Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Solving the cubic

Midterms update & presentation help!

So my midterms went relatively well. I did above average on three of them (including probability =) ) and a lot below average on my physics midterm. Physics is so hard for me to grasp conceptually. I'm pretty sure there is only one person in our immediate family that has a natural ability at this and his name rhymes with Blaustin. But, I think I mentioned before, my physics class is weighted mostly on homework, so bad test scores shouldn't keep me from passing the class, thank goodness. And now we get to move on to the easy stuff anyway, no more light wave crap, onto Einstein's Theory of Relativity *read sarcastically*. Newtonian physics is for saps anyway.

In other news, I have to do two presentations coming up here, and this is where you come in. The first one I have to do is this Monday, and it's on the probability of getting a real zero in a random polynomial. The basic idea is this… lets say you have the following equation. You can always solve this equation for a real zero, as inPhotobucket. But the equation, Photobucket only has real zeros iff Photobucket because of the quadratic equation… remember this Photobucket? If Photobucketyou would end up with a negative number in the square root, and one of those pesky i numbers, which would not be real. For the random polynomials they take the leading number from Photobucket and see how many can actually be solved for real zeros. So I have to come up with a riveting presentation on this. They have formulas to calculate it, which I don’t have to prove , phew. I don’t think I could anyway. I just have to present the material explain it, and show some graphs and stuff. I’m really hoping to think of some kind of activity to do with the class, so it’s not the world’s most boring presentation. ANY ideas would be really helpful.

I’m also going to do a presentation on Paul Erdos . He was a brilliant, eccentric mathematician that died in 1996. He had his own “language” that included calling God the "S.F." (Supreme Facist) since he was always hiding his glasses, briefcase, etc from him and other rotten stuff. He called the US “Sam”, the Soviet Union “Joe” and children “epsilons”. I read this book on him, and found it super interesting. Also of note, he only wore pure silk. I think that’s funny. He published over 1400 papers, and collaborated with over 500 different people, more so than any other mathematician on both ends. Since he collaborated with so many people, and in tribute to Erdos, his friends created the Erdos number . This works much like the Kevin Bacon number, where if you collaborated directly with Erdos on a published paper you are said to have an Erdos number 1, if you collaborated with someone who collaborated with Erdos you would have an Erdos Number 2, etc, etc.. Anyway, I don’t have to do this presentation until the end of the semester, so it’s not as pressing. I’m thinking of asking around and seeing if any of the faculty have Erdos numbers, and presenting those results as well. Austin had a teacher that had an Erdos number 1, if only he had written a paper with him then our own brother would have had an Erdos number of 2. I think after presenting all his quirks and the Erdos numbers it will be pretty cool. I want to also write a limerick about him... something about his death and meeting the great SF. Any ideas on that would also be cool!

I’m just really nervous for both because I HATE PUBLIC SPEAKING! I think I would rather get teeth pulled. No, I take that back, I WOULD rather get teeth pulled maybe even without anesthetic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

procrastinating on studying for midterms = updating my blog

I have a midterm tomorrow in probability, so I thought it would be a good use of time to update my blog. I have been unemployed for about a month now and it follows that I am about a month into the first semester of my senior year. It's exciting to see a (very dim) light end of the tunnel of my college education. I say dim because this stuff is hard! I mean... hard! I feel like Billy Madison when he graduates to the third grade. "First and second grade were easy... but social studies? division?? this is going to be tough!" I think the main problem is, I took all my GE at FCC and now all I have is upper division math classes to complete. Five classes is not so bad, five upper division math classes? That's crazy! So ya, here is my schedule for any of you that didn't already know:

Physics of light waves
Probability and Statistics (for math majors)
Ordinary Differential Equations (basically calculus stuff)
History of Mathematics
Mathematical Computation
Physics Lab (electricity)

Physics is pretty hard, but if I complete all the homework I should be fine in the class, even if I have poor test scores, and talking to Austin is a huge help on this. THANKS AUSTIN! I am really struggling in the probability course, and this is the one i'm procrastinating on studying for at the moment. ODE class is pretty cool, although all we seem to do is find the correct rates for fishing so that it doesn't diminish the fish population (population models). fishing = not interesting. History of math completes my upper GE writing requirement, and the teacher is taking this very seriously and assigns an insane amount of homework. It's cool though because we are learning how to do math the way Euclid and Archimedes did, using a compass and straight edge. Because of this class I can now prove to you the Pythagorean Theorem! I know you're impressed. The mathematical computation class (MATLAB) seems pretty easy so far, it's basically just computer programming, and although I'm still a newb I'm not completely ignorant on how to do it.

Anyway, moral of the story is, this semester seems like almost impossible. BUT from my years of college I know that if you attend your classes, do all of your homework and study for your tests (and have some natural smartness of course) you will pass. So I take some solace in that fact.

I should be done with everything by the end of the year. As long as the school offers the classes I need, which may not happen due to budget cuts.

I forgot to mention that I'm also working in the math tutoring center.. which basically means I hang out in the math tutoring center a lot and sometimes help kids with their homework. I'm one of the more high up tutors (I mean I've taken more math) which is cool. Helping kids runs from helping someone calculate interest on a purchase to arguing with some girl about how to set up an integral - ya that happened this morning. I wanted to be like "you know, you're right... what do I know.. I only got an A in that course, and have had two more semesters of calc than you.. I'm dumb to think that the height should be in terms of y and not x... silly me."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Best Chicken I've Ever Had (possibly)

I got this recipe off of my friend, Andrea, after eating dinner at her house. It was seriously the best chicken i have ever had. So i made it myself last night. i wasn't too sure if it was going to be best chicken ever again, because i'm not as talented as Andrea in the kitchen and i wasn't sure the magic could be recreated. Oh, but it can. It was soo good. I keep thinking about it!

4-6 chicken breasts
juice from 6 lemons
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons worsteshire sauce
2 gloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced

you lay the chicken in a pan and put the onions on top. mix everything else together in a bowl and pour over. bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, flipping the chicken at 20 minutes. I made this with plain white rice and sauteed asparagus and peppers. it was really good.