IS IT THE SEPTEMBER LIST SO EARLY IN THE MONTH?!?!

Yeah it is.

Let’s do it.

  • Look at how FREAKING GOOD these eggs look. Nom.
  • If you’re the type who likes highlighter, try out e.l.f.’s prismatic duos. They’re pretty subtle, but you can definitely see them!
  • I keep forgetting to mention this even though it’s been like a month, but when I had my job interview for the instructor position, we all went to dinner at this place called NOtaBLE. The menu looked super fancy and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find anything I liked, but I got the chicken confit ravioli and it was so freaking good. So if you’re ever in Calgary and want to go to a fancy place, I’d recommend it.
  • I hate hate hate hate HATE hate HATE hate HATE the current trend of “let’s bring back old movies/TV shows/bands/toys/etc. ‘cause nostalgia sells!” I don’t think I can even accurately express my level of hate for this. The Brady Bunch (renovation show)? Seriously? Why is that even remotely necessary? And Scooby-freaking-Doo? W H Y. I actually don’t know what’s worse: companies who are willing to stoop to this level to make the $ or the fact that there are enough consumers who keep falling for this garbage to continue to make it profitable.
  • I am mad now, haha.
  • I love how my “liked Tweets” on Twitter are like 70% baseball-related, 20% stats- or math-related, and 10% Meme Central.
  • Y’all are probably aware of my soft spot for “The Sound of Silence” covers, huh? Well, here’s another fantastic one. So beautiful. I freaking love cellos; that low note at 0:55 is nnnnnnnnnnnnf.

  • I bought a few pairs of Kinvaras when I was in the States a few weeks ago, but now I’m feeling bad about not buying them at my regular Running Room (where all the employees know me). They probably think I’m dead, haha.

Canadian League Baseball: Week 22 Summary

We’re starting to see some teams eliminated from contention! It’s sad. Poor Vancouver. Hamilton’s killing it, though.

09-08-2019

Sigh

Dear Brain,

If you could just stick with one emotion for more than like five seconds, that would be great.

Sincerely,
Me

OH GOD IT’S A NEW SEMESTER

Hi.

So this is my first semester teaching as an actual factual instructor rather than a sessional instructor.

Feels good.

This is also my first semester teaching Calc I (MATH 265) instead of “Introductory Calculus” (MATH 249), though it sounds like the two classes are very similar.

WOO!

TIL having Reddit-based ScooterGangs makes a city more livable

Hi.

Every year, The Economist does an assessment of ~140 cities for their Global Livability Ranking. This year, Calgary ranked as the fifth most livable city in the world and the most livable city in North America. The rankings are based on the averagings of the results of five metrics: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

So that’s kinda cool.

If you’re interested in the report, you can download it from here.

GEEEEEEEEENES

Hey, nerds!

I’ve mentioned my 23andMe results on here a few times now, and since I first got the testing done in 2012, they’ve refined some of their ancestry algorithms, causing some small changes to my results. Here’s what’s changed per region:

European: still 87.6%

  • French and German went from 15.4% to 28.7%, with strongest evidence of ancestry in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria (both Germany), and Friesland (Netherlands)
  • British and Irish went from 13.2% to 4.2%
  • Ashkenazi Jewish went from 0.7% to 0.5%

East Asian and Native American: went from 9.2% to 9.0%

  • Native American went from 8.3% to 8.8%, with strongest evidence of ancestry in Sonora (Mexico)

Sub-Saharan African: went from 2.1% to 2.2%

So that’s kinda cool.

I was actually thinking of getting my mom and myself a kit from Ancestry.com, since that’s what my dad used for his ancestry a while back and then we could all compare each other based on one company’s results. It’d also be curious to see how different Ancestry.com would be from 23andMe as far as the results go.

Anyway.

The Office

AAAAAAAAA I FINALLY HAVE MY OWN OFFICE

LOOK LOOK LOOK

09-03-2019

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Canadian League Baseball: Week 22 Summary

OH GOD FAKEBALL

09-01-2019

That is all.

DJ Earworm: 2009 vs. 2019

Since I started my Decade of Music project back in 2010, I’ve made it a point to have each  year’s December 31st song be that year’s United State of Pop mashup by DJ Earworm (with his 2009 mashup actually being the first song I downloaded in 2010).

Well, almost as if it was meant to line up with my decade-long project, he’s released short (~1:30-minute or so) mashups of ten 2009 songs with ten 2019 songs.

And they are FANTASTIC.

I love this kind of stuff, yo. It activates my happies (and not a lot of things do that these days).

My favorites:

  • Lady Gaga – Pokerface vs Ava Max – Sweet but Psycho
  • Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow vs BTS – Boy with Luv
  • Taylor Swift – Love Story vs Taylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down (these sound so good together!)
  • MGMT – Kids vs Billie Eilish vs Bad Guy
  • Flo Rida – Right Round vs Lil Nas X – Old Town Road
  • Beyonce – Single Ladies vs Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next

F

Life is a constant disappointment.

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Nostalgia Trip 2019

It was like 400 degrees in Moscow today (slight exaggeration), so I decided to walk around the city instead of go on the Moscow/Pullman trail (since there’s no shade and no water and a lot of heat and sun out there).

[Side note: it is quite difficult to walk 15 miles in Moscow. I did have to go on the trail for about three miles because I ran out of places to walk in the city. I could have stayed within city limits, yes, but it would have involved a lot more looping.]

After I’d wandered around the east side of town for a bit (why the hell is Mountain View still lacking a sidewalk that goes all the way from the highway to the pool? MADNESS), I decided to walk through campus. I haven’t walked through campus in quite a while, since any time I walk in Moscow, it’s either on the trail or in the UI rec center (which is still the best rec center at any university, fight me).

I was getting a nice, warm nostalgia bath as I wandered around amongst the buildings I’d spent so much time around/in. But then I went into the Ag Sci building and was hit with the mother of all nostalgia waves.

Lemme ‘splain. Both of my parents worked in the Ag Sci building for the majority of my life. When I was in elementary school and we had a day off for religious reasons or what have you, my mom would bring me into campus and I’d hang out in Ag Sci. I think I sat in on my dad’s classes a few times, too (just coloring in the back of the room, haha).

Once I started going to school at UI, my dorm was literally across the street from the Ag Sci building, so I’d always go visit my parents (particularly my mom) when I was done with classes and headed back to the dorm. I also used the Ag Sci computer lab all the time before they finally shut it down. Heck, I taught statistics in that big auditorium room (the same one my dad always taught in).

In short: I spent a lot of time in that building.

So walking through it today for the first time in quite a while (at least three years, maybe longer) was a super nostalgia trip.  Even just walking down a flight of stairs – holy crap.

Sorry, this blog has absolutely no purpose. I just wanted to mention the nostalgia. I know nobody cares.

The Jeopardy Lectern Effect: Does Order Matter?

[Side note: this is probably something that’s been done many, many times, but I’mma do it anyway ‘cause I’m bored and I have J! Archive.]

We all know Jeopardy!, right? And we all know how it’s played. Three people stand at three lecterns and give the correct questions to answers coming from a few topics of interest.

If you buzz in to give a question and you give the correct question, it’s your turn to select the next answer. That’s how the game progresses through the answers. But at the start of the game, it’s the person in the left-most lectern who gets to choose the first answer.

Here is my question: does this “first to pick an answer” give an advantage to the player in the left-most lectern? More specifically, does the person in the left-most lectern win significantly more games compared to the other players?

We can actually look at this from two different standpoints. Before we do that, let’s just make this a bit easier by calling the left-most lectern (from the viewer’s standpoint) Lectern 1, the middle lectern Lectern 2, and the right-most lectern Lectern 3.

  1. Games where the player in Lectern 1 is a returning champion. If you win a game of Jeopardy!, you get to come back for the next game and you stand at Lectern 1. An argument might be made that returning champions are “stronger players” than the other two people at the other two lecterns, which would thus lead to those in Lectern 1 winning more often than the others. That might be the case, but we also have…
  2. Games where the player in Lectern 1 is not a returning champion. This is not too common anymore due to the unrestricted number of games a person can win, but in older seasons, a person was limited to a maximum of five consecutive winning days. Thus, there were more cases where all three players were “new” to the Jeopardy! Scene. In such cases, an argument could be made that the person at Lectern 1 would have no consistent advantage over the other players apart from the fact that they get to pick the first answer (and from what teh interwebs tell me, the players are seated randomly if there is no returning champion).

