Thursday, May 12, 2005

Math Meister

The reason that this blog was reconstituted the last time was for me to post my responses to math articles assigned by my instructor this semester. Well, I've done that, so I suppose I should include them like I'd originally planned.

This is straight out of my math blog. Enjoy.

My opinions are finally here! The following are my responses to the seven articles prescribed throughout the semester. I warn you, though... I'm a smart***.

Mechanical Music

This is written in response to the article entitled “Major Music Labels Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Determine “Hitability” of Music.” Now that I’m completely out of breath from the name of the article…

Well, what can I say? I think that it’s truly amazing that mathematical principals have taken SO LONG to show up in the mainstream of music success. Anyone who is any type of a musician (and I am) knows that, while music is emotion, soul and melody, it’s mechanics are grounded in mathematical concepts. From the tempo to the harmony, a great song is only as great as the precise mathematics behind it. Imagine deciphering a Beethoven symphony or the William Tell Overture. Who would? Bravo to those that created a computer program to do it for us. The ability to see what each song is doing and, in turn, decide what the future of music holds and is capable of, is great. Now, don’t mistake me for saying that all of music is all work and no heart. I am a vocalist. Every time I sing I put everything I am into it. All my heart, soul and emotion go into creating music. I don’t think about the math behind the music - just the music itself. That’s why I think it’s great that someone HAS thought about the math and how it can successfully enhance music. Again, I say bravo

See the article? Sure you do! article

Math Maladies

I liked this article! While not really defining any clear-cut reasoning, it makes everyone feel better about being idiots when it comes to math. Amazing. *ahem* Yes, I know I’m being a bit cynical, but I will agree with part of the article that states that math abilities and learning phases are different for everyone. I was twelve years old when I took pre-algebra and algebra. I took geometry with high schoolers the following year - I was in eighth grade. I aced these classes, but by the time I got to algebra two my freshman year, I was sinking into the C range. When I took probability and statistics my senior year it was with a C. Now, five years later and in college, math is again coming very easily to me - hence the online classes.

I think it’s important for people to understand that math is different for everyone, and that everyone is going to learn at different paces. I agree with the theories that the human mind is not “wired” for the complexities of mathematics that are the norm in today’s society. We’ve leapt ahead technologically, but biologically we may be a bit behind. The brain isn’t as foolproof as we would like to believe. It has it’s weaknesses.

Math just may be one of them

Wanna Read? article

Mean or Median? *giggles*

Here’s another article that I enjoyed. I’ll talk math first - this article was very informative about the differences between mean (average) and median (midpoint), as well as how a person could be misled by one or the other. Did you know that one inch of rain in Arizona is equal to about ten inches of rain in Louisiana? It’s true… different soil, or something. Helps prove the point though, that averages don’t mean squat when it comes to whether or not your house is going to float away. From crime rates to drug predictions to rainfall amounts, the averages can be worded to put a spin on the truth and make something look better or worse than it really is.

Now, on to other issues… I’m moving to England. If this guy’s got enough time to sit around and think up this whole scenario, I want to be him. I haven’t had time to BREATHE this semester!!! Hey, maybe this summer I can come up with a cool math article. Or, maybe, I’ll just let my mind go numb…

You Mathletes will love this one... article

And I Thought Scales were Scary

Should we invent some for planes to roll over before takeoff? Might be an idea… The Associated Press reported that a small plane was within 100lbs. of it’s maximum load capacity before takeoff - and, of course, the plane crashed, killing all 21 aboard (we wouldn’t report it if it didn’t crash). The first thing I have to say is, there should be a buffer in place. Anything from about 150lbs. or closer to the maximum weight limit shouldn’t fly anyway. Second, and I’ll have to agree with the AP here, we need to up those averages. Like stated in article two, averages can not only be very misleading, but the American population is expanding, literally and physically, and most of the people aboard this flight were men. I can tell just from the article that an average of 175lbs. per person, including luggage, was a pretty poor guess. May I ask what the pilot was thinking?

