JDHannan
Bending Unit



« on: 01152003 02:28 »


I have found what i believe to be the combination of the subtlest and funniest joke ever included in any tv show ever. First lets define 2 classes P  The class of polynomially solvable problems, P contains all sets in which membership may be decided by an algorithm whose running time is bounded by a polynomial. NP  The class of nondeterministic polynomially acceptable problems, NP, contains all sets in which membership can be verified in polynomial time. Very simple explanation (I think its right!) P  A program that will find a solution to a problem NP  A program that will find if a solution you offer it works. There is literally *millions* of dollars on the line if anyone can prove or disprove that P = NP. This is a huge problem that Quantum Physicists and Complex Mathematicians and people all over the world can NOT solve and aren't sure it will ever be solved. In Futurama Ep210  Put Your Head on my Shoulder, when Fry's head is on Amy's body and they're in the closet and he is breaking up with her. On the shelves are two books, one labelled P and the other labelled NP. supposedly LISTING the members of the two classes P and NP individually! Now HOW many people in the WHOLE WORLD would even get that, and then how many of THOSE people watch Futurama? And someone had to THINK of that and put it IN THE EPISODE! I didn't learn about this til my 4th year of a University Computer Science Degree. This is a bigger mathematical joke than the 1729 "conspiracy/joke" that is written about on this forum. If anyone has any thoughts on this or just wants to tell me i'm nuts, please reply!







Nixorbo
UberMod
DOOP Secretary


Right . . .







ZombieJesus
Lost Belgian
DOOP Secretary


Originally posted by BarneyBurnham: I'm still confused. What is it again? They have said before that the Futurama staff is a bunch of brainiacs.
Is it mentiomed on the commentary? I haven't watched that one yet and I can't be arsed to go and look now. I heard something on the season 2 DVD commentaries about some of the staff having high degrees. I can't recall exactly what it was. They mention a subtle/dirty one in "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?" (at the gym) but I still don't get it... I know which one. Where Fry wants to lend his arm to Zoidberg, so he could get rid of his male jelly.












Bender22
Delivery Boy



« Reply #14 on: 01162003 08:47 »
« Last Edit on: 01162003 08:47 »


I don´t know if it is completely true, but I have found that: "In second half 2000 was proved Theorem: The class of NPcomplete problems is coincides with the class P. The proof of this theorem, whose brief formulation is NP=P, is contained in the book Positionality principle for notation and calculation the functions Volume One" (found in http://www.tarusa.ru/~mit/ENG/eng.html )












VRRR
Crustacean


In Space pilot 3000 the floating Holoscreen in Leela's office "SQUEAKS" as if on pivots, even though it's hovering in mid air. I thought this was pretty cool. But it's not the only example of future technology making lowtech cartoon noises. can anyone think of any?













Mercapto
Professor


It's because of jokes like this I love Futurama. Really, what others show make quantum physics jokes? My favorite QP joke is the name of the night club Farnsworth designed from "A Clone of My Own": It's an obscure reference to an already pretty obscure reference, that I find hilarious. Now, here's a question. At DTU's Department of Chemistry everybody seems to knows about Schrödinger and his poor cat, but I wonder: Beside chemists and physicists, how many people actually get this joke?






Nixorbo
UberMod
DOOP Secretary


::Raises hand::
English major.





Mercapto
Professor


Yay! It's not only the science majors who are twisted! It's just that working with chemistry (and hazardous chemicals) 50 hours a week tends to warp one's mind (my username's a good example) Oh, and thanks for the welcome, Gocad!








payn
Bending Unit


Out of all the shows on TV, can you think of one where people are more likely to enjoy jokes about computational mathematics or quantum physics than Futurama?
Enterprise does not countStar Trek fans get the references, think they're unintentional mistakes, and complain.
I think that Cohen and friends can assume that a decent percentage of their audience has read a few pop science bookswhich means that they'll know who Stephen Hawking is, and the name "Schroedinger's Cat" will at least sound vaguely familiar.
The P/NP joke is even geekierand in fact, it's subtler than you think. It's been proven that any proof of P<>NP will require either a complete list of at least one set, or an algorithm that can generate that list in countable time.
That's why there are books listing all of P and NP.
However, the proof is pretty recent. So, unless you just got out of college, or work in a closely related field, the chances that you'd know this are miniscule.
As for why those books would be buried in a closet, they're probably not important. It's highly possible that quantum computers will be able to solve nonpolynomial problems in polynomial time. And we should have them in the near future.
So, by the time we prove that P<>NP, it won't matter anyway, other than as a mathematical curiosity.
I'm sure this all sounds like just a mathematical curiosity anyway, but let me try to explain why it's not, giving one example:
Let's say you're sending your credit card to a website over an SSL connection, using a 128bit key.
If P<>NP, that transaction is safe, it may take 2^128 steps to crack it (about 1 with 42 zeroes after it, a number so big we don't have a word for it); the NSA could do it if they tied up a good fraction of their computers for a few months.
If P=NP, it may take only 128^2 steps (about 16000); a kid with a Commodore 64 could do it while making a sandwich.
By the way, to the best of my knowledge, the Russian proof that Bender22 referenced is widely considered as flawed, the problem is still considered unsolved.
Most mathematicians and computer scientists believe that P<>NP, and that eventually we'll probably prove it, but the proof will probably be something as ugly as the fourcolor theorem's proof, providing no real understanding beyond what we already have.





