· hints and guidelines · 4 min read

KolpoKoushol 2023 ~ Hints and Guidelines

Looking for a hint to ace your KolpoKoushol application?

We’re here to help you put your best foot forward!

First, we want to emphasize that there are no correct answers to the questions we have posted. Their purpose is to make you think about technology and culture from an out-of-the-box perspective, forcing you to examine them beyond textbooks.

We will reward answers that show care, creativity, and thoughtfulness.

Uploading images, media, and other artifacts are highly recommended, and will set you apart from other candidates.

Hint For Question 1

  • To answer this question, consider network fault tolerance and the challenging nature of radio wave communication in the noisy background of radio waves from many different sources. Certain protocols will not make sense when sending messages to and from distant planets and galaxies.
  • Two options. Engineers answer (i), and other disciplines answer (ii). In either case, always start by stating your assumptions.
    • To communicate the concept of communication protocol, you will have to assume certain technical breakthroughs in an alien civilization. List them first. Next, instead of assuming the aliens know all our computing terms, start from the first principles. Protocols work in signals and waves. Propose a protocol algorithm (or choose one from existing protocols) and describe how they work at the level of signals and waves.

    • When we say “design an artifact” or “design a visual form”, we expect to see some media materials (images or sketches). For any of these, please write a paragraph or two about what you designed and what it represents.

      As for what the design should be, they can be very concrete or abstract. Some possible examples: a) sketch of a sculpture that represents communication between two species. b) A visual waveform that represents sequences in a communication protocol. c) Look up “data physicalization” (physical forms of data) for more inspiration.

Hint For Question 2

  • Random notes sound noisy and unpleasant to humans. To remap a given set of notes to acceptable sequences, you can take help of machine learning methods or good old computational statistics methods. To turn 1-second notes into features (so you can find similarity between existing songs’ notes and the alien song’s notes), you can use any established methods, such as MFCC.
  • In all the questions under 2b, there are no exact/correct answers, but we are curious to see how detailed you are in your calculations. What factors have you taken into account? Have you thought about the blockchain data structures? Have you thought about what kind of storage it would require to store all artist’s track records? (Note that we are not saving the audio file in a blockchain, we are saving author/singer information and tracking different versions of the same music track)
  • From musicians, we are expecting an interesting music piece that is inspired by random sequences of notes that are not commonly heard in songs. Up for the challenge? For non-musicians, write a short essay on whether (and why) people might want to listen to non-structured music. Jazz music, and a lot of other musical genres, relies on acquired taste. Why are we opposed to change (and generally, new things)?
  • Any remix of a creative work requires attribution to original authors/creators. There are many methods to track royalties across different systems. You can choose to read up on how royalty tracking works and write an answer here. You can also be creative and design how you’d track remixes of an original work, and how you’d reward the original creator. Some ideas: you can propose social media-based tracking or crowdsourcing methods.

Hint For Question 3

Engineers answer (i), and others answer (ii).

    1. a. i) Images and sketches are recommended. If you are designing an app or an algorithm, be descriptive and explain the features.
    1. a. ii) A written description is fine, although if you have images and/or other media, it makes the answer much better. When we say “an intervention that takes account of human psychology,” we expect you to think about why we tend to procrastinate or avoid doing unpleasant things (in this case, eating food or doing a health checkup), and how we can fool ourselves to forget the actual process/outcome and imagine it to be something else. Design an illusion to do that, you can be creative and use all sorts of tools at your disposal.

Now, go ahead and complete your application with confidence, knowing you’ve got the inside scoop on what we’re looking for! Submit your application before the deadline (Sunday, 6th October 2023) and be part of an unforgettable journey!

Come join us to hack the world around you! Apply by filling out the application and solving the problem set.