New Zealand professor has autocomplete nonsense paper accepted for Atlanta physics conference

It’s tempting to imagine that randomly hitting the autocomplete option a few thousand times would be enough to write a comprehensive academic paper – and many a student has tried.

So, for the weariest among us, the news that Professor Christoph Bartneck, from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, received an invitation to speak at the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in Atlanta by doing just that may offer some hope.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that Bartneck’s paper was far from lucid.

Spurred by an email invitation asking him to deliver a paper for the conference, the associate professor of human interface technology wrote a blog post stating that: “Since I have practically no knowledge of Nuclear Physics I resorted to iOS auto-complete function to help me writing the paper.

“I started a sentence with “Atomic” or “Nuclear” and then randomly hit the auto-complete suggestions. The text really does not make any sense.”

Bartneck’s paper relied on an image upload from Wikipedia and sporadic references to get accepted (Christoph Bartneck)

Sense, it would appear, is the least of many conferences’ worries when it comes to judging papers for presentation, as Australian academic Peter Vamplew discovered in 2014 when his paper was accepted despite being composed entirely of the words: “Get me off your f****** mailing list.”

It took administrators just three hours to deem Bartneck’s paper, Atomic energy will have been made available to a single source, worthy of presentation after he pasted in the first image from Wikipedia, added some citations, and submitted it under the pseudonym Iris Pear – a reference to its true author, Siri Apple.

You know when we said the paper was far from lucid? We meant it was utterly incomprehensible.

It took Bartneck just over three hours to get the jibberish paper accepted (Christoph Bartneck)

Beginning: “Atomic Physics and I shall not have the same problem with a separate section for a very long long way,” and closing “Power is not a great place for a good time,” nuclear physics researchers would probably do well to resist seeking it out for any useful insights.

Bartneck has decided against actually visiting Atlanta to present it.


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