Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Math Stats

This is a homework assignment I recently completed for STA 673 - Mathematical Statistics I. There are a few things I'd like to point out:
  • While it is 7 pages long, there are only 5 questions. If you think this is bad...it's not. This is the final write up. The first time I tried these problems, I used 12 pages.
  • The first problem took three pages (and a little of the fourth).
  • For problem #1, if I had not written the preliminary results, I would have had to integration by parts 14 times! In case you don't know what integration by parts is, this is a ridiculous amount of times for one problem.
Today we had a test in this class. No calculator was required/necessary. On the test, I proved some stuff (one of the things was that E(Y) = E(E(X|Y))), wrote a paragraph, and drew some pictures among other things. This is just a taste of what I'm studying. In case you were wondering this is my most difficult class and the fun continues next semester with STA 674 - Mathematical Statistics II!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Here's wishing you all had turducken and cherpumple for Thanksgiving.

I gave this presentation about cherpumple for my professional development class a couple weeks ago. Also, before you click on the link you should know that I'm quite possibly the worst artist in the world. Consider yourself warned.

Since my artwork is so bad, here are some of the pictures of the cherpumple I made about a year ago.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blindfold Cubing

Last night, for the first time, I successfully solved my 2x2 Rubik's cube blindfolded. Well, I wasn't actually blindfolded, but I had my eyes closed the entire time.

Blindfold solving isn't as hard as is sounds. Once you learn the method, which is surprisingly easy with only 2 main algorithms and a handful of shorter setup moves, it's a matter of memorizing orientation and permutation.
So for my first successful solve, this is what I memorized: (020) (1002) (68) (5175). And that's it. Really! Each of the numbers corresponds to a specific setup move and algorithm, so when you are blindfolded (or in my case have your eyes closed) you know what to do. I've been working on this for a couple weeks, so it's nice for it to finally pay off!

Since you brought up cubing, here are some of the others I've solved:

3x3 Rubik's Cube
(yes I have the nerdy stand...how else are you going to display it?!?!)
4x4 Rubik's Cube aka Rubik's Revenge
(this one has the stand too...it makes my desk looks organized)

5x5 Rubik's Cube aka Professor Cube
(I have a stand for this one...even though it's not shown in the picture)
MegaMinx Puzzle aka Dodecahedron aaka 12 sided 3D shape
(no stand for this one, in fact, it's not even mine! Believe it or not, I solved everything but the last face with no outside help.) 

QuadCube aka "it'll drive you insane" at least that's what it says on the box.
 I actually did this one with no outside help (ie the internet).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Really Delicious Pasta Dish

Today, for the second time, I made this really delicious pasta dish. It reminds me of macaroni and cheese, but there's no cheese in it. Here's the recipe:

Really Delicious Pasta Dish

What You Need:
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon sea salt
8 ounces macaroni
4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika

What You Do:
In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup butter, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and about half of the cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth. The sauce should be the consistency of a cheese sauce.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bonus Problem

I put the following bonus problem the last test:
You have a 47 meter lead on a velociraptor that is catching you at a rate of 2 m/s. How long before you are caught and devoured?
Can you believe my students ask "When are we going to use this?"?!?!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 airports in 5 days

I know what you're thinking...I must really like airports. The truth is last minute tickets are hard to find (not to mention expensive!) Despite the circumstances, it was really good to be home and see everyone again. It was like a giant, never-ending family reunion, mostly because everyone was staying at my parent's house. All in all, it was a good trip and when I got back to Flagstaff, I was greeted with fresh snow!

In case you're curious, I the airports I visited are: Phoenix Sky Harbor, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, South Bend, and Phoenix Mesa Gateway.