Stuck with Google (recursively)

by | Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The other day, for one reason or another, I did a Google search for the word “recursion.” According to Wikipedia, recursion

… in mathematics and computer science, is a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition; specifically it is defining an infinite statement using finite components.

This is a screen shot of what Google gave me as a result of my search: (Click on the image for a larger version).

Look carefully at what Google suggests. It says.

Did you mean: recursion

The exact same word that I had searched for… For a moment or two I thought I had found a glitch in Google’s suggestion mechanism… but it suddenly hit me, that this was exactly what recursion meant! If I clicked on that link I would be taking the first step into an endless cycle, an infinite loop, which would end only when I “got it.”

This has been an inside joke amongst programmers for a while. Wikipeda provides one example from a hypothetical dictionary that goes as follows:


If you still don’t get it, see: “Recursion”.

So in some sense Google provides a “working definition” of the word – that explains it better than just reading a definition in a dictionary. How cool is that. I think it is little games like this one that make Google so much fun to use.

(I must add that this is not a new discovery. The Wikipedia page about recursion does mention this Google trick – but it was new to me!)

A few randomly selected blog posts…

Books on visualization & info-graphics

There was a recent query on the PhD-Design-List regarding sources for designers on how to make good info-graphics and data-visualizations. I am collating the options being put forward by people here, just for the record. Manuel Lima's work  The book: Visual...

Play & Creativity Across the Lifespan

Play & Creativity Across the Lifespan

As a part of our series of conversations with creativity scholars we recently spoke with Dr. Sandra Russ, Louis D. Beaumont University Professor, and interim dean at the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological...

Happy Thanksgiving, 2 new ambigrams

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I wake up every day just feeling incredibly lucky for what I have - and to have a special day devoted to celebrating that idea... how very cool. So here are two new and unique ambigram designs to celebrate this wonderful day. The...

When tech comes first: The Khan Academy as leading pedagogical change

As I go around the country talking about the TPACK framework, one of the questions that is always put to me is, about which comes first when planning a lesson, content, pedagogy or technology. The standard answer is that content comes first since it is only after we...

Plagiarism update, VI

I guess this is the final update on the David Jiles, Ph.D. plagiarism saga. Those of you who came in late can get the complete picture by starting from David Jiles, Ph.D., Creativity Expert, Plagiarist! The sequence continued as follows: Emailing a plagiarist |...

Reimagining a College of Education at AACTE 2018

Reimagining a College of Education at AACTE 2018

I was recently in Baltimore for the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), with a team from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. We presented the work we are currently engaged in under the broad title...

The future of work & learning: An interview

The future of work & learning: An interview

I had posted earlier about my visit to Bangalore back in summer to participate in the Quest 2 Learn Annual Summit organized by the Quest Alliance. The two day conference focused on The future of work and learning. During my visit I was interviewed by Aakash Sethi, the...

Ed Week goes TPACK

There is an article in yesterday's Education Week (a part of their Technology Counts series) titled "Learning to Teach with Technology." I was interviewed by the author (Vaishali Honawar) a few months ago and had completely forgotten about it, till someone emailed me...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *