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

Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

While we're way off topic, once when I was teaching statistics, a guy appeared at my office door just as I was going to the classroom to give the last lecture of the term, and said, "I haven't come to class all term; have I missed anything?" True story.

On Jan 18, 2008, at 10:04 PM, Dave S wrote:

Well, I am OT again. If it gets too much, just let me know. I don't know,
somehow as I grow older, I seem to like things on the lighter side.

Tonight I went to a meeting. I worked with university students a lot.
Tonight I chatted to a young sophomore. He is really a smart guy. During the
chat, I asked him how early did he have to go to school (because it is cold
here in MI in the morning). He said it doesn't matter because he skipped
most of his classes (he is an engineering student. Engineering subjects are
more standardized and "fixed" especially for freshmen/sophomores so you can
learn them yourself from textbook and homeworks).

Then he said, "for my 1st and 3rd semester I skipped almost all the classes,
and I got a GPA of 3.9. The 2nd semester I attended almost all of my
classes, and I got a GPA of 3.6; so my conclusion is it is better to skip

Talk about making conclusion from statistical data, huh? :-)


-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Thayer [mailto:kthayer@pacifier.com]
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 9:49 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: math question verrrrrry off topic


On Jan 18, 2008, at 6:23 PM, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

Hey Katharine,

I don't know-- maybe.  I honestly didn't read the other answers.  :)

On Jan 18, 2008, at 8:43 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Hmm, I thought that's what we all already have said, isn't it?
That that theoretical probability (1/4x1/4x1/4) would hold only if
assumptions were met,  and since assumptions are obviously not met
(for example, judging is not a random lottery of course

but is done

on the basis of criteria, arbitrary or otherwise but certainly not
random).  Also, no one has said whether the 600 entries

are 600 works

or 600 people; I was assuming that they are 600 works representing
fewer than 600 people, in other words people could submit

more than

one work, in which case, as I said, the number of works

submitted per

person would also have to be figured into the equation somehow.
Besides, if one person submits ten pieces and another

person submits

one, the ten pieces by the one person couldn't be considered
independent entries in the same way one of those ten could be
considered independent of the one from the other person, and
independence is also an assumption that must be met in order to
consider the probability of acceptance to be the same for all

On Jan 18, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

Okay, Chris.  Here is it-- straight from my resident statistician

If they were the only 3 people from that institution who applied,
AND if judging was completely random, then the

probability of this

is roughly 1 in 64 (key word: roughly).  If more than

that applied

from this same institution, and only 3 got in, then the


will be more complex.

Hope that helps. :)
On Jan 17, 2008, at 12:00 PM, 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