Adam Torgerson
Assignment 12

1. what do you consider the main argument of the article?

The main argument is that computational environments require the users to be active participants rather than just couch potatoes, or passive participants. Typically designers are far removed from the typical interactions of a user and a system. By leveraging the user as a designer, you can encourage active participation. The argument is very similar to that of other papers we have read in this class.

2. do you agree or disagree with the main argument? give a answer based on your own experiences?

Generally I would agree that it is better to have active consumders. In some situations, however, especially commercial ones, it may be better to have passive consumers, so as to cater to a specific segment of static needs.

3. enumerate in which situations

3.1. you acted as a designer/active contributor

I have designed and contributed to several portions of the MANTIS Operating System, an Open Source operating system for wireless sensor networks developed at CU.

3.2. you acted as a (passive) consumer

Any time I am using something which I do not actively participate with, for example radio, television, reading, etc.

3.3. situations in which you believe you should have acted differently

None immediately apparent.

2. The Rope around the Earth

2.1. There is a steel ring around the earth at the equator touching the (flat) earth everywhere. We extend the steel ring by 1 yard in length and form a concentric circle around the earth (i.e., the distance between earth and steel ring is the same everywhere.

2.2. Question: Will a small cat be able to sneak through between the earth and the steel ring?

1. describe your solution (if you found one) or why you were unable to find one?

First I need to know the size of the Earth. I know it is around 20,000 miles in circumference, so I will just use that number. 20,000 1760 = 35,200,000 yards in circumference. Circumference is 2piR, so the radius must be 35,200,000/2pi, or 5602253.99 yards. Now add one yard to the original circumference and find the new radius. 35,200,001/2pi = 5602254.16 yards. So the cat will have 0.17 yards, or 1/2 a foot to go under. Depending on how fat the cat is, it can probably fit under the expanded ring.

2. what did you learn solving (or thinking about) the problem?

I don't think I really learned anything new, I just applied previous knowledge to a problem I would not have normally considered. And yes, I was surprised by the answer.

3. what kind of knowledge was most important for solving the problem?

A general knowledge of geometry and the approximate size of the earth.

4. are (or would be) computers helpful in solving these problems?

Yes, in fact I used a computer to perform the necessary calculations.