“I bought this guide a few days ago to prepare for my interview with Oracle. Many of the questions they asked me were from this guide. I found this book absolutely great!”

A lot. There are too many variables that remain undefined to accurately answer that question. I could make assumptions like “The bus is 45 feet long” and “The bus is already filled with salami” but neither would help.

Here:
VOneSeat is volume of one seat
VIron is volume of iron used to make one seat
VSeatCloth is volume of cloth used to make one seat
VTempSeat is volume of other items used to build the seat
VActualBus is volume of actual bus with seats and other temp things inside it
VEmptyBus is volume of empty bus i.e without any seats or other temp items inside it (length*width*height)
NSeat is num of seats in the bus assuming that all seats are equal
VTempBus is volume of other items in the bus
NGolfBall is number of golf balls which can fit in a bus

The height of a school bus is about 7ft since people can easily stand in it. The width is about the same… If you’d lie along the breadth, you’d just fit. Finally the length is about 30ft. 7*7*30 would give you the volume. Now, for the ease of calculation, assume the ball to be a cube rather than a sphere. You have the volume as (1/12)^3. Then we divide… This should give a pretty close answer even though we have not considered the volume of chairs. This is because we have probably overcompensated in the dimesons a bit and also due to the fact that balls will tend to occupy lesser space as compared to cubes.

It doesn’t matter how many golf balls fit in the school bus. The point of this being in an interview is to see how many variables you can think of. Take charge and ask questions to show that you are thinking of all the possibilities, but do it in a good, social way with the people interviewing you. =)
This answer is pretty much straight from SMU’s Cox School of Business Career Counselor where they continually help and coach people with interviews…

Arrange 3 balls such that they form a triangle and then place a ball above and underneath the space that is created by the 3 ball arrangement and continue till you fill the bus.

I suppose you need to describe to the interviewer all the scenarios : Possiblity of the bus as a empty cuboid, or a bus with seats in it as well the rods for holding and drivers seat as well. This also includes whether its a double layered or the one like a shuttle. there can be various such scenarios. Now you proceeed with… How many people should be there in that bus when the it is suposed to be filled with golf balls. (if there has to be any). And the approximate number should be followed by… the volume of the bus (in all cases)/ the spherical volume of the golf ball. (Assuming that all golf balls that are supposed to be filled are of the same size.)

The question is basically to determine how much scenarios can you think of in any given case and given situation. And how You can convice the interviewer with your approximated figure.

we can reasonably assume that the shape of bus is rectangular for calculation puproses:
lets say L*B*H of bus is 360″*120″*96″.
and L*B*H required to store a ball perfectly in a rectangular box is 2″*2″*2″, then we can approx. store
180*60*48 balls in a bus.

You can fit lot many Golf balls. But there will always be some space left when you place the balls one beside other. Since the balls are spherical and we need to fill a cuboid, there will always be some space left for AIR. Hence you cannot fill the bus completely with golf balls! It would’ve been possible if we could crush few balls to fill the gap.

I guess the intent here is how many spheres (balls) can be fit in an cuboid (Bus)…

Since, one cannot utilize the interleaved spaces when spheres are placed in a cuboid, a sphere should also be treated as smaller cuboid and hence the answer should be …

= round ( (L*B*H)/(D*D*D) )
where L, B, H are Bus dimensions
and D is the Diameter of the Golf ball

No, you shouldn’t treat the sphere as cubes. By doing so You’re actually neglecting the interleaved space left by the spheres. Imagine this:
You fill one row of spheres, and fill the other row by placing them on the interleaved space left by the previous row. The width occupied is certainly lesser than that occupied by the corresponding cubes. You continue doing this and the no of cubes you get finally will be larger than the number of cubes you’d have been able to fit.

the density of a closest packing for spheres is pi/sqrt(12) or .9069.

1/.9069 = 1.1027 volume occupied by spheres in a given space.

Further with all the material in a school bus, it can be treated as a cylinder with a radius of 4 feet or 48 inches and a length of 22 feet or 264 inches. (pi(r)^2)h is the volume of a cylinder. The total volume is 401,420 cubic inches. The diameter of the ball is 1.6 and is enclosed by a cube with volume = 4.096. 401,420/4.096= 98,001
This is then multiplied by the density and the answer is 88,877 balls.

As someone has already posted, the layers of balls will occupy 64% of the volume of the bus.

The key is to understand that the layers of balls will be stacked up repeatedly every 2 * sqrt(6) * r/ 3 inches. r is the radius of the ball in inches.

As the question is vague so the answer should also be vague too
I guess aim of this question is to judge the creativity,
so my answer is ZERO.
justification :: I am standing in the toy shop and my cousin wants me to buy a “school bus” for him and bus is so small not a single golf ball will fit inside it.

