Russian student takes Unicode for economic formulas

Woman explains and solves a mathematical calculation

Woman explains and solves a mathematical calculation

ShutterStock/Legion-Media
A young woman from Penza State University wrote an essay full of nonsense symbols and failed to notice it.

A photograph of an essay written by an Economics student from the Penza State University of Architecture and Construction has become a sensation on Russian social networks after the Microsoft Word program played a trick on the young woman and she failed to notice it.

Having received a tutorial on her subject in a Word document from her professor, Natalya Yusupova (the name has been changed) began writing it up. But her formulas for capital productivity, capital intensity and profitability calculation were incorrect. In their place she had typed a collection of strange symbols.

However, Yusupova was not confused by the non-existent formulas. She handed in her essay to the professor, who posted the photograph on the net with the text: "A student brought in her essay. Perhaps during the copying process something went wrong."

It turned out that Word's encoding had broken down. When this happens, instead of the necessary formulas, the program starts using Unicode symbols (the universal standard for encoding symbols that helps provide characters for all of the world’s languages – RBTH).

However, Yusupova did not receive the lowest score (3 out of 5) for her work. The essay was part of a coursework project and she had prepared the other parts satisfactorily.

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