So let’s analyze!


Hypotheses

  1. If Lectern 1 is occupied by a returning champion, then a significantly larger proportion of Lectern 1 individuals will win (be in first place at the end of a Jeopardy! game) compared to the other two lecterns.
  2. If Lectern 1 is not occupied by a returning champion, then there will not be a significant difference in the proportion of Lectern 1 individuals who will win (be in first place at the end of a Jeopardy! game) compared to the other two lecterns.
  3. If Lectern 1 is occupied by a returning champion, then they will not earn a significantly larger amount of money compared to the other two lecterns (I think there’s way too much variability with the end monetary result to suspect that Lectern 1’s returning champion will have a significantly larger winning sum than the others).
  4. If Lectern 1 is not occupied by a returning champion, they will not earn a significantly larger amount of money compared to the other two lecterns.

Data Collection and Analyses
I used the massive database that is J! Archive for my data collection. I randomly selected 25 games that had a returning champion at Lectern 1 and another 25 games that did not have a returning champion at Lectern 1. For each game, I recorded the rank of the players for each lectern (who finished first, second, and third) as well as the monetary earnings for each lectern.

For testing hypotheses 1 and 2, I chose to use a two-sample z-test for a difference of proportions. I used my Lectern 1 sample as my “sample 1” and then grouped the Lectern 2 and Lectern 3 samples to treat as my “sample 2.”

For testing hypotheses 3 and 4, I chose to use a two-sample t-test for a difference of means. Again, I used my Lectern 1 sample as my “sample 1” and then grouped the Lectern 2 and Lectern 3 samples to treat as my “sample 2.”

I decided to group Lecterns 2 and 3 together just because I don’t really care about any differences between Lecterns 2 and 3—just the difference between Lectern 1 and the other two lecterns.


Results
Testing hypothesis 1:

08-27-2019-a

Testing hypothesis 2:

08-27-2019-b

Testing hypothesis 3:

08-27-2019-c

Testing hypothesis 4:

08-27-2019-d


Conclusions (using α = 0.05)
Hypothesis 1: Based on the data, we can conclude that the proportion of winners at Lectern 1 is significantly higher than the proportion of winners at the other two lecterns if Lectern 1 is occupied by returning champion.

Hypothesis 2: Based on the data, we can conclude that the proportion of winners at Lectern 1 is not significantly different from the proportion of winners at the other two lecterns if Lectern 1 is occupied by returning champion (more specifically, also, the proportion of winners at Lectern 1 is not significantly higher than the proportion of winners at the other two lecterns.

Hypothesis 3: Based on the data, we can conclude that the average amount of winnings at Lectern 1 is significantly higher than the average amount of winnings at the other two lecterns if Lectern 1 is occupied by a returning champion (this is not what I thought would happen!).

Hypothesis 4: Based on the data, we can conclude that the average amount of winnings at Lectern 1 is not significantly different (more specifically, higher) than the average amount of winnings at the other two lecterns if Lectern 1 is not occupied by a returning champion.


Comments
So this is a relatively small sample, yes, but it supports the idea that the “advantage” of being in Lectern 1 to choose the first answer is not really a thing. Really, the advantage is whether or not you’re a returning champion. If you’re a returning champion, you are probably a pretty strong Jeopardy! player (and maybe good at wagering, too), so you’re probably going to do better than your competitors a decent amount of the time.

Anyway. A larger sample size for this analysis would be an interesting thing to do.

 

So As You All Can Probably Tell, I Really Like Baseball Now

The number of baseball-related posts has been increasing over the past few years, huh? If you’ve known me from high school or college, you know I’m not really into sportsball. Take the Vandal football games, for example. I really didn’t pay attention to the football at all because I didn’t care; I was just there for the marching band experience.

But baseball is different, and I figured I’d take a few minutes to explain why (in case you’re wondering why the hell there are so many baseball posts when I’d really never talked about sports before).

Let’s do it!

My mom used to watch the Braves a lot when I was a young kid (she liked their announcers). I don’t remember too much from my first few elementary school years (apart from coos and other miscellaneous nonsense that doesn’t matter), but it seems like my mom had baseball on every night during the season. I was too young to really understand it (or at least I didn’t seem to care enough to try to understand it past the basic premise), but the sound of a baseball game (and that freaking tomahawk chop chant the Braves fans do) triggers serious nostalgia for me.

