Thursday, December 13, 2007

Four to Nine Years

Well the semester is finally over. I am not 100% sure but I believe I have A's (to see the list of classes look at this post).

Enough about that though since really there isn't too much I can say that is interesting enough for me to type. A few days ago I attended an information session for my school's MSF (Masters of Science in Finance) program. Even though I am an undergraduate student I am able to apply for their Combined Degree program, and would be able to obtain the MSF degree in 2010, when I would normally graduate. The application process doesn't look too difficult or complicated; all you have to do is get at least a 650 on the GMAT, a B+ or better in FIN3403, and submit a statement of purpose. Now I don't know how hard the GMAT is but after reading what kind of skills it "test" it sounds just like the SAT, so I should be fine if I buy a study guide or 2. Even though I haven't taken FIN 3403 the speaker said that it would be alright as long as I was taking it the semester I submitted my application. However, after reading the section on quantitative analytics from a book they handed out, I was not sure whether it would be worth my time to get the MSF or wait and get a MMF (Masters of Science in Mathematical Finance), an equivalent degree in Financial Engineering, or a PhD in Financial Mathematics/Applied Mathematics/Operations Research. The reason is that after looking at the course offerings and descriptions for the MSF program it sounded like they were more interested in the financial side and less on the applied math side. Just to make sure though I am planning on making an appointment to speak with the program head and voice my concerns.

So far I have a list of schools I am considering for graduate school. Here they are broken down based on the degree I would be pursuing.
MMF/Financial Engineering: Chicago, Stanford
PhD in Pure Mathematics: Chicago, Stanford
PhD in Applied Mathematics: Cal Tech., Carnegie Mellon, Chicago, Duke, Georgia Tech., Stanford
PhD in Financial Mathematics/Operations Research: Carnegie Mellon, Cornell
I am sure that this list will change some as I get closer to graduation and talk to more faculty members about what programs would best meet my needs.

Monday, December 10, 2007

To Clarify A Question on Limits

Today I went to my advanced calculus professor's office hours. I didn't really have any questions but I knew that other people would be there so maybe one of them would ask a question I had failed to think of myself. Sadly this did not happen, however, one person did ask a question for which I was able to think of two different solutions.

Let be the set of limit points of a set Prove that is closed. The proof the professor gave assumed knowledge of convergent sequences. This is actually the simplest proof I have seen, so it will now be the one documented in this post.


My proof: Consider the set and a point So clearly is not a limit point of thus there is a neighborhood of which contains only finitely many points of Now if this neighborhood contained any point then there is a neighborhood of such that it is a subset of the neighborhood of But then since is a limit point of every one of it's neighborhoods contains infinitely many points of which contradicts the facts that the neighborhood of only has a finite number of points from . Therefore this neighborhood of is a subset of thus making it an open set. At this point we are done.

Now that wasn't too bad. I think this is the proof that Rudin was looking for since this problem was asked before the introduction of sequences. Just a side note, if you replace "finitely many" with "no" in the above proof then you will run into some issues. Just consider , then , so just choose and you see where the problem arises.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Short Thanks For LaTex Help

Well I have finally found a solution to my "Blogger needs LaTex compatibility" problem. For those of you who have a similar problem just follow this link and read the directions. Honestly it takes less thank 5 minuets to set up.

