and the merits of considering ways to remedy them, invoking preferential public policies toward this end entails the inevitable risk of other shortcomings that will accompany the remedial public policies.

*Though science is often imagined as a neutral exploration of external reality, scientists are no different from anyone else: they are passionate human beings enmeshed in a web of personal and social circumstances.

  • neutral 의 선택 근거: be enmeshed 의 반대
  • passionate 의 선택 근거: passion 이 가지는 의미적 배경 (The Passion of the Christ)

As he tells in the Apology, Socrates in his time defied both tyranny and democracy. He had no respect for either the powerful few or the powerful many. Although no voice has ever been raised more eloquently than his in defense of  individuality, he was no democrat in the free and easy sense of the term. It was democracy that killed Socrates-and that died in the progress. Greek civilization never recovered from this old man’s death.

  • tyranny = powerful few 독재 국가
  • democracy = powerful many 민주주의
    • A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
    • Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
  • monarchy 군주제, 군주국
    • A monarchy is a form of government in which a group, usually a family called the dynasty, embodies the country’s national identity and one of its members, called the monarch, exercises a role of sovereignty.
  • republic 공화국
    • A republic is a sovereign state or country which is organized with a form of government in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law.
    • The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights. Both forms of government tend to use a representational system — i.e., citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government. In a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a “pure democracy,” the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.


The government’s implementation of a new code of ethics appeared intended to shore up the ruling party’s standing with an increasingly restive[skittish] electorate at a time when the party is besieged by charges that it trades favors for campaign money.

  • SE 문제: 선택지 vociferous 의 동의어가 없으므로 restive 와 skittish 선택
  • restive
  • skittish
  • vociferous

*In scientific studies, supporting evidence is much more satisfying to report than are discredited hypotheses, but, in fact, the detection of errors is more likely to be useful than is the establishment of probably truth.


Intellectual resilience and flight from boredom have caused him to rush pell-mell into situations that less adventurous spirits might hesitate to approach.

Some humanitarians disliked the idea of compromise with “the slave power.” But as a practical matter they came around to the President in the end. His willingness to countenance slavery where it already existed would perhaps mean that the threat of secession would recede. His opposition to the extension of slavery to the territories meant that the public fight against slavery would continue. In utterance Lincoln’s denunciation of slavery remained eloquent and unequivocal.


Beatified by the Catholic Church in 1765, Italian cleric Ludovico Sabatini is venerated[honored] each year on the day of his death, June 11.

Within the next decade, sophisticated telescopes now orbiting the Earth will determine whether the continents really are moving, resolving the incipient rift among geologists about the validity of the theory of continental drift.

  • 선택지의 speculation, rumors 는 resolve 할 수 없는 대상이므로 불가

It is puzzling to observe that Jones’s novel has recently been criticized for its lack of structure, since commentators have traditionally argued that its most obvious flaw is its relentlessly rigid, indeed schematic, framework.


Du Bois’ foreign trips were the highlight, not the totality, of his travels; he was habitually on the go across and around the United States.

With its maverick approach to the subject, Shere Hite’s book has been more than widely debated than most; the media throughout the country have brought the author’s controversial opinions to the public’s attention.

  • maverick
    • a person who refuses to follow the customs or rules of a group
  • conclusive
    1. showing that something is certainly true
    2. putting an end to debate or question especially by reason of irrefutability
  • 다른 사람의 의견을 따르지 않는 것과 단정지어 말하는 것은 다르다.

The enthusiasm that many English artists and writers felt regarding Labor Party waned amid complaints that arts funding remained as parsimonious under Labor as it had been under the Tory Party. Even though the government recently announced a significant funding boost for the Arts Council, some arts leaders still refuse to trust Labor.

  • amid = among (~의 한 복판에, ~에 둘러싸여)

***The students seeking undergraduate representation on the board of trustees viewed the impasse in their negotiations with the administration as inevitable, since it promised to undermine the administrations belief that students should take no part in running the university.

That the President manages the economy is an assumption central to the prevailing wisdom that dominates electoral politics in the United States. As a result, presidential elections have become referenda on the business cycle, whose fortuitous turnings are erroneously attributed to the President. Presidents are properly accountable for their executive and legislative performance, and certainly their actions may have profound effects on the economy. But these effects are largely unpredictable. Unfortunately, modern political campaigns are fought on the untenable premise that Presidents can deliberately produce precise economic results.


