Evert Provoost

About

Quick facts

Name on passport Evert Provoost
First winter 1999 AD
Currently residing in Berlaar, Belgium
Digital mail address evert at elecprog dot com
Studying Bachelor Informatics
Editor of choice Neovim & Emacs

Introduction

Nerd, programmer and № 1 at telling useless facts… Actively trying to be a scientist.

My name is Evert Provoost and I’m a Computer Science student at the KU Leuven. The fact that I’m studying computer science came as a surprise to almost no-one as I have been programming since I was twelve.

Outside of my studies I have an interests in photography and typography. I also appear to have an uncanny ability to remember (mostly) useless facts…

Programming languages

Over the years I’ve accumulated some knowledge of a couple of languages.

The ones I currently use the most are Go and Python. (La)TeX is what I use for most of the texts I write and something for which I wrote a little package. I’ve also had some smaller projects in Java, C and even PHP.

Currently I’m gaining some interest for declarative programming and am thus learning Haskell after which I’m planning to take a look at Prolog and Racket. Another language on my to-learn list is Rust.

Of course there is always my own programming language EPoL (Easy Pointer Language) which is basically a slightly friendlier version of BF though still mostly unusable.

Scientific interests

At this point in time I’m mostly fascinated by the satisfiability problem (SAT), primes and prime factorisation. Both are extraordinarily hard problems of which a slightly improved solution would vastly impact our daily lives.

SAT is the most famous NP-complete problem and showing that there is or isn’t a polynomial algorithm for this problem would be huge. If we do find one: P would be equal to NP which would result in most cryptographic algorithms in use today being broken. On the other hand finding such an algorithm would also enable major advances in medicine as some problems in protein structure prediction have been shown to be NP-complete.

Another way in which a large part of modern cryptography can be broken is by finding an efficient algorithm for prime factorisation. Finding primes in general has no optimal solution, nor is there an efficient way to show that a number is prime.

Apart from these problems I’m also interested in programming language theory, models of computation (lambda calculus, Turing machines…), logic and mathematics in general. I’m also always amazed by the discoveries in other fields such as physics, linguistics, biology, economics, medicine…

All have important results which we use daily to better the world or use simply for the sake of knowledge.