If is an odd prime, and are relatively prime to then

If is a polynomial then

Isn't it just beautiful. :D

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Change of Interest

Recently I have been somewhat distracted. Not distracted in the normal sense of the word, it's just that I have been adsorbed in different things. Until recently I used to be all about Analysis and Putnam preparation. However, now I am quite determined to become better at coding. Currently I am only working in C++ since it was the first language I learned and decided that I should become somewhat efficient with it before learning others. If things go as planned I should start learning Java by the beginning of my junior year. So far I understand the basics; loops, cases/switches, variable types, and functions, mainly I need to learn more about what the various libraries have to offer and how to best use them. A few days ago I was introduced to the algorithm library, and needless to say this saved me a lot of coding. Now instead of having to write a function to sort the elements of a list/vector/array I can just use the sort function and then move on the more important things. Also looked through the vector library and found some useful functions there, but have not needed to use them as often as the ones in the algorithm library.
To get practice I have been doing problems at SPOJ, my only problem with the site is the insane number of test cases they require your code to run, usually around 20000 or more. So even if your code runs perfectly it might not pass because of the time limit constraint. When this happens I just move on to the next problem and might one day come back and attempt to find a solution with better time complexity (faster algorithm in short). Even though not much "high level" mathematics is involved it is a great place to get practice with problem solving since there is usually an obvious (usually brute force) solution but you try to find one that is more efficient. Kind of like finding the elegant solution to a problem. Another site with good problems is Project Euler, even though their problems are geared towards the mathematically enticed programmer.
Don't get me wrong I am still preparing for the Putnam; currently reading Problem Solving Through Problems (notice how it is no longer under my books I wish to own section). The book is better than all they hype. Sure there are no solutions but if you actually read the sections then there is no real need for one, even though there will be the occasional problem that is just beyond your immediate grasp. Honestly I wish I had purchased this book sooner.
Here is what I will be taking during the spring '08 semester:

Advanced Calculus 2 (MAA 4212) - MWF
Abstract Algebra (MAS 4301) - MWF
Beginning French 2 (FRE 1131) - MTWRF
Managerial Economics (ECP 3703) - Online

Apart from classes I plan to continue with my coding en devours, as well as read a textbook called "Mathematical Economics and Finance". Still debating with the prospect of taking more differential equations classes, so I might go and review my notes from Elementary Differential Equations and actually read the book or buy an actual differential equations book geared for the "mathematically gifted".

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Putnam - 2

Well as promised here is my next Putnam problem post. Luckily I had the dilemma of choosing between two questions. Both questions came from the 1988 exam, A2 and A6. In the end I decided to post problem A6 with a solution and post problem A2 and with proof for another day.



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Putnam - 1

Well I have been spending between half an hour and one hour every day solving Putnam problems. Actually I should say attempting to solve Putnam problems, but it is the same concept I suppose.

Here is the most recent problem I have been able to solve on my own.


Overall I would say that it took me a little over an hour to come up with this solution. I have looked at other solutions and have yet to find one like mine which kind of makes me feel proud. It should be noted that in the following proof I leave out showing that the sum does in fact converge absolutely, something I would have done if under actually testing conditions.


Well the next time I manage to actually solve a problem that I think is worth posting I shall do so. Hopefully that won't be too far away.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Faces Without Names

It happens to everyone at least once in their life. They are at an event with a friend and then they are suddenly introduced to a large group of new people. You honestly know that there is no way in hell you will remember everyone's names but you pretend to do so. Then after five minutes or so you realize that the only names you remember are those of the last person to be introduced and the member of the group you found most attractive. At the end of the evening when everyone is heading home you think to yourself, "Thank God, there is a chance that I will never see them again , and thus not embarrass myself by not remembering their names."
Well just when you thought the worst was over you run into at least one of the group members in public, and you are not with your friend. Damn they spotted you. Your mind races trying to remember their name, but with no success you resort to saying something along the lines of "Hey how are you?" and skillfully conduct the conversation in a way that lets you avoid using their name.

Well things like this happened to me a few weeks ago. While I was walking from my dorm to flag football practice I ran into someone who knew me. Now since I didn't recognize his face I was almost certain that we had never actually formally met. Well as it turns out we were both members of MAO in high school and he recognized me from there. Needless to say I had no idea who he was because he was not on stage often if at all. After talking to him I got to thinking about just how many people know me because of MAO. I'm fine with it if I am actually friends with the person now and talk to them on a semi-regular basis but it just scares me a little if I don't really know the person.

Classes are going alright so far. French is a lot of work, I am really beginning to wish that I had just taken either Spanish or Portuguese. Learning vocabulary is just taking up way too much time. It is becoming difficult to find time to work on programming or relearning Linear Algebra and Elementary Differential Equations. At least I still have the weekends. Putnam practices start tomorrow [a little late in my opinion but not much I can do about it, so I started my studying a while ago] and it should be interesting to see who will be there. Hopefully it will be more structured that it was last year where the professor really didn't have a plan for what material would be covered at what time. I would really like if my Number Theory teacher ran the practices since he is very enthusiastic and seems to communicate better with students. Sadly however, he is very busy so it is going to be extremely unlikely that he will be running the practices this year. Maybe next year will be different...or so I hope.

