CS Trees: A Graph Theory Joke

Most trees you’ll see in Computer Science literature are rooted on top and spread downwards. Why do CS folks call them tree then? Well, common wisdom is that they never went out of the room, so they never saw a real tree. 😀

No offense. I am a CS theory guy myself. I read this joke a long time back, when I was tutoring an undergraduate class, in this book. A group of theorists was discussing some open problems, that could be trivial (but nobody could see the triviality) to solve, and the joke was mentioned. Open problems that could be trivially settled?! Some kind of tomfoolery! Well, not going out of their rooms might just be true..Not seeing a real tree is not. 😉


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