If we carefully look at the question he is not asking for no of balls, rather methods by which many balls will fit.
look at “how many” the answer is making the bus empty and closing all doors n windows :P. I guess tht explains

The correct answer is another question. “Why?” Are you trying to ship golf balls? Are you trying to figure out aprox. how big the school bus is? Often the real question is masked behind an already perceived solution that has it’s own problem to be solved. The trick is to find out what the real problem is and find a better way to solve it. Is a school bus the best thing to fill with golf balls? Are golf balls the best thing to fill it a bus with?

Some of the formulas provided are flawd. The assumption being that it is a perfect rectangle. In reality most school buses have a curved ceiling. So it is not 100% accurate. Michael’s statement back in 2007 is correct, it is a trick question as not all buses are the same size. It is an abstract thought question to test your reasoning skills. If you say I don’t know without trying to work it out, expect not to get another interview.

Submitted By: webmaster — September 10, 2007

+2 votes + - A lot. There are too many variables that remain undefined to accurately answer that question. I could make assumptions like “The bus is 45 feet long” and “The bus is already filled with salami” but neither would help.

Submitted By: Ben — September 11, 2007

-26 votes + - One.

It takes many golf balls to FILL the school bus

Submitted By: Jose D — September 17, 2007

+53 votes + - About 500,000, assuming the bus is 50 balls high, 50 balls wide, and 200 balls long

Submitted By: Jimmy — September 21, 2007

+47 votes + - All golf balls can fit in a school bus.

Submitted By: Balaji — September 26, 2007

-23 votes + - Its depends upon the size and capacity of the bus.

Submitted By: MATHEW — September 26, 2007

-3 votes + - VOneSeat = VIron + VSeatCloth + VTempSeat;

VActualBus = VEmptyBus-(VOneSeat*NSeat) - VTempBus;

NGolfBall = VActualBus/VGolfBall ;

Here:

VOneSeat is volume of one seat

VIron is volume of iron used to make one seat

VSeatCloth is volume of cloth used to make one seat

VTempSeat is volume of other items used to build the seat

VActualBus is volume of actual bus with seats and other temp things inside it

VEmptyBus is volume of empty bus i.e without any seats or other temp items inside it (length*width*height)

NSeat is num of seats in the bus assuming that all seats are equal

VTempBus is volume of other items in the bus

NGolfBall is number of golf balls which can fit in a bus

Submitted By: gowtham — September 30, 2007

-34 votes + - it depends on the size of the bus

Submitted By: Clare — October 2, 2007

-21 votes + - What is the volume of a school bus?

Submitted By: bruno — October 9, 2007

-15 votes + - 1 to all golf balls ever manufactured will fit. school bus volume is not stated/restricted.

Submitted By: Supersid — October 13, 2007

+7 votes + - The height of a school bus is about 7ft since people can easily stand in it. The width is about the same… If you’d lie along the breadth, you’d just fit. Finally the length is about 30ft. 7*7*30 would give you the volume. Now, for the ease of calculation, assume the ball to be a cube rather than a sphere. You have the volume as (1/12)^3. Then we divide… This should give a pretty close answer even though we have not considered the volume of chairs. This is because we have probably overcompensated in the dimesons a bit and also due to the fact that balls will tend to occupy lesser space as compared to cubes.

Submitted By: Com DAC — October 17, 2007

-8 votes + - Is the bus empty or does it have students in it?

Submitted By: Michael — October 29, 2007

+28 votes + - It doesn’t matter how many golf balls fit in the school bus. The point of this being in an interview is to see how many variables you can think of. Take charge and ask questions to show that you are thinking of all the possibilities, but do it in a good, social way with the people interviewing you. =)

This answer is pretty much straight from SMU’s Cox School of Business Career Counselor where they continually help and coach people with interviews…

Submitted By: dimwit — November 7, 2007

+21 votes + - Well there is a mathematical answer:

0.64 * volume of bus/ volume of golf ball.

This is how you do it.

Arrange 3 balls such that they form a triangle and then place a ball above and underneath the space that is created by the 3 ball arrangement and continue till you fill the bus.

Look up on sphere packing

Submitted By: BirS — December 7, 2007

+1 votes + - I suppose you need to describe to the interviewer all the scenarios : Possiblity of the bus as a empty cuboid, or a bus with seats in it as well the rods for holding and drivers seat as well. This also includes whether its a double layered or the one like a shuttle. there can be various such scenarios. Now you proceeed with… How many people should be there in that bus when the it is suposed to be filled with golf balls. (if there has to be any). And the approximate number should be followed by… the volume of the bus (in all cases)/ the spherical volume of the golf ball. (Assuming that all golf balls that are supposed to be filled are of the same size.)

The question is basically to determine how much scenarios can you think of in any given case and given situation. And how You can convice the interviewer with your approximated figure.

Thanks

BS

Submitted By: matrix — January 9, 2008

-10 votes + - 19,456,347. you are welcome to verify the same!

Submitted By: joe — January 24, 2008

+2 votes + - Every golf ball can fit inside a school bus.