As things are now I am still uncertain about what I really want to do over the summer. If I have the choice to choose between attending and REU or and Actuarial Internship (and I hope I have to make this choice later in the year) I am not sure which I would choose. Really I suppose it comes down to which company/companies offer me internships and which REU(s) I get accepted for participation. In terms of internships I only have a list of two companies I would really like to work for, one is a consulting company and the other I like because of its location (yes there are other reasons for liking this company). In terms of REUs I would like to do one in any of the following fields (in order of preference); financial mathematics, stochastic processes and probability, differential equations, and number theory.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

True Tolerance

I am not aware of how many of you actually watched the Emmy Awards, I surely didn't, but there seems to be some big story about Kathy Griffin and a Jesus remark. Before I continue I would like to warn you that some people might be offended by what they read and should continue with caution and an open mind.
After seeing the story headline on various sites I finally decided that it might just be worth my time to read one of the reports. At this time I was at Yahoo so I clicked on the "Griffin in trouble over 'offensive' remarks" link. For those of you that were too lazy, or were just so adsorbed in my post that you neglected to click on the link and read the article for yourself, you are probably wondering, "What could she possibly have said?" I know because that is exactly what I was thinking after seeing the headline millions of times. Well here it is;

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus, suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."
If it is not totally obvious from the quote, and it should be, this is what she said when she accepted her Emmy. Now I am sure that opinons on this comment are very polar, and it is easy to understand why. On one side you have the people who are either indifferent and/or find it funny, then you have the die hard "Christians" who are outraged.
Personally I fall into the former group. I am not sure if this is because of my sense of humor, failing sense of religion, or realizing that there are better things to get enraged about. Sure I'll admit that I do find it funny and you know why because it is true. Just about every time you see someone win one of these awards they go up to the stage and when they open their mouth they just regurgitate typical, "Oh my gosh I never expected to win this...this is one of the best moments of my life...I would like to thank;(insert names of produces, directors, family members) and most of all God..." I for one am just plain sick of this verbal vomit. We all know that they had that speech, and a rather poor one at that, when they learned that they were nominated. As for those who chose not to prepare a speech and honestly wing it, I say it is even worse because it not only shows a lack of preparation but also an astonishing lack of originality.
It should be noted that I am not saying that her method for breaking the mold to go was the right way, but hell it did the trick and managed to piss off some people at the same time. The same people who are always pushing for tolerance. Sure her comment wasn't tolerant towards most steadfast Christians but who are they to judge her and not be open to tolerating her opinion?
This reminds me of the MTV incident with Kanye West that occurred after Hurricane Katrina when he said, "George Bush hates black people." Now yes this story did get a lot of coverage but I don't remember reading about large groups of people that were upset with him, or even being outraged by the media's constant replaying of the clip with out edits. Whereas Kathy Griffin's Jesus remark will be edited out of just about every future television broadcast of the Emmy Awards.
Now this might just be me but shouldn't we be a little more concerned when a well known media icon, who's words reach many different audiences, claims that the leader of our country "hates black people", than we should be when some comedian, who makes a living by getting under people's skin, says "suck it, Jesus"?
I wonder what kind of response she would have gotten if she had instead said, "suck it, ____", where the blank is filled with one of the persons she beat in order to win the award, or even some other religious figure such as Muhammad, Buddha, or Abraham. These are the kind of things that make me wonder just how tolerant our society is, and if we are "tolerant" because it is what we truthfully believe or if it is because if we are not perceived to be tolerant we wil be looked down on by the rest of society.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Dawn of the First Real Week Back

Now that the first real week of school has come to a close I new have a better gage of exactly what I am in for this semester. Some classes seem as if they are going to be a little easier than first anticipated, while others are going to be just as much work.

