Thursday, November 5, 2009

Continuing Progress on the Job Front

Continuing Progress on the Job Front

I have an interview for an adjunct history position Friday afternoon, and a phone interview for a software engineering position Thursday afternoon. If it works out, I might end up as a gypsy professor like my wife, who ends up teaching full-time--but of course, it is never all at once school, where one might be eligible for benefits.

Talk about weird: the history position interview almost didn't happen. For some reason, the department chair kept calling my home number, never got an answer, never got our answering machine, and his emails to me didn't get to me, didn't bounce, and didn't end up in my junk folder. I could get paranoid from such technological failures, I suppose.

UPDATE: The engineering job interview didn't go so well. It was one of those questions about finding two or three adjacent values in an array of longs that are not sorted, and returning true or false depending on whether those numbers sum to zero or not. I suggested that sorting the array by using a binary tree might be wise, so that you can rebalance the tree with zero (or as close as you can get to it) at the base. Then it is a matter of working left and right sides of the tree, seeing if you can find the two or three values that sum to zero.

For some reason, I was thinking that a binary sort would be faster than qsort (it isn't), and I couldn't remember the formula used for calculating the number of operations required to produce a binary tree for an array of k values. I knew that natural log k was part of it; I guessed it might be 2 ln k, but that's actually the worst case number of steps required to find a particular number in a list of k values.

I may be too old to do software engineering anymore.

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