Having displayed his art collection in a vast modernist white space in an unprepossessing former warehouse, Mr. Saatchi has chosen for his new site its polar opposite, a riverside monument to civic pomposity that once housed the local government. There is nothing spare about the new location: the building’s design is bureaucratic baroque, a grandiose style that is as declamatory as a task-force report and as self-regarding as a campaign speech.

Only with the discovery of an ozone hole over Antarctica in 1985, did chemical companies finally relinquish their opposition to a ban on CFCs, which destroy ozone. The discovery suggested that strong political action to halt production of CFCs might be imminent, and fortunately, the chemical industry no longer felt compelled to oppose such action: although companies had recently curtailed their research into CFC substitutes, studies they had initiated years earlier had produced encouraging results.

Methods were developed to remove distortions caused by either the research environment or the researcher. Such methods, especially with respect to the researchers, were considered to restrain the incursion of subjectivity whose unbridled expression was thought to otherwise corrupt research.


Business forecasts usually prove reasonably accurate when the assumption that the future will be much like the past is entertained; in times of major shifts in the business environment, however, forecasts can be dangerously wrong.

  • entertain
    1. provide entertainment for
    2. show hospitality to <entertain guests>
    3. keep, hold, or maintain in the mind <I entertain grave doubts about her sincerity>
    4. receive and take into consideration <refused to entertain our plea>

***Each new generation of students grows up immersed in the world of classical physics, with its mostly intuitive, billiard-ball causality; that is the everyday vantage from which we approach the alien world of quantum physics, which has for this reason never lost its air of radicalism.

  • radical
    1. of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
      1. (1) of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers>
        (2) growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radicalleaves>
      2. of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
      3. of or relating to a mathematical root
      4. designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>
    2. of or relating to the origin :  fundamental
    3. a :  very different from the usual or traditional :  extreme
      b :  favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions
      c :  associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change
      d :  advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radicalright>


Many legislators who helped Roosevelt shape the New Deal bemoaned the fact that emerging social problems affected every segment of the population: nonetheless, they often acted with a view to aiding only their own constituents.

Saul Bellow’s particular combination of intellectuality and vitality was not paradoxical. It was category-shattering. Energy was, in a way, his very theme. Was ever a bookish soul so cracklingly unmediated, so flush with raw life? He was as vivid physically as he was mentally, almost perversely alert, completely at home in the world of matter, repulsed by tedium.

We rightly think of Kafka as a sufferer and a victim, the tormented subject of nightmares, the man whose initial identifies, in one novel, a figure caught up in an absurd trial and in another, the land surveyor we have seen sleeping through his possible salvation. But we can also think of him as a master of nightmares, a connoisseur of them, and we can remember that he smiled when he made his remark about the plentitude of hope.


Three of the nation’s largest airlines could be operating under bankruptcy protection in coming weeks, analysts say, the latest sign of the industry’s upheaval[convulsion] as it lurches through a historic transformation.

***Among references to ritualized violence and sacrifice a Blackfoot Indian robe depicts the exploits of a chief, displaying scalps as trophies and grasping a captive woman. Such images obliquely refused to forgive and forget the hecatombs of the First World War. They also debunked the rational, efficient and hygienic designs of Bauhaus, while equally opposing atavistic views of French identity as to be expressed in clean lines of classical symmetry designed to shape art, architecture, social hierarchy and thought.


In American Indian art, the supposed distinction between modern and traditional was fabricated by critics, and when artists have control over interpretation of their own work, the distinction appears, happily, to have been eliminated[put to rest].

  • divested 는 문법적으로 불가 (divest A of B)
    • their work appears to have been divested of the distinction

Viewing people as ‘social atoms’ that obey rather simple rule (which are not unlike the laws of physics), one may discover certain law-like regulations. Take, for example, the way channels emerge when people move in crowds. In the midst of initially chaotic movements, one person begins to follow another–in an effort to avoid collisions–and streams of movement emerge. As more people join in, there is greater pull on others to join the flow, and the particular channels become self-perpetuating.


Crosby’s colleagues have never learned, at least not in time to avoid embarrassing themselves, that her occasional bogus air of befuddlement presages a display of her formidable intelligence.

