Saturday, October 16, 2010

Page Flipping in the Lecture Halls

One lecturer likes to provide lecture notes consisting of many slides. As it is costly to print out that many number of pages, most students fit multiple slides onto a single page to reduce the number of pages needed.

A useful consequence of fitting multiple slides on one page is that one only needs to flip the page every X slides, where X is the number of slides on one page. This itself leads to the interesting phenomenon of there being a loud series of page flipping sounds every X slides, since most students need to flip the page to get to the next slide.

One day, I fell asleep during the lecture. I was awoken by the sound of page flipping. Apparently, the lecturer had just advanced past a slide. No worries, time to pay attention. The lecturer continued to teach, and slowly finished two more slides. Another loud series of page flipping sounds echoed through the lecture hall. Then he taught another slide, and when he was done many students began flipping their pages as well.

Glancing about myself, I suddenly realized that students tended to fit 4, 6, and 9 pages onto a slide. And, knowing that the lecturer had not taught past slide 50, I was able to deduce which slide the lecturer was on when I woke up.

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