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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The beads of time pass slow

Now that the Micro exam is over I intend to post about random stuff as often as I like. This is a good time to start, because I'm waiting for output from a program that won't finish for at least 20 minutes, and it doesn't seem like enough time to actually bother doing anything productive. I do have one more exam, but not until Friday week. That kind of timescale isn't a great motivator.

This afternoon marks the end of the penultimate week of working with my high school student for this year. The program I'm running is for her - it's a little simulation that calculates the experimental probability of success in two attempts, when the theoretical probabilities are 0.6 on the first attempt and 0.4 on the second. Well, it started out as a little simulation. It's now 99,001 little simulations, with sample sizes increasing from 1000 in the first attempt to 100,000 in the last. This is intended to demonstrate how the experimental probability approaches the theoretical probability with increasing sample size. Smaller ranges would do it equally well, but pushing the limits of my computing resources is much more fun.

Today I had the great idea of making lemon, strawberry and apricot muffins for breakfast tomorrow. Sounds tasty, no? It's my own invention (as the White Knight would say). I'm not sure how well the lemon will go with the other flavours. Will they need rind, or will juice be sufficient? Should I add cinnamon as well? That would make the batter dark, and with pink strawberries these would probably be quite pretty with a white fluffy batter. Maybe currants would be a good addition. Planning out tomorrow's breakfast is a good way of ensuring that I remember to get out of bed each morning during the study break.

I really hope this simulation produces output before my student arrives at 3.30.

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