The recent publication of the painter Robert Motherwell’s substantial body of writing, as well as writings by fellow Expressionist Barnett Newman, undermines Ann Gibson’s assertion that the Abstract Expressionists were reluctant to articulate issues of artistic meaning in their work and suggests that this supposed reticence was perhaps more artistic posturing than historical fact.


Between the late 1800s and early 1900s, various institutional structures emerged that set researchers in scientific fields apart as a professional class, protected their autonomy, determined correct procedure, and moderated dispute by sanctioning[endorsing] some kinds of knowledge as real science.

Nineteenth-century scholars, by examining earlier geometric Greek art, found that classical Greek art was not a magical apparition or a brilliant construct blending Egyptian and Assyrian art but was independently evolved by Greeks in Greece.


Like many eighteenth-century scholars who lived by cultivating those in power, Eberhart neglected to neutralize, by some propitiatory gesture of comradeship, the resentment his peers were bound to feel because of his involvement with the high and mighty.


It would have been disingenuous of the candidate to appear ecstatic when her opponent won the election, but she congratulated the victor nonetheless.

  • Contraposition 으로 gracious 대신 ecstatic 골라야 함
    • 상대방이 이기건 지건, gracious 할 수 있지만
    • 상대방이 이겼는데 ecstatic 한 것은 disingenuous 함

Once Renaissance painters discovered how to render volume and depth, they were able to substitute the more concrete illusion of actual space for the medieval convention of symbolic, two-dimensional space.

  • substitute
    • (transitive verb) to put or use in the place of another
    • (intransitive verb) to serve as a substitute


We live in a self-consciously plain-spoken political era. The art of spin is not quite supplanting truth with lies. It aspires to replace awkward complexities with catchy simplicity. Successful spin does not leave the effect of skillful persuasiveness; it creates the impression of unavoidable common sense.

  • spin: a special point of view, emphasis, or interpretation presented for the purpose of influencing opinion <put the most favorable spin on the findings>


For those Puritans who believed that secular obligations were imposed by divine will, the correct course of action was not withdrawal from the world but conscientious discharge of the duties of business.

  • discharge
    1. to relieve of a charge, load, or burden
    2. to remove or send forth
    3. to fire or shoot (a firearm or missile)
    4. to pour forth; emit
    5. to relieve oneself of (an obligation, burden, etc.)
    6. to relieve of obligation, responsibility, etc.
    7. to fulfill, perform, or execute (a duty, function, etc.)


***For some time now, disinterestedness has been presumed not to exist: the cynical conviction that everybody has an angle is considered wisdom.


In our daily lives, we often compartmentalize our separate identities: you can have one identity at work and another online, for example. Such boundaries disappear in certain circumstances, however, resulting in a cross-pollination of our different selves.

Philosophy, unlike most other subjects, does not try to extend our knowledge by discovering new information about the world. Instead it tries to deepen our understanding through rumination on what is already closest to us–the experiences, thoughts, concepts, and activities that make up our lives but that ordinarily escape our notice precisely because they are so familiar. Philosophy begins by finding utterly mysterious the things that are most prosaic.

  • 선택지의 두 단어의 여러 가지 뜻과 뉘앙스 파악하는 문제
  • prosaic
    • dull, unimaginative
    • everyday, ordinary
  • hackneyed
    • lacking in freshness or originality


Far from viewing Jefferson as a skeptical but enlightened intellectual, historians of the 1960’s portrayed him as an inflexible[doctrinaire] thinker, eager to fill the young with his political orthodoxy while censoring ideas he did not like.


In the machine-like world of classical physics, the human intelligence appears anomalous[anachronistic], since the mechanical nature of classical physics does not allow for creative reasoning, the very ability that had made the formulation of classical principles possible.

It is ironic that a critic of such overwhelming vanity now suffers from a measure of the oblivion to which he forever consign others; in the end, all his self-adulation has only worked against him.

*Stories are a haunted genre; hardly debased kind of story, the ghost story is almost the paradigm of the form, and goose bumps was undoubtedly one effect that Poe had in mind when he wrote about how stories work.

***No other contemporary poet’s work has such a well-earned reputation for near impenetrability, and there are few whose moral vision is so imperiously unsparing. Of late, however, the almost belligerent demands of his severe and densely forbidding poetry have taken an improbable turn. This new collection is the poet’s fourth book in six years–an ample output even for poets of sunny disposition, let alone for one of such penitential austerity over the previous 50 years. Yet for all his newfound volubility, his poetry is as thorny as ever.