Apart from my grandparents being obsessed with Mark McGwire during his steroid home run era and that one year that the Mariners were good, I never really watched much baseball after that. I didn’t know the teams, I didn’t follow who won the world series, I didn’t really even think about it much.

Fast forward a whole bunch to 2015. Nate and I started living together in June of that year. He’d expressed that he liked baseball and I told him I liked it too (even though I was definitely not up on current baseball news/players/etc. and I definitely didn’t have the knowledge of the game that he had). So at some point he decided to get a subscription to MLB TV so that we could watch the Mets (his favorite team).

But it wasn’t really until the 2016 season where I really got into it. I started to know the game better (thanks mostly to Nate, haha). I started to know the players and become invested in them. I got more familiar with the teams, leagues, and the general competition.

Now I love it. I love all the stats. I love all the weird little things that can happen in a baseball game. I love how long the season is and how that means that there are so many opportunities for teams to hit winning or losing streaks. I’ve got, of course, my favorite players.

Plus, it’s something I enjoy watching and discussing with Nate. I can also watch and enjoy it while still having my music blasting on my headphones, so that’s always a plus.

I don’t know. I just really like it. It’s exciting to me.

(Apologies, though, to anyone who reads my blog who doesn’t like baseball, haha.)

Canadian League Baseball: Week 21 Summary

We’re getting down to the end of the season!

08-25-2019

There have been like seven squabbles this past week, haha. Lots of suspensions. But Simulation Robinson Cano got his 300th hit, so that’s neato.

Prof Stoff

Yo there.

[Word doesn’t recognize the word “yo?” What in the actual hell.]

So I found a couple things of interest with respect to teaching that I’d like to post here, both for my own reference later and for anyone else who might be interested.

The first is an article by Dr. Evan Peck, an assistant professor of computer science at Bucknell University. It’s basically a document detailing some things that he’d like his students to know about him as a professor. I really like this idea; it allows the student to see a more personal or “human” side of a prof while also emphasizing important aspects of the teaching process, like the benefit of office hours or letting students know that it’s okay if they’re not immediately experts in the subject being taught.

The other is an article from the American Mathematical Society that talks about why we teach, methods of instruction, and how giving instruction more life and personality (as opposed to being super professional and button-down) can really engage students more and increase enthusiasm for the topic being taught (specifically math in this case).

Super interesting. Give them a read!

Bl

I feel so completely demotivated for like the past half year. I don’t want to do anything and feel like I can’t even concentrate long enough to finish one sentence before getting distracted or trying to find something that will hold my attention.

It sucks and I hate it.

Simp

This is a very interesting analysis of how and why The Simpsons, which actually died somewhere around season 9 or 10, is still so relevant to us through the way we’ve memed the hell out of it.

(Steamed Hams discussion starts at 8:06.)

Seriously, if you enjoy the way the internet seems to just latch on to certain things and make them into Things™, you’ll like this.

August List 2019

SCOOPITY-POOP, IT’S THE AUGUST LIST! Let’s go.

  • This might apply to other departments as well, but I wonder if people in math departments especially are picky about their office numbers. Like, my current office number is 564, which is crappy ‘cause it doesn’t really have a nice meaning behind it. But I just found out that they’re going to move me to 360, which is an awesome office number because a) it’s divisible by 10 and that’s a thing I like, and b) it’s the number of degrees in a circle. Pretty cool. My mailbox number is 144, or the square of 12; I like that, too.
  • I just realized that every time I come back to Moscow, I actually walk more of my miles in Washington than in Idaho.
  • There are a few topics about which I have some very strong opinions, but I’m afraid to voice them because of what my friends (all two of them) might think. Does anyone else feel that way about certain opinions of theirs? Don’t worry, I’m not a closet racist or misogynist or Trump supporter or anything like that. I just have a few opinions on some relatively minor things that I don’t think my friends would agree with.
  • This is the hardest time of the year for me because I get this overwhelming urge to go back to school (“school” meaning “undergrad”). Even though I’ve been teaching for several years now, that does not diminish the “LET’S GO BACK TO SCHOOL” drive. ‘Tis a problem.
  • This music video is really well done. I didn’t think too much of it at first but now I really like it.