Recently the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched an online learning initiative called "MITx," which allows users to take real MIT classes for free. I tried out a few courses to see how I'd do. I think I did fine…

Petersen's theorem (Lecture 3) says that every cubic bridgeless graph contains a perfect matching. Show that for any even set T of vertices, a bridgeless cubic graph (V,E) contains a T-join of cardinality at most |V|/2 where a T-join is a subgraph with odd degree at vertices in T and even at vertices not in T.
(From Topics in Combinatorial Optimization)

T graph in calculus

An entrepreneur wants to know whether a particular area of interest has Molybdenum and Antimony. So what are the radioisotopes that can be used for the thermal neutron activation analysis. Provide all the relevant information of the X (n,?)Y reaction, identify the parent and daughter nuclei, the activation cross section, the half-life of the daughter product, and the predominant gamma-ray energy for identification.
(From Trace Element Analysis of Geological, Biological & Environmental Materials by Neutron Activation Analysis: An Exposure)

Do you think Marx ever rode a mobility scooter? No. That's why neo-Marxist views are seriously outdated.

First, who is this entrepreneur? Why do they want to know if there is Molybdenum and Antimony in that "particular area of interest." What makes it peculiar? What makes it interesting? Not many people are interested in that kind of stuff, so obviously I'd need some answers before I even consider using radioisotopes for thermal neutron activation analysis. Also, is this entrepreneur offering any incentives (i.e. money, gifts, snacks) in exchange for my services? There's no way I'll identify the half-life of the daughter product if I'm doing this for nothing. Sorry, Charlie. No free rides.

In general terms, what are "antisense" techniques?
(From Developmental Biology)

You know when you walk into a scary room, and you get the feeling there's a ghost hiding somewhere? Well, guess what? That ghost is using "antisense" techniques to help avoid detection. Ghosts are out to scare us, and it's easier for them to scare people when we don't know where they are. However, ghosts aren't the only scary things that use "antisense" techniques. Snakes use them, too, because they want to fill our ankles full of venom.

How do the Marxist and critical theory perspectives frame the main drivers of urban land development and housing conditions? Is the neo-Marxist view now outdated?
(From Housing and Land Use in Rapidly Urbanizing Regions)

It is my opinion that Marx was a bonehead, and critical theory leads us down a dead-end street to Boring Town, U.S.A. If either perspective frames anything at all, it's my bed, which is a good thing, because I'll need a sturdy sleeping surface for the long nap I need to take after reading Marx. And trust me: I plan to hit the snooze button a couple times.

Seriously, though. If we're talking the main drivers of urban land development and housing conditions, then look no further than Walmart Supercenter. Walmart Supercenters save urban land by consolidating everything people want in life into one easy-to-navigate store, especially if you ride a mobility scooter.

Do you think Marx ever rode a mobility scooter? No. That's why neo-Marxist views are seriously outdated.

Many later observers have seen their own times reflected in the work of Thucydides and have perceived close parallels between the Peloponnesian War and conflicts they observed firsthand. Others argue that the Peloponnesian War was different in important ways from most wars, and should not be used to infer lessons about managing foreign policy or war today. Who is right?
(From Causes and Prevention of War)

Peloponnesian War artwork
"Honey, you know I can't go off to battle until the kids have properly molested my spear."
Neither. I think it's silly to manage foreign policy based on old wars, especially when we have perfectly good, current wars to manage our foreign policies with. If you look to the past for answers, you'll probably end up repeating many of the same mistakes. For example, you wouldn't want to look for date tips from Rurik's Viking raids in Russia circa 862 A.D., would you? If you did, you'd probably go to jail.

Describe your dream scenario for a cognitive robot that you would like to invent. It could be anything that strikes your fancy. Describe what the system is and scenarios in which it would act intelligently. Next describe the basic, top-level functions that the system performs. Finally, describe the different reasoning capabilities that the robot will require in order to provide these functions.
(From Cognitive Robotics)

My dream scenario goes like this: I'm hanging at the mall listening to my favorite music when all of a sudden a 10-foot-tall robotic Velociraptor skateboards down the escalator. Its name is JoJo57x. It sports a purple leather jacket, and it doesn't care for authority or rules. It's programmed to be cool as shit, and that's all.

The top-level functions include stealing six-packs of beer from liquor stores, going to the wildest parties in town, and doing what it likes, when it likes. If some parent or authority figure tries to tell JoJo57x what to do, it says "does not compute" and then shreds an awesome solo on its electric tail-guitar.

JoJo57x's reasoning capabilities are based on a "cool scale." If something or someone is cool, then you can guarantee JoJo57x is doing a huge line of coke off it.

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