To begin with it French looks as if it is going to be easier than I thought. This does not mean that I won't put in as much time, it just means that my A will be even higher.
Wildlife Issues is alright I'm still not sure if I absolutely need to buy the $70 course packet since he did not make it seem like it was required.
Number Theory and E.E.C. is still a toss up because no one has the book yet. This is bad planning on the professor's part because he did not tell us what book we would be using until the first day of class, and it turned out that Amazon was sold out. So it will be at least another two weeks until everyone has their books.

Well in French I randomly met this girl who went to the same high school as me. One day she walked into class and I thought to myself, "wow she looks really familiar, have I seen her before?" We look at each other for a second before she says, "Did you go to...?" Well it turns out that we were most likely in the same Spanish 3 class my junior, her sophomore, year of high school. Then through her I met another girl who went to school in the same county as us but a different high school.
In Wildlife I have met one new girl. She's a first year student majoring in Finance. Seems like a nice person and on top of that she's really cute. Yeah yeah I know, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but really who wants to sleep with a book. No really I've talked to her and she's really cool.
In Number Theory and E.C.C. I really only know one person personally, and she is the person who talked me into signing up for the class to begin with. Most of the other people I either recognize their faces or know of them because I have heard their names often in the past.
Advanced Calculus on the other hand I am surprised at the number of people I know in there. At least three of the students were in my Linear Algebra class last summer and then there are people I know either from Pi Mu Epsilon or Nu Alpha Theta.

AASA (Asian American Student Association) had a presentation last Friday. All of the performances were spectacular. Sadly many of my friends were in the show and I was not able to tell mainly because I did not have seats that allowed me to clearly see their faces. I can't wait for the next general AASA event.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

First Week Predictions

What follows are my predictions about each of my classes.

French 1: Learning a new language should be fun. There are only a few foreseeable problems that I believe this class will give me. One is learning the new pronunciations and not confusing them with Spanish pronunciations. Also spelling will be a major problem early on because some words have letters that are not pronounced, which will take a lot of getting used to.

Wildlife Issues: Seems like it will be an easy class if I keep up to date with the work or just work with others since all the assignments are online it seems.

Number Theory and Elliptic Curve Cryptography: Lots of work considering that I did not take the Elementary Number Theory class in the spring. Professor is really cool and the topic is interesting.

Advanced Calculus 1: Working through Rudin so that right there lets you know that it isn't going to be a walk in the park. On the first day of class we got the "...this class is where some of you will start to hate math..." speech. I have already worked through the first and a majority of the second chapters on my own and have been frustrated at time but not to the extent of ever wanting to quit math.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On to a New Year

Yesterday was my last day of official summer classes. All that remains is for me to get back my test and pack.
As far as I can remember this is one of my best and most enjoyable summers ever. This is however, not saying that it didn't have its low points because that would just be foolish to assume. The first few weeks were easily the least interesting since I had not started working at Buchholz and my linear algebra class was going over material I was already familiar with. Since I am currently not feeling very creative I think that I will just give general overviews of each aspect of this summer, and hope that I do not leave out anything important.

WORK:
Started working with the pre-calculus group at Buchholz around June 4th. It was obvious from working with them and seeing their past performance at competitions that they were the strongest group. This made the job more interesting since whenever they had a question I was sure that I was going to be one of the more difficult questions on the test we were reviewing. I'll admit that there were times when we would get to a problem that I did not know how to do so we would either talk through it or look at the solutions. There would also be a questions to which I would know one method of solving, but my method would be very inefficient and banked on the hope that you had at least five minutes to dedicate to the problem. Working there was in some ways a break from the usual theorem-proof format I have grown to love. Another plus was that I got to solve problems that did not assume knowledge of calculus. So I had to rely on other tools, such as trigonometry, geometry, basic formula manipulation, and some basic knowledge of sequences. Just in case you were not aware Buchholz places first at the National Mu Alpha Theta convention in Tampa, Florida. Yes that is right, they beat Vestavia Hills. The Theta, Alpha, and Calculus teams all places first in their respective divisions, so they pretty much mopped the floor with Vestavia.
Of all the sections I feel that this is the best place to insert the information about my studying for the P/1 actuary exam. I am feeling pretty confident that I will pass. I have taken numerous practice exams and done other online problems. Of all the practice exams the lowest score I have ever gotten was a 20/30, where I usually average around 24-25/30 correct answers. There are just a few topics that I am not very familiar with but they almost never show up, this is not to say however, that I will not at least look them over before the actual exam. A few days ago I was going to watch the review DVD that I have but unfortunately the DVD player software on my computer is not working properly. It displays the images but it refuses to play any audio which is just slightly important. Well I am going to watch the DVDs during my week between summer and fall.

