Page last updated on 2018 June 22

*Note:* This is a new freshman seminar, first offered in fall 2016
*Enrollment code:* 58172

*Prerequisite:* Open to freshmen only

*Class meetings:* W 4:00-4:50, HSSB 3201

*Instructor:* Professor Behrooz Parhami

*Open office hours:* M 12:00-2:00, W 1:00-2:00, HFH 5155

**Course announcements:** Listed in reverse chronological order

**Grading scheme:** Pass/Fail grade assigned based on attendance

**Course calendar:** Schedule of lectures and links to lecture slides

**The ten lectures:** Lecture summaries and references

**Additional topics:** Possible replacements for current lectures

**Attendance record:** Please check regularly for possible errors

**Miscellaneous information:** Motivation, catalog entry, history

[The design and goals of this seminar resemble those of ECE 1B, "Ten Puzzling Problems in Copmuter Engineering."]

**2018/06/22:** Welcome to the INT 94TN Freshman Seminar Web page for fall 2018. Please read the grading scheme below very carefully to ensure that you can earn a "pass" grade at the end of the quarter. INT 94TN requires no textbook and has no homework assignments or exams. A worksheet handout is given out at the beginning of each lecture and complete lecture slides are made available on-line. Please report any broken hyperlink to the instructor.

Pass/Not-Pass grading is based on attendance and class participation. There will be no homework or exam.

0 absence: Automatic "Pass."

1 absence: "Pass" if you submit a written statement to explain the absence. Any explanation is acceptable.

2 absences: Can earn a "Pass" grade by taking an oral final exam covering the two missed lectures.

3 or more absences: Automatic "Not-Pass."

Attendance will be taken 10 minutes into the class session and recomfirmed just before dismissal. If you have to leave early, please see the instructor before class to state your reasons and make appropriate arrangements.

Course lectures have been scheduled as follows. PowerPoint presentations (up to 2+ MB), and equivalent PDF files, are updated periodically. Please note that any animation in PowerPoint presentations is lost in the PDF versions. Before downloading the slides, check the "last updated" date to make sure you have the latest files for 2018. This schedule will be followed strictly. You can refer to the Web page for ECE 1B for additional topics (mostly in computer engineering) presented in the same style.

**Day & Date (Lecture slides, ppt + pdf, and ppt handout) Lecture title**

W 10/03 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/09/25) Predicting the Future: Puzzles

W 10/10 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/09/25) Predicting the Future: Sci/Tech

W 10/17 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/10/09) Recommender systems: Puzzles

W 10/24 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/10/09) Recommender systems: Sci/Tech

W 10/31 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/10/23) **No lecture: Instructor at a conference**

W 11/07 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/10/23) 3D models from 2D images: Puzzles & Sci/Tech

W 11/14 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/11/04) Computational geometry: Puzzles

W 11/21 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/11/04) Computational geometry: Sci/Tech

W 11/28 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/11/20) Maps and graphs: Puzzles

W 12/05 (ppt, pdf, handout, last updated 2016/11/20) Maps and graphs: Sci/Tech

Lecture 1: Predicting the future: Puzzles

Sloane, N.J.A., "Find the Next Term," *J. Recreational Mathematics*, 1974 [GIF]

Sloane, N.J.A., *Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences*

Solution methods for numerical series, including polynomial extrapolation

Solution methods for non-numerical series

Lecture 2: Predicting the future: Sci/Tech

Technology forecasting: Firat, A. K., W. L. Woon, and S. Madnick, "Technological Forecasting—A Review," Working Paper CISL#2008-15, MIT's Sloan School of Management, September 2008.

Inventory forecasting

Stock-market prediction

Program branch prediction

Lecture 3: Recommender systems: Puzzles

Finding similarities and differences among images

Which item isn't like the others or most similar to the others?

Solution methods for similarity puzzles

Pattern classification, using one or more features

Lecture 4: Recommender systems: Sci/Tech

Fingerprint matching

Image search

Recommender systems basics (Book chapter)

Mining massive datasets (YouTube videos) [See in particular video 5.1]

Google's page-rank algorithm

Lecture 5: 3D models from 2D images: Puzzles

2D projections of 3D objects (Image)

Projections of assemblies made from cubic blocks

Isometric and various views; front, top, right (Image)

Deducing 3D geometric objects from 2D drawings

Visible and invisible elements in 2D views

Lecture 6: 3D models from 2D images: Sci/Tech

3D illusion in 2D drawings (sidewalk art)

3D body scans

Modeling of industrial parts and assemblies, such as cars and planes

Architectural visualization

Modeling of historical sites in danger of collapse or destruction

Models built from layers, and 3D printing

Lecture 7: Computational geometry: Puzzles

Tricks and optical illusions

Intersecting and touching geometric shapes

Tiling the plane

Web site devoted to discrete and computational geometry [The Geometry Junkyard]

Lecture 8: Computational geometry: Sci/Tech

Dot-matrix printing

Drawing lines and other geometric shapes

Hidden line removal

Hidden surface determination and shading

Robot path planning with obstacles

Lecture 9: Maps and graphs: Puzzles

Graph colorings

Graph isomorphism

The bridges of Konigsberg puzzle

Shortest-path problems

Feeman, T.G., *Portraits of the Earth: A Mathematician Looks at Maps*, American Mathematical Society, 2002

Lecture 10: Maps and graphs: Sci/Tech

Google Maps

GPS and its applications (e.g., ground and structure movements, navigation)

Routing and scheduling

The traveling salesperson problem

Resource-placement problems

Spare topic: Reliability engineering

Puzzles based on probability

The black-swan effect: events with extremely low probabilities

Probability brain-teasers

In the following table, absence is marked with a "1" and presense with a "0". The first ten columns correspond to Lectures 1-10, the next column, **Σ**, is the total number of absences, and "Mrep" is the first few digits of the reversed Perm Number. For example, a student with the Perm Number 9876543 will have a Mrep code of 3, 34, 345, 3456, ... , depending on whether other students have Perm Numbers with the same ending.

Attendance record will be updated the day after each lecture, beginning on W 10/03.

__1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Σ Mrep__

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

** Motivation:** Whether they work in the industry or in academic research settings, scientists and engineers face many challenges in the discovery and advancement of new theories and in the quest to design complex structures and processes that are both reliable and usable. It is difficult to discuss these topics at the freshman level, given the lack of background in the requisite subjects. This seminar is intended to provide an introduction to day-to-day problems and research endeavors in science and technology via their connections to familiar mathematical and logical puzzles.

** Catalog entry: INT 94TN. Puzzling Problems in Science and Technology. (1) PARHAMI.** 1 hour/week.

Scientific research and technological development problems are puzzle-like in the sense of requiring insight and out-of-the-box thinking for their solution. Many such problems are actually related to popular math/logic puzzles in terms of the pertinent insights and solution methods. In this 1-unit seminar, several puzzles are introduced and linked to science/technology topics. Examples include "finding the next term in a series" (technology forecasting, program branch prediction), "detecing similarities and differences in images" (fingerprint matching, recommender systems), and "deducing 3D shapes from 2D images" (body imaging, architectural models).

** History:** This seminar came about as an extension of a 1-unit seminar, proposed and designed by Professor Parhami for computer engineering students (first offered in spring 2007 as ECE 1, later becoming ECE 1B). The main goal of both seminars is to expose students to challenging problems, faced by engineers and research scientists, in a motivating and entertaining way, while requiring a minimal background in math and science.

Fall 2016 offering of INT 94TN

Web page for ECE 1B