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Old 04 January 2013, 10:13 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
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Glasses You may use notes and Feynman

Comment: I have encountered the following story a few times, and wondered
about its veracity:

At Caltech, one of the textbooks used for a physics class was authored
by Prof Feynman. Caltech uses an honor system and the exams are take-home
exams. The instructions for the exam read: “You have three hours. You may
use your class notes and Feynman.” The student took the exam to Feynman’s
office, and he agreed that the instructions included him as a valid
resource. Feynman completed the exam in half an hour and the student got a
perfect score. Starting the following year the exam instructions were much
more restrictive.
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Old 04 January 2013, 10:17 PM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 21,796

Errrr why would you include such a clause in the first place and what other possible interpretation could their be for the instructions?
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Old 04 January 2013, 10:21 PM
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Chloe Chloe is offline
Join Date: 13 September 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 39,316

Feynman's textbook.
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Old 04 January 2013, 10:24 PM
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htonl htonl is offline
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 1,640

For some reason, it's very common to refer to college textbooks by the name of the author. For example, my undergrad calculus textbook I know as "Stewart", but I can't even remember what the actual title is - despite having used it for two years as a student and four as a tutor.
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Old 04 January 2013, 10:25 PM
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crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
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He had a legendary sense of humor and was a notorious prankster, but sitting down and doing a student's test is a bit overboard for something I'd ascribe to him.

Crocoduck "surely you're joking" Hunter
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Old 04 January 2013, 10:26 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
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Location: Marietta, GA
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From what i have read about Feynman, he would have thought it was pretty funny to play of the wording and also would have respected the student's pluck to ask him for the help.

ETA: Croc may be right, but he still would have appreciated the prospect, whether he did so or not.
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Old 04 January 2013, 10:47 PM
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nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
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Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
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I do not know if it is true personally, but I heard the same story from David L. Goodstein in either 1999 or 2000. I also heard it from a friend a few years back who went to Caltech(I didn't), and had heard it from a professor.
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Old 21 June 2013, 12:50 AM
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I doubt that he would have done it, but if he had chosen to, I'm sure that it would have shown up in one of the many books that he wrote on his life (he appears to be more famous for those than for his important work in quantum electrodynamics, after all). Since it doesn't, it's pretty much definite that it didn't actually happen.
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