Al-Khwarizmi Schmal-Khwarizmi [600 views]


I  like  true/false exam questions and through my career have thought up hundreds of them. Every now and then, for comic relief and to inflate the grades, I include some that are ridiculously easy. However, I’ve never found one that is so ridiculous that everyone gets it right. I always had a few takers. Here are some of my favourites.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 2.46.58 PMThis one is straight out of a Dilbert Cartoon (which I didn’t show them)

A database manager would be a fool to ignore the Boolean anti-binary least square approach.

It’s the details that make this one believable – to a significant percentage of  students.

In 1983 six AI researchers at MIT were injured in a large combinatorial explosion.

They all know that AI has made great progress. Was solving tictactoe one of the first breakthroughs?

Tictactoe was completely solved in the 50’s

But some obstacles remain

The “Eight Queens” puzzle is a famous open problem of AI.

They hear about women pioneers of computer science, but prejudices remain.

The first programmer is generally considered to be Adam Lovelace, Babbage’s collaborator and son of Lord Byron.

Everyone loves a rags to riches story.

The inventor of the C language called it that because that was the grade he got in a class project (which was a first draft of the C specification).


Aerial View of Cyberspace

Everyone has heard about cyberspace.

Cyberspace is the area south of San Francisco where many high-tech firms are located.

Email is really fast (in fact the message would travel a few feet). But “modern” and “fibre” add to credibility.

On modern fibre networks an email message can travel halfway around the world in only a few nanoseconds.

Why not? We’re talking about the “latest” chips.

The latest INTEL chips have quantum processors.

Don’t underestimate old technology.

COBOL stands for “Common OBject Oriented Language”.

A winning strategy may be a winning strategy, but the opponent is using “advanced” techniques.

A player using a winning strategy in a chess-like game may lose to an opponent who uses advanced machine-learning techniques.


The Colossus

They know “Colossus” has something to do with Turing

Alan Turing was so smart his colleagues called him the “Colossus”.

I almost believe this.

The tiny grooves on microchips that hold the connecting wires are called “Silicon Valleys”

They would be fools.

No commercial computer manufacturer would base their software on a forty year old operating system.

Talk about modesty.

AI proponents are  known for being very cautious in their optimism.

Maybe this isn’t so ridiculously easy. You need a few steps of logic to realize this means any file can be reduced without loss to under one megabyte. But there’s that word “modern”.

Using modern lossless compression techniques, any file greater than one megabyte can be compressed by at least 10%.

Al Gore

Al Gore

I wince every time I read this.

AI suffered a serious setback in the early 70’s when a number of researchers had their grants cut off.

An enigmatic colossus.

Alan Turing was so eccentric his colleagues called him the “Enigma”.

My all-time favorite.

Al Gore contributed so  much to the growth of the internet that computer scientists named the concept of algorithm after him.




About Bill Wadge

I am a retired Professor in Computer Science at UVic.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Al-Khwarizmi Schmal-Khwarizmi [600 views]

  1. Cor says:

    (T/F) Strong typing means pounding extra hard on the keyboard.

    Which programming language evaluates -(3/2)==(-3/2) as false?
    A. LISP B. C C. Python D. Self
    Answer: Python

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.