Tech Pub Quiz #3
Round 1: Name that Nerd!
Included in this pic are assorted techies. Our Round 1 question was to try to name them all!
Round 2: CS Lore
- Harvard is famous for its Intro to Computer Science course. What’s the 4-character course identifier?
- Founded in 1947, this professional organization is the world’s largest scientific and educational computing society. Originally called Eastern Association for Computing Machinery, by what initials-only name is it commonly known today?
- Long before “crypto” had anything to do with blockchains or NFTs, it was shorthand for this word — the science of secrets.
- The ancient astronomer and mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi gave us many things — including one of the most common words used in all of computer science. What common CS word is derived from the name Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi?
- These days, the prefix “cyber” means whatever you want it to mean. But it’s actually a shortening of an older concept which referred to decision making systems based circular causal feedback. What concept does the prefix “cyber-” originate from?
- There exists a noteworthy and very inefficient sorting algorithm based on the idea of randomly permuting a list and then checking to see if it’s sorted. What is the name of this algorithm?
- 2pts — Computer science as an academic discipline is less than 100 years old. What year was the first computer science diploma offered? What university offered it?
- Originally published in 1985, what computer science text book is sometimes referred to as “The Wizard Book” due to its cover, which includes a wizard casting a spell?
- In 1968, this international organization held the first ever Software Engineering Conference. What’s the name of the organization?
- What famous computer science text book author is known for sending out actual, cashable checks to anyone who can find errors in his work?
Round 3: Operating Systems
- When a program has exhausted all the available RAM in its parent OS, it will crash with an “OOM” error. What does OOM stand for?
- This bit of footwear-inspired code loads the main operating system into memory on system start.
- The term “segfault” refers to a type of crash where a program attempts to access what type of resource that it doesn’t have permission to access?
- The name Unix is a pun, riffing on the name of a predecessor operating system. What was the name of the earlier OS?
- Now discontinued, there once existed a variant of Unix developed at UC Berkeley that went commonly by what three letter initialism?
- Before MS-DOS, there was QDOS. What did QDOS stand for?
- Often looked at as the worst ever release of the Windows operating system, what is the name of Microsoft’s biggest flop which was released publicly in 2007?
- Many operating systems support a special kind of interprocess communication where data flows directly from one process to another without touching the filesystem. What is this operating system feature called?
- Many operating systems feature a file to which any data you write is immediately discarded. What’s the name of this file?
- In Linux, if you want a process to run even after the terminal is closed, you can start the process using the utility nohup what does nohup stand for?
Round 4: Nerd Math!
- How many bits are in a nibble?
- How many bytes are in a mebibyte?
- Assuming 1GB/s SSD, which is faster — reading a 4k block randomly from your SSD or reading 1MB sequentially from RAM?
- 2pts: Which is bigger: Big Omega or Big-O?
- Without using a calculator or Google, what is 2^23 ?
- In 2021, NASDAQ’s computer systems couldn’t handle the price of Berkshire/Hathaway because of their unsigned integer representation — The share price was £413,200.0000. What size of uint were they using?
- Most nerds know that the number 86400 means something special with respect to a single day. What’s number has the same relationship with a week?
- What is 0o45 (Octal) + 0x61 (Hex) in binary?
- What is the Hamming distance between the 8-bit unsigned integers 170 and 85?
Sudden Death Round!
Question: What is the character code for the digit 9?
- Grace Hopper
- Bill Joy
- Steve Wozniak
- Parag Agrawal
- Ellen Pao
- Joel Spolsky
- Richard Hamming
- Elizabeth Holmes
- Sergey Brin
- Zero Cool – no other answer is acceptable
- algorithm (via Greek alogrisms)
- 1953, Cambridge
- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
- Donald Knuth
- Out of Memory
- RAM / Memory
- Quick-and-Dirty Operating System
- Windows Vista
- /dev/null (though $NULL is acceptable for Windows programmers)
- no hangups
- 4k from the SSD (150ns) vs. 1MB from RAM (250ms)
- Big-O is the worst case performance (Big Omega is best case)
Answer: 57 in ASCII / U+0039 in Unicode – either is acceptable