Who is Randy Pausch?


Randy Pausch was a professor of design and human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University.


Randy was mostly known for his #1 best selling book “The Last Lecture” which expands on his speech at CMU.


5 Things I liked


1.     He made me realize how much work I can get done if I managed my time properly. I have always thought that I barely had time to do anything, but this lecture has helped me realize that I have more time that I thought I did

2.     He did not just talk about how to work more efficiently and get more things done, but he also emphasized the importance of alone time for creativity and health.

3.     When he talked about procrastinating he did not give the usual points of “don’t be lazy and do you work on time”. He gave a different perspective that maybe you are procrastinating because you think you might fail, and that resonated with me since I realized after listening to him that I sometimes procrastinate because I think I can’t do something.

4.     When you are on vacation you shouldn’t worry about anything at all. It is important to work on your mental health.

5.     It is very important to make sure you let people know you appreciate their work. For example, physical thank you notes.


Professor Christos’ Questions:


What is a decision problem?

            Finding out whether a problem that can be solved with yes/no


What does it mean for a decision problem to be decidable?

            It means that it is possible to find a solution to the problem


What is the class P? What is the class NP?

            Class P problems or Polynomial time problems are problems that could be solved in polynomial time. NP class or non-deterministic polynomial problems can only be verified in polynomial time but cannot be resolved in polynomial time.


What is the intuitive meaning of the “P versus NP” question”?

            This is a question about whether or not P class is the same as NP class, or if P class problems are only a subset of NP class problems.


If you resolve the P versus NP question, how much richer will you be?

            The reward is $1,000,000


Professor Riley’s Questions:


Who discovered the attack? How long has it been going on?

            Security researchers at Samsung discovered the attack. They claim that it has been going on for years while Apple claims that it has only been going on for months


Who orchestrated the attacks? How do we know?

            While it wasn’t confirmed who orchestrated the attack, people believe it was the Chinese government because of the targets being Chinese muslims in China.


What did the attack allow the attackers to do to a victim’s phone?

            It allowed them root access to the iPhone which then allowed them to spy on messages and the media saved on the phone


On a technical level, what did the attack do? How did it do it?

            The attacker baited victims into clicking a link which allowed the attacker to take full control of safari on the iPhone, which then allowed them to gain back door access to the root of the phone.


Why were the security flaws not patched earlier?

            They weren’t patched earlier because the general public and Apple’s security team were not aware of the attacks



Professor Hammoud’s talk:


Why and what is cloud computing?

            Cloud computing is having access to infrastructure like storage over the internet instead of having physical parts running the machine.


Is cloud computing new technology? In other words, what is unique about cloud computing?

            Cloud computing is new. It is unique in the sense that it makes physical infrastructure less desirable for a company because it allows companies to use resources over the cloud which is cheaper.


What are the three major cloud service models, and which service model would you use to run your simple python code?

            There is IaaS which is infrastructure, PaaS which is platform and SaaS which is software. To run a simple python code you need infrastructure so IaaS would be used.


What are the economic/business model of cloud computing?

            It is cheaper than the alternative which is having all those resources built physically in a company.






Professor Giselles questions:


What are programming languages for?

Programming languages allow humans to communicate with machines and pass instructions to allow the machine to carry out functions


How do we translate solutions to computer programs? What are the limitations?

We translate solutions to computer programs using programming languages, the limitations to this comes mostly from the processing power the computer has


How many programming languages are there? What does this number tell you?

>256 it tells me that there are many different ways to speak to a computer




Professor Gianni’s questions:


Can you give both an operational and a philosophical definition of AI?

           AI is an intelligent machine created to act and think like a human. Philosophical: if the machine can think like a human and feel like a human then what is the difference between it and a human.


Can you name at least three different techniques or sub-fields of AI?

           Machine learning, Neural networks and Natural language processing


AI has been around for 70 years, why is it booming right now?

           We now have the processing power to carry out large machine learning operations using large databases.


Can you name at least three application sectors where robots are being largely employed?

           Manufacturing cars, bowling alley pin setter and factory workers. This is because robots are more efficient than humans and they are cheaper to maintain as they don’t require salaries, benefits etc.


Can you identify three potential challenges for a wheeled autonomous robot that would perform a 24h surveillance task in a large facility?

           It would not be able to cover everything at once so people can sneak around. If the robot malfunctions for any reason and there are no humans around, then there will be no one to watch over the facility.








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