U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

Ian is exactly right that it depends how many people submitted work from the same institution; it also depends on how many entries from each person, and how many institutions are involved in the comparison. If students in this program were especially encouraged to submit work for this show and so a lot of them sent in several entries, and that wasn't true for other schools, (meaning quantitatively that this institution accounted for a relatively high percentage of the 600 entries compared to other institutions, and meaning statistically that the number of submissions from different institutions wasn't randomly distributed) then the fact that three people from the program had work accepted wouldn't be very remarkable, although you might be able to impress the department head with it if he/she isn't very smart.

The above comments refer only to the submission part of the equation; at least equally important, as John Dixon pointed out, is the criteria for selection; if selections were made randomly, then it would be a lottery with no regard to selection criteria. I saw a juried show once that made no sense to me (the selected pieces didn't seem to hang together coherently as a show) until I read the artist statements and saw that the artist statements of the selected works were all personal essays very literally tied to the theme of the show. The artist statements made a coherent collection, but the artwork itself didn't. Later I asked the exhibits curator for the show, a friend, what the selection criteria had been, and she admitted that the works were selected purely on the basis of the artist statements; the juror read the artist statements and picked the ones he thought were the best essays relating to the theme of the show. An extreme case, but just an illustration of the fact that work is selected for all kinds of reasons, some not necessarily related to the quality of the work, but definitely not random. As John correctly advised, just because 1/4 of the entries were selected, doesn't mean each entry would have a 1/4 chance of being selected, even if the submissions were randomly distributed and there was one entry from each person, since the selection isn't random.

On Jan 17, 2008, at 9:16 AM, Iain wrote:

Depends on how many people from the same institution entered. If only three entered and all three got accepted then your formula is correct. If more than you need to multiply by 3/4 for each unsuccessful entrant.

Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

Where else but this list can I ask these weird questions about chemistry and math and computers and alt???

OK for you math people (Yves?): If there is a show and 600 entries, and 150 are accepted, there is a 1 in 4 chance of acceptance. If 3 people from the same institution are accepted what percent chance is that--is it 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 or a 1.5% chance or is it a more complex formula?

Forgive the off topic request but it does relate to photo as 3 of our program got into a photo show and I want to be able to mathematically brag about it to the dept. head/dean.

Christina Z. Anderson
Assistant Professor
Photo Option Coordinator
Montana State University