Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

@rtoal rtoal/
Created Oct 14, 2017

What would you like to do?
Try this JavaScript/Python Test

CMSI 386 Fall 2017 Exam 1


Problem 1: Forcing Keyword Arguments

Suppose the boss demanded a function to compute the area of a rectangle. The boss says the function MUST have four parameters, x1, y1, x2, and y2 where (x1, y1) is one of the corner points and (x2, y2) is the other corner point. But since our users can never remember what order the four parameters go in (Is it x1-x2-y1-y2 or x1-y1-x2-y2?), we will make our function REQUIRE that the four arguments in the call be “named.” Note that I said required. The function is not supposed to work if the arguments are not named. In fact, it should be an error to make a call without “naming” the arguments.

a) Write the function in JavaScript:

b) Write the function in Python:

c) Explain the most salient difference between the implementations in a single sentence.


Problem 2: Array of Functions

We want to make an array called workers, indexed from 0..10000 (inclusive), where each slot contains a function behaving as follows: workers[i](x) = x - i.

a) Define this array in JavaScript:

b) Define this list in Python:

c) Explain the most salient difference between the implementations in a single sentence.


Problem 3: Generators, From Scratch

We have studied generators in JavaScript and Python. To make an arithmetic sequence generator in JavaScript, we would write:

function* arithmeticSequenceGenerator(start, delta) {
   let value = start;
   while (true) {
       yield value;
       value += delta;

while in Python we have:

def arithmetic_sequence_generator(start, delta):
   value = start;
   while True:
       yield value
       value += delta

a) We can write generators from first principles using closures. Show me you know how to do this. Write arithmeticSequenceGenerator in JavaScript, without using a generator function:

b) Write arithmetic_sequence_generator in Python as a regular, non-generator, function:

c) One of the freshmen suggested closures were overkill and said to just make a class whose constructor took in the starting value and the delta, and whose next method did the work. Why is this worse than the closure approach? (Answer super briefly, under ten words if possible.)


Problem 4: Rests and Spreads (Unpacking and packing)

We want a function that takes an arbitrary number of arguments and returns their average (also known as the mean).

a) Write the function in JavaScript:

b) Write the function in Python:

c) To call the function in JavaScript, one would write something like mean(4.5, 2, 11, -7). But what if we had a JavaScript array? How could we use the function we wrote to compute the mean of the elements in an array?

d) Now show the same function invocaton in Python (that is, to take the average of elements in a Python list):

Problem 5: Mapping and Filtering, or Not?

Suppose we were given two lists, one of given names, and one of surnames. We want a function to produce a list of full names, in the form "SURNAME, Givenname" (that's right, you need to uppercase the surname and capitalize the given name, and separate them with a comma and single space), where the difference in lengths between the two names is less than four. For example, if the surname list was ['Xu', 'Narkhirunkanok', 'gomez'] and the given name list was ['kIMberly', 'LIA'] then your function should produce ['XU, Lia', 'GOMEZ, Kimberly', 'GOMEZ, Lia']. All other name combinations have a length differential that is too high.

a) Write the function in JavaScript using the proper higher-order functions for this task:

b) Write the function in Python using a list comprehension:

Problem 6: Currying

Okay here's something weird. We're going to write a function called poly such that

  • poly(3) returns a representation of the polynomial 3
  • poly(3)(5) returns a representation of the polynomial 5x + 3
  • poly(3)(5)(-2) returns a representation of the polynomial -2x^2 + 5x + 3
  • poly(3)(5)(-2)(0)(6) returns a representation of the polynomial 6x^4 -2x^2 + 5x + 3

Note that if a polynomial is ever applied to a number, the polynomial is "extended" to the next degree with a new coefficient. This is weird enough but now we are also going to give the function an attribute (in Python) or method (in Java) called at to evaluate the polynomial at a given value. So, for example:

  • poly(3)(5).at(2) returns 5(2) + 3 = 13
  • poly(3)(5)(-2).at(10) returns -2(10)^2 + 5(10) + 3 = -200 + 50 + 3 = -147

a) Implement poly in JavaScript. (Hint: you will need a function definition and an assignment statement for the method).

b) Implement poly in Python. (Hint: you will need a function definition and an assignment statement for the attribute).

c) What design aspects of Python and JavaScript (that say, do not exist in Java) allowed this to work?


Problem 7: Implicit Context

Here is a JavaScript function:

function filterBetween(...myList) {
    return myList.filter((x) => this.min < x && x <= this.max);

The expression{min: 2, max: 8}, 9, 8, 3, -1) properly returns [8, 3].

a) Rewrite the expression to use apply instead of call:

b) Rewrite the expression to use bind instead of call:

c) One of the freshmen tried const hello = {min: 2, max: 8, tween: filterBetween}; hello.tween(9, 8, 3, -1). Does that work? Why or why not?


d) If we had written filterBetween = (...myList) => myList.filter((x) => this.min < x && x <= this.max), what would happen when evaluating{min: 2, max: 8}, 9, 8, 3, -1)? Why, specifically?


Problem 8: Class Extensions (Not Inheritance)

So let's say we have access to a JavaScript class that someone else wrote. It's a class for a box that is either (1) empty, or (2) contains a value. The original author used undefined to represent an empty box. We're stuck with that. Anyway, the class is already complete and it looks like this:

class Box {
  constructor(value) { this.value = value; }
  isEmpty() { return this.value === undefined; }
  getOrElse(backup) { return this.value === undefined ? backup : this.value; }

Then we decide we want to add a method to update the value in a box. We can do this in JavaScript! We have prototypes! We just have to do this:

Box.prototype.set = function (value) { this.value = value; }

Now assuming a similar Python class was already written, like so:

class Box:
  def __init__(self, value=None): self.value = value
  def is_empty(self): return self.value is None
  def get_or_else(self, backup): return backup if self.value is None else self.value

Show how to add the new set method to the existing Box class:

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
You can’t perform that action at this time.