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Mathematical Sciences

24 Hours of Triviality

April 30, 2020

  • Image of a question mark in the center of a speech balloon.

Question 1: Go to the Department website. If you count all faculty and all staff (excluding Faculty Emeritus), you should get 12 people. What is the sum of the ages of these 12 people?

Question 2: Which function is the best? Your answer must be in the form of a haiku.

Question 3: X = the number from one to 12 that never appeared in a movie like this one. Y = number of times the symbol 4 appears in the movie for 4. The answer to this question is the cube root of Y - X.

Question 4: Go to this Google Doodle. Have one person in your team host a game for others on your team. The game takes 2 minutes or so. At the end you will be shown how many points each player earned. Ignoring the colored groups the game assigns, compute the average of all of the individual scores. The team with the highest average score wins this question. Please document your top average score with a screenshot of the game screen of individual scores. You may play as many times as you like to get a highest score, but at least two team members must be included in the top score.

Question 5: Write an acrostic about the most hideous bug you ever encountered in one of your programs and how you fixed it.

Question 6: Submit the URL for the website with the worst user interface. The twist: An answer can’t win if more than one team submits it.

Question 7: When did the Computer Science program start at Lewis & Clark College?

Question 8: What’s the best programming language to learn first and what’s the best one to use after you’ve learned programming? (100 word limit)

Question 9: Write a limerick about a transcendental number.

Question 10: Describe a very ordinary object from your home as if describing it to someone who was completely unfamiliar with the object but very familiar with high-level math/computer science. (big words encouraged, 100 word limit)

Question 11: Where was the SQRC before it was in JR Howard Hall? What was the SQRC called in those days?

Q 12: Name the 10 Dewey Decimal Classes. Has anyone authored work in all 10 of the classes? If so, who? And if not, who has come closest?

Q13: What is the lowest Erdos number among department faculty? Which faculty member(s) have that Erdos number?

Q14: Submit a composite photo of your team. FUN is encouraged.

Q15: When was the first woman mathematician hired as a tenure-line faculty member at the college?

Q16: Submit the BEST CAT PHOTO EVER available on the internet.

Q17: Someone in an East coast state (with Atlantic coastline) can talk to someone in a west coast state (with Pacific coastline) and not have to adjust for the time difference. When and where is this possible?

Q18: 1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, 312211, … what is the next number?

Q19: If you were adding a member to the Avengers whose superpower is math-related, what would their name be and what would be their power? (just a name and a power, no explanation)

Q20: If you could travel back in time to discover and take credit for one math or CS idea, what would be it and why? (100 word limit)

Q21: Draw a professor in the department.

Q22: Pick a number between 1 and 100 (inclusive) so that your answer is closest to ⅔ of the average answer submitted by all teams.

Q23: Write a math parody of a pop song. One verse or chorus is enough. Extra credit for submitting a recording of a nonempty subset of your group singing it.

Q24: In a 2 minute-or-less video or audio recording, explain the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus to a second grader. (so 8 years old) A distinguished panel of second grade guest judges will be scoring this question.