The first rule of Math Club is you can only talk about it in symbols and notation

I could give a flying f about little league. I care about Robotics and Math club.

First impressions of Math Clubs.
A math class is like a contract. “Student, learn this algorithm for problems of this type and you will get an A.” Importantly, in math class, everyone in theory can get an A. Math club looks like a math class with a different agreement, “Participants, train on problems of increasing difficulty. You will get a test where the last problems are so hard, no one will solve them. This will minimize the chance of ties and the participants will get fame and glory based on their rank, either on a per team basis or a per participant basis”  But otherwise, it looks like a math class.

Second impression of Math Clubs.It looks like a sport.  In sports, everyone can run. Not everyone can run fast. Not everyone can figure out that only about 10 or so of the numbers from 1 to 100 can be written as a non-terminating decimal. Some not at all. So a fair sport in the math sense is like mental math– everyone can do arithmetic, some can do it faster or more accurately that others.  A similar analogy can be made with spelling bees- everyone can spell something, some can spell more words, the winning word is still something that in theory any participant could do. I admit, I haven’t completely rigorously worked out how a speed arithmetic test is like running, but solving increasingly difficult “puzzle” problems isn’t.

Third impression of Math Clubs.It is a game among players and team where there the actions of the other teams do not figure much into your decisions about how you play the game.

Grades 0-5
Arithmetic Club. I have no idea if these exist. If they did, they should be kind of like spelling bees, with round 1 mental math, round 2 calculator math and round 3 historical devices (e.g. abacus)
Kumon. Worksheets with a focus on speed and arithmetic.

[Arithmetic, Pre-calc]
[Typing!]
[Scratch]

Grades 4- 8
Math Olimpiad. The contest for the youngest participants, 4th grade. http://www.moems.org/contests.htm

Grades 6-12
Math Club. Works like a study group, solving problems to practice
e.g. National Math Club/MathCounts
Math Contests. Big sit down tests.
e.g. AMC 8, AMC 10
Mu Alpha Theta National Convention, Log1

Math League- http://www.mathleague.com/

[Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Pre-Calc] — Why so late?
[Python, Ruby, Javascript]

Grades 9-12
Robotics Club. Building robots and programming them in C++ and Java.

[Geometry, Calculus, Discrete Mathematics]

Economic and Game Theory: Coffee

The stable strategy is the one where no player can change the strategy and expect the new equillibrium to make them better off.

If an office has break room with a ten cup coffee machine and the person who drinks the last cup of coffee has to make another pot, then here the expected reasoning of the coffee drinkers:

Low ranking staff take cups 1-9.  Supevisors take cup 10 because they won’t use their valuable billing hours making coffee.  Low ranking staff that see there is only one cup left will wait an hour for the supervisor to make a cup of coffee.  Fortunately there is an office manager, and coffee reappears.

I guess the optimal strategy is to observe that there isn’t any punishment for not refilling the coffee, except the risk that no one else will refill the coffee pot that day.  Eventually the equillibrium would be met where the cost of refilling the coffee pot equals the cost of not getting a 2nd cup of coffee later that day.  Each period people move back and for between being the sort of person that re-fills coffee pots and shirks until there is nothing additional be gained by switching to shirking (e.g. additional coffee w/o work) or switching to beign a refiller (e.g. additional coffee, albeit sometimes with work)

E Trade Credit Card Rewards

The etrade credit card has a rewards system. Unfortunately, the online catalog is broken, unusable, crap. Fortunately, the web site and catalog can be avoided entirely:

To redeem points:

  • Call 1-800-250-7734
  • Tell them you want a statement credit, currently $50 per 5000 points

I have no idea if they have merchandise that translates to more than 1% money back, but to save myself the hassle of dealing with this program, I’m willing to take the risk.

The mcrewards.net program looks like a third party program. If any banks are considering using it, I recommend that they run the other direction, unless of course they despise their customers, which I suppose is not an uncommon sentiment in the financial world.

Dating by the numbers

rejections / month = effort ratio

time of previous attempt – time of attempt / attempts = mean time between rejection

sum(base reached) / (rejections * 3) = quality of failure

(rejections-didn’t meet – didn’t ask) /month = productivity

(rejections – acceptance) / attempts = efficiency ratio

attempts before success / (1/gender ratio) = efficiency of success

qualified dating partners / people like yourself = effective gender ratio

(I might have mucked up the algebra on these, hopefully I have an algebraist among my readers that can straigten out my math)

You only succeed once. Unlike sales, your metrics of progress are various measures of the quantity of failures. Kind of hard to remember that when you find yourself thinking about one person for days at a time.