It’s now done by another company that presumably relies more on algorithms. Although it seems like the mathematics (and the psychology) of scheduling makes it an unsolvable problem, in the sense that no one solution optimizes all the conditions. From a web site on a math course on scheduling at the University of Alabama:
“Although the Critical-Path Algorithm is generally better than the Decreasing-Time Algorithm, neither is guaranteed to produce an optimal schedule. In fact, no efficient scheduling algorithm is presently known that always gives an optimal schedule. However, the Critical-Path Algorithm is the best general-purpose scheduling algorithm currently known.”
If you look for algorithms on the web, you come to this wikipedia page, where the focus is approaches for scheduling tasks in computer processors. That perhaps sounds dry, but one of the algorithms is called “Credit-based fair queuing” and another is “Brain Fuck Scheduler” I don’t understand either of them, but I now suspect the latter has been in use by my computer for years; I just didn’t know the term. Its emblem is that spinning beach ball. Somehow I prefer the idea of people like the Stephensons handling the big jobs in the universe and then taking the dog for a walk.
Not strictly speaking sheet music, but a closely related phenomena the “vocal selections” — a set of hits from a show, generally with simplified arrangements. Got a lot of mileage out of this one, a show as omnipresent in its era as Wicked is today.
Hard to believe what a mega-hit this was back in the day.
When I heard my father sing it (with his operetta-size baritone), I was mostly puzzled about why the protagonist of the song was going from Phoenix to Oklahoma, and how he made such good time. It made no sense to a 7 year old.
As Thrun was being praised by Friedman, and pretty much everyone else, for having attracted a stunning number of students–1.6 million to date–he was obsessing over a data point that was rarely mentioned in the breathless accounts about the power of new forms of free online education: the shockingly low number of students who actually finish the classes, which is fewer than 10%. Not all of those people received a passing grade, either, meaning that for every 100 pupils who enrolled in a free course, something like five actually learned the topic. If this was an education revolution, it was a disturbingly uneven one.
“We were on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and at the same time, I was realizing, we don’t educate people as others wished, or as I wished. We have a lousy product,” Thrun tells me. “It was a painful moment.” Turns out he doesn’t even like the term MOOC.
The crux of the piece (full of rather yucky lifestyle writing, proving that the Fast Company editors are every bit as indulgent to their wards as The New Yorker ones) seems to be the less than shocking news that Udacity is focusing on workforce training and the business customer. (Is there MOOC provider out there that isn’t thinking seriously about this market?) Still it’s worth a browse.
Why or how this came into our house, I’m not sure. Although it was a big hit for Frank Sinatra, so that might be the reason: both my parents were certainly fans. Wikipedia has a somewhat suspect entry on the origin of the piece and its American incarnation. And for a taste of what it sounds like, how about Michael Bublé, who seems to be time traveling back to the heyday of “101 Strings”:
“Where is Your Heart?” from John Huston’s 1952 film “Moulin Rouge,” has yet another great melody. Apparently Zsa Zsa Gabor’s character sings it in the film (dubbed by someone else). The music is by George Auric, of Les Six, a group of French composers who tried to find a new path in the shadow of Debussy and Ravel.
The one sheet is pretty tasteless, the 1967 movie was forgettable (at least to me), but the Bacharach and David tune, at least in the relaxed style of Dionne Warwick, is quite winning. (And that cast makes for great six degrees of separation fun: Orson Wells and Woody Allen?)