is a former math professor who got swallowed by the CS department. He teaches TheoComp?
and sometimes Cs60
, Algorithms (as of Fall2003?
, Algorithms is being taught by ProfessorThom
), or BigAlgorithms?
, and is known for his entertaining lecture notes, one-eyed aliens, and general bounciness. First to hold the Joseph B. Platt Chair in Effective Teaching (est. March 2005). His lectures tend to include a large number of recurring motifs; these include:
- "Are you metaphysically happy?"
- "That's so exciting that I'm going to jump off something tall."
... like this piece of paper!
- "Excellent. (n) out of (n) <insert name here>s agree."
- the number 42
- References to the Pasadena Institute of Technology and his colleague there, Dr. I. Lai (and, more generally, references to fictitious colleges with strangely familiar names, and professors with punny names who work at them).
- One-eyed aliens.
- The secret to all happiness.
Paraphrasing KurtDresner, "ProfessorRan is the nicest slave-driver you'll ever meet, because if you don't do the work, he'll be sad. And then the only option for you is Hara-Kiri."
Ran is known for noticing and e-mailing his students if they miss his classes -> But his classes are entertaining enough that only a DumbAss would skip regularly. Skipping his classes regularly makes Ran concerned. Also sad.
Ran requires that exams being turned in be turned in under his office door. This still includes if Ran is in his office and said door is open.
Ran also bears a striking resemblance to [Jimmy Fallon]. Oh. My. God. You're right. That's horrible.
Has apparently drawn the ire of the rest of the CS department, due to the fact that he consistently gets lots of good grutors for CS 60.
lecturing....pauses...turns to class,"And you may be thinking I'm crazy. Well, I am. But that's not the point." then goes back to lecture without missing a beat
"It took me three minutes. That's definitely polynomial time."
"I am a world expert at multiplying 1 by 1 matrices."
"And the answer to that is kind of yo."
"Without loss of ambiguity..."
"I know you're all probably thinking, 'No way!' Well, Theorem 3 says, 'Way!'"
"CS 5 should be taught with TuringMachines. The syntax is so much easier!!"
"So crank up your funkyometers..."
"840 is not a real number here."
"This is subtle with a capital B."
Ran: "Any solution to the bonus problem?"
MicahSmukler: <random wanking about a truly marvelous solution, which the page was too small to contain>
Ran: "I see. I'll look forward to, um, not reading it then."
TracyvanCort collected a whole mess of these during TheoComp? fall semester 2000 (great class; I recommend it to anyone, even those who understand it as little as I did). Here are just a few of her favorites:
- "It's really refreshing to be on a campus with no automatic weapons." This makes more sense when you consider the fact that Ran spent his 1999-2000 sabbatical teaching in Israel, where mandatory military service includes occasionally stints in full uniform and weaponry.
- "You're looking at me like I'm from another planet. I am, it's true."
- "Oh wow. That's deep and profound."
- "Convince yourself in the safety of your own home."
- "Turing does not, at the moment, support parallel universes."
- "My bad. I lose 5 points."
- "I have the power of nondeterminism."
- "This is completely general, by the way."
- "There's nothing deep here."
- "To use a technical term, you're HOSED."
- "I LOVE the basis!"
- "Yo! TuringMachine!"
- "Rigor is good, but not when it's obvious."
- "Wouldn't it be totally groovy if you could have, like, an 8-track Turing Machine?"
- "I'm evil. I can do that."
- "There's nothing scary about this except the notation."
- "This is highly funky."
- "'Ran? What planet are you from?' That's not relevant here."
- "This machine is inANE!"
- "This is a bad, abusive notation. I do it all the time."
- "'Ran? What planet are you from?' Let's leave that for now."
- "I'm waving my hands vigorously because it's kinda boring..."
- "...doohickey is not a technical term"
- "how evil is it?"
- "I'd like to be pedantic for just a moment."
- "Last time, I waved my hands vigorously and said..."
From CS60, Fall 2004:
- "Is this class for you? The short answer is 'Yes!' The long answer is 'Yes, certainly!'"
- "Did I talk about the one-eyed smiling alien?"
- [Regarding O(n!)] "The exclamation point is to remind you that that thing is whompin' big."
- The answer is, "Yo!" "Yo" meaning "yes and no."
- "It's more of a binary search stick."
- "I will show you something that is provably better than magic."
- "Log base 2 of n is tiddlywinks."
- (excited) "Yes! In the sense that. . . [pause] . . . no."
- "Artists rendition of a picture."
- (Regarding something ridiculous in Rex or Prolog) "This is a very powerful feature that you'll soon grow to love . . . [hesitates] . . . well, you'll grow to accept it."
- "This claim is surprisingly ... well, surprising!"
- "We've sent a robot to explore Minnesota, because no humans can live there."
From CS60, Fall 2005:
- Bring any Q's you have and I will do my best to give you A's.
- If you have n pigeons and drill more than n holes in the pigeons then at least one pigeon will have more than one hole.
- umm...I guess that is one way to put the PigeonHolePrinciple?....
- "I have written a program in Prolog that says 'no'."
From Algorithms, Spring 2007:
- "I see that a lot of you are not wearing socks! Very good - proof by no socks!"
- "I've never been to Czechoslovakia, but I understand their cities are named 1 through 6."
From Complexity Theory, Fall 2008:
- "I'm kind of embarassed. Some of you are joint majors, and you've taken LSD, and now I'm offering you PCP."
While guest teaching CS60, Fall 2008:
- "And putrid green smoke comes out of the Macintosh!"
From Algorithms, Spring 2008:
- "You may be asking 'how important is this?' The answer is 'Yes!' "