These articles (Aug 26, 2004 NY Times, and July 28, 2004 Time Magazine) discuss the shuffle song option on the [in 2004 new generation] iPods.
Answer the following questions about these readings and your understanding of algorithms and user-interfaces.
the Shuffle command favors the rapper 50 Cent -- and perhaps more important that it knows exactly the right time to play 50 Cent's biggest hit, "In Da Club." ...
The iPod "knows somehow when I am reaching the end of my reserves, when my motivation is flagging," Mr. Greist insisted.
Describe a reasonable explanation for Mr. Greist's observations and conclusions.
Also, the Shuffle algorithm is still less than satisfying: while shuffling through 1,643 songs, two of the first eight tracks it pulled were from the Beastie Boys.
Addresss this argument, is it a reasonable critique of the Shuffle algorithm? Why?
"The funny thing about it is that it really is random ... When you turn on Shuffle it creates a randomized list of all the music on your iPod without repeating a song."
Explain what it really is random means in this context. Describe an alternative algorithm that could address the concerns of having two songs by the same artist occuring close to each other in the shuffled playlist.
The experiment you design should be developed to get people thinking about software, technology, mathematics, and how these are expressed in popular culture and society (specifically in a college population). You will provide a written description or protocol for what you want those participating in your experiment to do. Ideally your description will stand on its own and you won't be an active part of the process of performing the experiment. However, you are/will be available as a consultant.
Your grade will be based on several criteria, each equally weighted.