Of course, math is not all to blame. The mechanical malfunction of the gear on the tail of the plane (you know, that little fin that controls PITCH) just might have been the reason the plane went down… DUH! If there hadn’t been a malfunction the little plane may have made it all the way to Greer. Unfortunately, the two were combined, and so the real reason of the crash is unclear. I blame mechanics first. Pitch is important in flying, you know.

So much for the FAA... article

Barcode Bustin'

Again, I ask… WHO has the time to sit around and figure all of these out?!? It’s pretty ingenious, I’ll admit - at least, it is until you understand the mechanics behind it. Then it’s almost idiot proof, although I’d suggest a set of picture instructions for Army or Marine students. And yes, I can knock on those in the service because I just got home from a year spent deployed in Iraq. Don’t get mad at me. J Anyway, back to the barcode… What I want to know is what thickness of the bar corresponds to what number. That one, however, will remain a mystery, because I don’t have the time to figure that out.

Oh, and the check number for that last bar code is 3

Bet you'll never look at cereal the same way again... article

Presidential Questionnaire

First of all, may I applaud the author? Not only are they very good questions, but the writer knows how to artistically incorporate the subtlety of sarcasm into an article to make it an outstanding read. Kinda like me.

*Ahem* Sorry ‘bout that. Anyway, I’d have to say that I agree with the author. Let’s ask some questions that do require some thought and genuine brainpower, rather than a speech writer and exceptional memory. Nearly all of those questions either stumped me or really surprised me with their answers. Of course, like stated you can’t really compare heart disease fatalities to the casualties of 9/11, but the fact that math underlies the very foundations of our society makes it a pretty important subject. Why don’t they have a math quiz for up and coming presidential candidates? All political candidates, in fact. Let’s see how much they REALLY know

Hooray for the Texans! article

Dog Days of Summer

It’s almost here… *drooling* Ah! Sorry, daydreaming. Ah yes, the mathematician and his dog. This is another man with time on his hands. I totally have to agree with him that nature finds the most ideal way of doing things. Hasn’t this always been evident, though? Lava flows from the earths innards where the crust is most narrow or weak. Leaves turn toward sunlight. My Chihuahua and I run in my backyard. If I run around a tree, he heads me off on the other side by altering his route. The mathematician’s dog is not the only one that can find a better way to a specified target. Could it be that it’s so amazing because he is a mathematician’s dog, and so the mathematician “stumbled” onto his amazing behavior and documented it? By all means, mathematician, keep stumbling. I’ll keep reading.

Them crazy mathematicians... *shakes her head* article

I hope you like math... or sarcasm... or both. Hell, I'll go for both. ^_^ If you're ever in the need for MAT122, look up Antonietti at Pima CC online. Best math teacher I've had since, well, forever. Very cool.

Oh yeah, try to keep it below 18 credits, too. 21 really sucks

Song Quote of the Moment: "Nothin' on Earth that'll get me hummin' like a heat wave comin' - I'll come runnin'"

~Clint Black (bless the man)

Summer, Here I Come!

I sound just like a high school student. And I couldn't be more thrilled. I finished the last of my classwork last night, and I am officially finished with this semester, starting today! Ahh, sweet freedom...

And for those extremely interested in my academic career, here's the lineup:

"Workplace Readiness for Healthcare Occupations": [P]
Introduction to Art (more like the combined history of art): [B]
Psychology 101: [A]
Anatomy & Physiology II: [A]
Microbiology: [Dunno yet, either A/B]
Intermediate Algebra: [Ditto]

I'm just relieved that the semester is over and I did as well as I have. :) Now it's back to sleeping in the hammock, getting some sun and running my ass off to get ready for my PT test in June. Oh, lucky me...

I really can't express my ecstaticism right now, so I'll just go in peaceful bliss.

Song Quote of the Moment: "School's out for summer!"

~Kiss or AC DC? (yeah, I know, that could get me shot)