CLASS:
When I started this class I was not entirely sure how difficult it would be, since I had many conflicting reports. Some would say it was "a joke" while others would swear that it was the most difficult class that they have ever taken. I was pretty sure that I would agree with those that were saying the class was a joke because I knew the kind of mathematical background they had and knew that it was very similar to my own. However, I was not going to make any assumptions too early on because I did not want to pay the consequences if I happened to be wrong (yeah I know me being wrong, it's almost laughable). After the first few weeks I came to the conclusion that this was in fact going to be an easy class. Now just because I found it to be easy does not mean that I did not learn a lot. When I say easy I mean that the class moved at a rate that allowed me to work ahead and cover additional topics that were either glossed over or skipped entirely in class. Each person's grade in the class consisted of three exams, homework, and classwork. Homework and classwork are pretty self explanatory so I will not bother talking about them. Each of the exams had the same structure; a true/false section, 2-3 application problems, and then the rest would be recreation of proofs. Now for those of you that know me, I HATE recreation of proofs since it does not show that the student actually understands the material, but rather has a good memory. There are however, some cases where proof recreation is important, and this is when you are asked to recreate the proof an important/"classical" theorem. So I would have rather the proofs on the test have been things we had not ever seen before but would be able to tackle using what we already knew. O well I guess this is asking just a little too much for this class since even with the recreation people were still having problems.
Hopefully, the other upper level undergraduate classes will not give me this same feeling of dissatisfaction with the test. Well I only plan to take three more undergraduate math classes; the other eight or nine will be graduate classes. Needless to say I got an A in this class. Even though it was easy I didn't realize just how much I had learned until I started answering questions from other students on the Art of Problems Solving forum.
For those of you that plan to take this class (MAS 4105) pay special attention to the chapters on diagonalization, linear transformations, and inner products. Personally I found these to be the most important chapters in my understanding of linear algebra. Not to down play the importance of the other chapters, you should by no means disregard them since you need them to build the theories used in the mentioned chapters, but in comparison I found them to be more "small details" necessary for a fuller understanding.

SOCIAL:
Well I played more pool that I thought possible. Yet due to the inconsistent nature of my playing I never seemed able to get noticeably better and stay that way. Regardless playing was always fun. Then there were the seven or so weeks that Ann was here; we pretty much watched a different movie every week...now weather we were watching legal copies or not is another thing, and shall be left for discussion in a different post. PARTIES! No more needs to be said for fair of what information might get to who. Spent a lot of time hanging out with Nancy, JP, Mike, and others who I didn't get the opportunity to hang out with as much during the regular school year. Just in case any of you out there are drinkers of that lame thing called whole milk I am sorry but your beliefs are wrong. You need to turn away from the red cap and come to the light, preferably the side of the green cap but any other color is fine. Actually any color that is not associated with skim or soy milk. Trina finally turned 19 and I still need to buy her a present so if any of you have any suggestion please let me know as soon as possible, thanks. Also I feel that under this section I should place a big WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING AT THE TIME!?! (if you have any idea what this is about then the chances are that you are correct)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Liquids Control My Life

