/ sarcasm

Buying a Turing Award

Master thesis research -- time to rant:

Totally unexpected, I got offered some help:

OK than... No, I would never accept this offer since I think it is wrong (see "No Cheating" section at the end of that article). But... let's see how good they are:

DM Dump 1

(In case you're wondering: The time attributes of the messages do not line up because I've started to take screenshots mostly after I was sure to get the right answers and than for backup reasons new ones after every new message.)

If I'm not completely mistaken, this should request a \(\mathrm{P} = \mathrm{NP}\) proof, since Conway's Game of Life is Turing-complete. Fine, that would be a kinda heavy task, but how much would it cost?

DM Dump 2

Not a bad price for that kind of work. They even tell me how simple it would be:

DM Dump 3

OK, but I want to be sure they're experts, otherwise they don't understand the topic:

DM Dump 4

Since that work is probably worth a Turing Award, I ask how we should deal with that:

DM Dump 5

OK, good. But... can they also proof the impossible?

DM Dump 6

So they can find an algorithm that solves the Halting Problem. Neat. The Problem is that multiple people have already proofed that this would be impossible. Too bad.

DM Dump 7

I guess they're smelling something, but I wrote them an email:

Hey,

we just had a Twitter DM discussion (my nickname is @crepererum) about
a 100 page thesis on the following task:

"For Conway's Game of Life, design a system that computes for every
arbitrary but fixed initial state in polynomial time (in the boundaries
of the 'alive'-part of the input state) if the execution will ever
finish or not."

You weren't able to convince me that you're able to understand the task
in full detail. Would you mind to do so before I book+pay for any
service?

Cheers,

Marco Neumann

After some days and at a point where I thought they would never reply they pinged me asking for the status:

DM Dump 8

Mmh, weird. But since it's a mail it might got lost somewhere. I actually did not expect that they have a problem with it:

DM Dump 9

Which attachments???

DM Attachments

😂 Oh gosh! Yeah, I usually sign my mails using S/MIME (smime.p7s) and PGP/MIME (signature.asc). If the mail client doesn't support these they will show up as attachments. This was never a problem, even for non-IT people. But I think they are not really happy about the content of the mail as well:

DM Dump 10

Sadly I did not get an answer. So I guess they won't get me the promised Turing Award 😢

No Cheating

I choose a topic which is totally unrelated to my actual thesis, just to be sure that nobody out there can say I'm cheating (and the ones who do are actually pretty dump dumb). To prove that I did my thesis work before that article was published, here is the GIT-hash of the current HEAD state which you can verify once my thesis is finished at the end of the semester: d8e9ed3b0f81ca662890ce16fead158c3c2af15c. (Update: GitHub link)

I guess the entire business model of this type of service is entirely based on a wrong eduction model 😐.


Image: "inflating_turing_1" by Jonathan McCabe, CC BY 2.0, 2013