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Happy towel day

May 24, 2016

Tomorrow, Wednesday May 25, is the international Towel Day in honor of Douglas Adams, author of the 5-book trilogy “The hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. In his book (and his prior 1978 radio series) Adams gave a nice illustration of computational complexity and non uniform computation in his story about the “deep thought” computer who took 7.5 million years to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, though today Google’s calculator can do this in 0.66 seconds.

If you want to celebrate towel day in Cambridge, bring your towel to Tselil Schramm’s talk on refuting random constraint satisfaction problems using Sums of Squares in MIT’s algorithms and complexity seminar (4pm, room 32-G575).

 

One Comment
  1. May 25, 2016 12:42 am

    I would like to point out that google precomputed the answer and now it is just doing a table lookup in the claimed time. Nothing to be impressed by here.

    Unless of course it can show its work too.

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