Two days back, I was given the question paper for the coming examination for “Theoretical Computer Science”. There are about 300-400 students who would be writing the exam. I was given the question paper and was asked to solve it and time myself.
Well, it’s been quite some time since I have done anything with real theoretical computer science - Chomsky languages and stuff like that. Since I was supposed to really see the time it would take to solve the sheet, I couldn’t look at the problems and then go refresh my memory – which would spoil the purpose. So, I just did it all from my memory! And hoped that my answers would be right.
It took me about 60-70 minutes to solve the whole paper. After my report, my colleague who set the paper made the time limit to two hours! :) (He must be thinking that I have double the speed of a student!)
Now, I had this fear that some of my answers would be wrong and my colleague would have a bad impression of me. To make things worse, it was all in German! Grr….!!
But luck favoured me (at least in the beginning). In the very first page he opened, I had written down a solution which actually impressed him. (I guess, that my answer was more elegant that expected! ;) ) Well.., it didn’t last long as I stumbled on a problem which was.. well.. kind of easy! :(
But anyway, I am happy that my memory was not really much corrupted.
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Last night, I had done my laundry. After taking the clothes from the dryer, I had kept them in the basket itself – thinking of keeping them in the shelf later. This morning, I was taking socks from the basket – to wear before going out.
I took one randomly – the white Adidas sock; Next one – the grey Nike.. … .. next one, next one, next one… all of them were different. I had to take the 9th sock before I got the first pair. (Well, let me state that I have about 8-10 pairs of socks)
See how improbable a thing it it. Sock after sock eight of them were from different pairs. The odds are less than one in a million (at least thousands of) for such a thing!
But it did happen this morning and I started to curse all the socks in the whole universe for playing hide and seek with me when I had to hurry and catch the train.
People who are mathematically inclined could calculate the probability of such an event.
Signing off, Sands.
PS: In a real hurry. Hence the unstructured post with abrupt ending. :)