Submitted By: eyad — February 11, 2008

-25 votes + - the Bus capacity is approx. 10*7*67=46900

Gulf Ball size is approx.1.5

so 1.5*46900=70350 ball

am i being hired at Google

Submitted By: rakesh — April 9, 2008

-4 votes + - we can reasonably assume that the shape of bus is rectangular for calculation puproses:

lets say L*B*H of bus is 360″*120″*96″.

and L*B*H required to store a ball perfectly in a rectangular box is 2″*2″*2″, then we can approx. store

180*60*48 balls in a bus.

Submitted By: Pratap — May 21, 2008

-6 votes + - You can fit lot many Golf balls. But there will always be some space left when you place the balls one beside other. Since the balls are spherical and we need to fill a cuboid, there will always be some space left for AIR. Hence you cannot fill the bus completely with golf balls! It would’ve been possible if we could crush few balls to fill the gap.

Submitted By: luhar — May 23, 2008

-2 votes + - I guess the intent here is how many spheres (balls) can be fit in an cuboid (Bus)…

Since, one cannot utilize the interleaved spaces when spheres are placed in a cuboid, a sphere should also be treated as smaller cuboid and hence the answer should be …

= round ( (L*B*H)/(D*D*D) )

where L, B, H are Bus dimensions

and D is the Diameter of the Golf ball

Submitted By: J1gs4w — June 2, 2008

+2 votes + - No, you shouldn’t treat the sphere as cubes. By doing so You’re actually neglecting the interleaved space left by the spheres. Imagine this:

You fill one row of spheres, and fill the other row by placing them on the interleaved space left by the previous row. The width occupied is certainly lesser than that occupied by the corresponding cubes. You continue doing this and the no of cubes you get finally will be larger than the number of cubes you’d have been able to fit.

Submitted By: J1gs4w — June 2, 2008

+3 votes + - Checkout http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_packing

Submitted By: sonika — June 4, 2008

-4 votes + - it depend on bus volume and also on the golf volume.how much surface area a golf ball is covered?

Submitted By: Correct answer — June 12, 2008

+0 votes + - the density of a closest packing for spheres is pi/sqrt(12) or .9069.

1/.9069 = 1.1027 volume occupied by spheres in a given space.

Further with all the material in a school bus, it can be treated as a cylinder with a radius of 4 feet or 48 inches and a length of 22 feet or 264 inches. (pi(r)^2)h is the volume of a cylinder. The total volume is 401,420 cubic inches. The diameter of the ball is 1.6 and is enclosed by a cube with volume = 4.096. 401,420/4.096= 98,001

This is then multiplied by the density and the answer is 88,877 balls.

Submitted By: velu — July 7, 2008

-4 votes + - The School bus contains two letters “OO” consider that the answer is Two golf balls can fit in that 2 “OO”

Submitted By: ggl — August 6, 2008

-1 votes + - As someone has already posted, the layers of balls will occupy 64% of the volume of the bus.

The key is to understand that the layers of balls will be stacked up repeatedly every 2 * sqrt(6) * r/ 3 inches. r is the radius of the ball in inches.

Submitted By: manoj — September 1, 2008

-3 votes + - As the question is vague so the answer should also be vague too

I guess aim of this question is to judge the creativity,

so my answer is ZERO.

justification :: I am standing in the toy shop and my cousin wants me to buy a “school bus” for him and bus is so small not a single golf ball will fit inside it.

Submitted By: rach rai — November 18, 2008

+3 votes + - as many as it can hold!!!

Submitted By: sumanth — December 22, 2008

-1 votes + - If we carefully look at the question he is not asking for no of balls, rather methods by which many balls will fit.

look at “how many” the answer is making the bus empty and closing all doors n windows :P. I guess tht explains

Submitted By: mateenuddin — January 30, 2009

+13 votes + - Assume bus is filled with balls,

Total number of balls = ( Total weight of the bus with balls - weight of the bus without balls ) / weight of the one golf ball.

Submitted By: Dipankar Haldar — March 6, 2009

-1 votes + - = round ( (H*W*L)/(4*pie*r^2) )

where H = Height, W = Width, L = Length are Bus dimensions and r is the radius of the Golf ball.

Submitted By: Niko Keller — May 7, 2009

-2 votes + - The correct answer is another question. “Why?” Are you trying to ship golf balls? Are you trying to figure out aprox. how big the school bus is? Often the real question is masked behind an already perceived solution that has it’s own problem to be solved. The trick is to find out what the real problem is and find a better way to solve it. Is a school bus the best thing to fill with golf balls? Are golf balls the best thing to fill it a bus with?

Submitted By: etice — May 14, 2009

-2 votes + - Some of the formulas provided are flawd. The assumption being that it is a perfect rectangle. In reality most school buses have a curved ceiling. So it is not 100% accurate. Michael’s statement back in 2007 is correct, it is a trick question as not all buses are the same size. It is an abstract thought question to test your reasoning skills. If you say I don’t know without trying to work it out, expect not to get another interview.

Submitted By: harry — May 30, 2009

-1 votes + - It fits as many balls the students can carry as many of them who can fit in the school bus.

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