Anand Sarwate


The numbers correspond to MIT Thesis call numbers. Well, not exactly call numbers, but MIT numbers theses by year, so 97-417 refers to 1997, Thesis 417. These theses are all available online here. They are:

H.AoyamaApplications of catastrophe theory in management1985-57
Q.BuiContainerless processing of stainless steel1998-348
C.ShadleThe acoustics of fricative consonants1985-23
A.TachmindjiCalculation of cavitating propeller characteristics1951-9
L.RandallPower factor correction1921-1
L.AttaiSimulation to access exterior enclosure innovations1997-417
F.CameAn application of work simplification to the tanning industry1941-3
O.TaylorIn-situ reduction of hexavalent chromium by electroremediation with ferrous iron1997-318
R.ScottNumerical analysis of consolidation problems1953-18

Reading down the first names gives "HQ CALL FOR" and the last names spell "ABSTRACTS." They call HQ for ABSTRACTS, and are sent this file, which is a call for papers for a conference on Chaos, Quantum Computing, and Children's Literature.

They have to write a 200 word abstract and schedule a presentation, at which point we ridicule them, write the answer on the back of the abstract, shred it, and return it to them. Reassembling the shredded abstract reveals the answer, VOLUBLE.