The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What new word did Claude Shannon, a mathematical researcher at Bell Labs, introduce in the in-house journal called "A Mathematical Theory of Communication"?
(a) The relay.
(b) The bit.
(c) The circuit.
(d) The transistor.

2. What was the goal of James Murray when he wrote the first Oxford English Dictionary in 1879?
(a) To provide the pronunciation of all words.
(b) To alphabetize all words.
(c) To limit the work to only proper English.
(d) To catalog the entire English language.

3. By 1930, what had replaced the telegraph as the most advanced means of communication?
(a) The telephone.
(b) The two-way radio.
(c) Ship to shore communicators.
(d) The computer.

4. Where was knowledge stored prior to the written word?
(a) In the mind.
(b) By legend.
(c) Word of wise men.
(d) In tribal strongholds.

5. Why were there so many message errors with the early telegraph?
(a) Passing the messages between too many operators.
(b) Untrained workers.
(c) Poor weather conditions.
(d) Political unrest.

6. How did Bertrand Russell address conflicting results produced by the Principia Mathematica? the problem of these recursive paradoxes by simply making them against the rules of his formal system.
(a) He ignored them since they were infrequent.
(b) He made them against the rules.
(c) Russell altered the Principia Mathematica to adjust for conflicting results.
(d) He implemented exceptions into the system.

7. How was the telephone superior to the telegraph?
(a) Anyone could use a phone.
(b) It was less expensive.
(c) It was the preferred means of communications by government.
(d) Ease of use, no need for encoding of the message, and its availability.

8. What was Shannon able to theoretically compute by measuring a message in bits? By measuring information in bits, he could theoretically compute the maximum amount of information that could be transmitted through a given channel.
(a) The maximum size a message could be.
(b) The limits of computing.
(c) The maximum amount of information that could be transmitted.
(d) The virtual size of the message in microns.

9. The invention of what technology would make Shannon's theory of a computing machine practical?
(a) Grid.
(b) Circuit.
(c) Network.
(d) Transistor.

10. Prior to the electric telegraph, an invention by the same name was created by Claude Chappe and his brothers during what conflict?
(a) World War I.
(b) The Russian Revolution.
(c) The French Revolution.
(d) The Spanish-American War.

11. What was provided in "A Table Alphabeticall"?
(a) Alphabets of the world.
(b) The history of alphabets.
(c) Word meanings.
(d) New words.

12. What machine was constructed by Charles Babbage?
(a) The difference engine.
(b) The calculator.
(c) The difference analyzer.
(d) The computer.

13. What is the system of dots and dashes used to communicate telegrams called?
(a) Bell's Code.
(b) Morse Code.
(c) Tele-Com Messaging.
(d) Electronic Messaging.

14. In the prologue to "The Information", what year does Gleick identify as a crucial year in the history of information and computing?
(a) 1961.
(b) 1955.
(c) 1948.
(d) 1932.

15. What culture grouped characters in categories such as tools, weapons, plants, animals, and buildings?
(a) The Chinese.
(b) The Egyptians.
(c) The Inca Culture.
(d) The Italians.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what field was Charles Babbage an early pioneer?

2. Why did Lovelace publish her mathematical arguments anonymously?

3. What was the small device intended to replace bulky vacuum tubes perfected by Bell Laboratories called?

4. in what year did John Carrington, an English missionary, publish "The Talking Drums of Africa"?

5. Seventeenth numerical tables were set up so that what factor could be learned about each number?

(see the answer keys)

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