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I'm a rising junior at Yale, and I know Sean well and we both took systems programming together. We definitely covered bit manipulation and bit tricks, as well as number representation and lots of other stuff.

Sean's an incredibly bright guy but he's more interested in building world-changing apps and web dev. as opposed to low-level systems programming. There are other classes here where you have to code in assembly and do all sorts of bit manipulation (OS's comes to mind). The core CS sequence in our school is also in C, which differs notably from other places that use Python, Java, etc.

For anyone who wants to learn more about bit manipulation, Henry Warren's "Hacker's Delight" is a terrific book (http://www.amazon.com/Hackers-Delight-Henry-S-Warren/dp/0201...).

Why would anyone think they could write world-changing web apps without knowing bit-fiddling techniques?

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