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

Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

My very first photography class I taught had about 15 people in it. This young woman (19 or 20), named Amy, sat at the far back corner, last row. She faithfully came to every class, stayed awake, paid attention, but never said a word. She never brought any work, either, but she was there at every class paying rapt attention. Finally, the week before the last class, I tried to engage her (one last time). I did say that I hoped she would bring in her work for that last class, blah blah blah. I was really nice about it. For the first time, she actually spoke. She said, "You know, I don't actually like photography. I don't even own a camera. I've enjoyed the class and learned a lot, but I only took this class because the raku pottery class was full. I just have no interest in photographing, though." So, now, whenever I teach classes at that same place, I start my class off with that little story-- just to remind people to make sure they're in the class they want, and if it's pottery or basket weaving they *really* wanted-- now's probably the time to leave. I also (now) ask on that first day if everyone owns a camera. If not, I show them how to make a pinhole camera and make converts of them. So, in the end, it all works out. :)

On Jan 19, 2008, at 10:06 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Well, let's just say I was a little late to class that day, and a little out of sorts when I got there. It might make a better story if I could remember what grade he got, but I don't. But since the class involved homework and written papers, which he hadn't done, and since I graded strictly on pre-designated points for the assignments, papers and tests, I can't imagine that he did very well at all.

On Jan 18, 2008, at 11:02 PM, Dave S wrote:

Wow, that guy had the nerve to ask it. I know teachers/professors hate that
question even when someone ask it after missing JUST ONE class.


-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Thayer [mailto:kthayer@pacifier.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 1:35 AM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: 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

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.


subjects are more standardized and "fixed" especially for
freshmen/sophomores so you can learn them yourself from

textbook and


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 classes."

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


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



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


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