A few days ago I was browsing around Yahoo.com and saw the most outrageous story. Before I start please sit down and try not to laugh too hard. The article headline read "The Most Expensive Bottled Water". Now when I saw this I was expecting to see around $10 per bottle. Astonishingly I was no where close. The actual price for the most expensive bottled water was about $55 per bottle. Now honestly how do you convince people to buy this? I don't remember the product name or the name of the company that made that specific "drink" but luckily there were others on the list. One of the more memorable brands on the list of outlandishly priced water was Bling H2O. Here is a link to their product homepage, BlingH2O. If you happened to click on the "Buy Now" link at the bottom of the page you should see some bottles with their respective prices. Now don't worry if you can't afford to buy the $552.20 limited edition, I am sure that the $20-40 variants will be just as satisfying. Hell it might even be the same as the $1 20oz. bottles that you can buy at just about any vending machine.
If you can manage to find the article on yahoo or with any search engine, you will notice that they sell almost exclusively to celebrities and people in Los Angeles. Just thought that I would put that out there. Exactly what I needed, another reason I would rather live in Chicago or New York, instead of California.
If you are not thinking that it is sad that people are willing to spend $20+ on bottled water, most of that money is really going towards paying for the bottle, then there is something wrong with you. Lets put things into perspective a little. You hear "$20+ for a bottle of water" and you think so what. Now if someone told you that you would have to pay $4 for a gallon of gas, you gather the towns people and march on city hall. Interesting isn't it. Unless things have drastically changes I think that water is just a little, not much actually, more important to sustaining life than gasoline was and ever will be any time soon. So unless you havea master plan to get America free oil then I suggest that you save that $552.20 and either put it towards an iPhone, a PS3, or buying gasoline and a Brita filter.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Second Place is Just a Fancy Phrase for Losing...

It's always depressing when you realize that everyone is better than you at something. I'm not referring to something in a general sense since I know exactly what that something is. Writing.
I read my friend's blogs (most of which are not hosted by Google) and am almost always envious of their writing abilities.

It is obvious that society is always telling us that we should not be envious others but rather we are to be grateful for our own abilities. This belief has been force fed to us not only by religion and our parents, but is also a prevalent motif in many movies and television shows. Sure it is easy to believe that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, quite the pessimistic view in my opinion, but what if the grass actually is greener? Would you willingly give up any opportunity for "advancement"? NO WAY! If you think about it this way then isn't the "driving fore" for ambition envy? When you stop and look at it from this point of view, you begin to wonder why people are often rewarded for being ambitious, and are ridiculed behind closed doors by their peers for showing envy? Even with all things taken into consideration when given the opportunity our ambition(s) will almost get the better of us. Now I know that some people might disagree that ambition is a byproduct of envy. To you I say, "Why do you strive to achieve your goals?". Sure you might say that you want a better life for your family, to make someone proud, or even something as simple as to make more money. Obviously these are not all possible answers, they just happen to be the ones that are most often given when I ask people this question. For those that want a better life for their family this is clearly a simple case of greener grass. When you were growing up you could always find family that was "better off" than yours and you made them the benchmark for how you want your family to live when you have one. Now this might have been unintentionally but the fact remains that you had your envious moment.
This is why I'm not scared to admit that there are people whom I envy and strive to be better than. When I use better than I don't mean as in a better person, but better at some craft. In the case of this post it happens to be writing.

Even though it was made quite clear to me early on that I will never consider my writing even worthy of being sited in their works, I continue to try and improve. No matter how small the steps are I know that they are steps in the "right direction" and I am satisfied with this to some extent. This desire to be the best at something is what has made my math abilities what they are today. During my freshman year there was a girl competing in a higher division and she would perform quite well on a regular basis. It was near the end of that year that I told myself that I would do as least as well as she did when I got to that division. Sadly I was not able to accomplish this goal. However, my hard work did pay off because the following year I performed much better than she had in that division. By senior year we were teammates which had been something I had looked forward to since freshman year. Well the majority of the year I did better than her but there were times when she beat me. It was these "defeats" that drove me to become better. After reading that you might think that I'm just a jerk who wants to be better than his teammates. Unfortunately, your assumption would not be totally incorrect. I do want to be the best, plain and simple. Basically second place is just a nice way of saying, "of all the people who didn't win, you did the best". Yes quite the perfectionist statement, and no I don't live my life by this mentality. But thanks to the person mentioned earlier I was able to develop a great appreciation for the beauty of mathematics.

When it comes down to it envy can be put towards "good" or "bad" uses. Through our actions we will either be perceived as the jealous self centered conceited jerk or the motivated team player that is loved by all. At the end of the day all that matters is if you will be able to live with the decision you have just made.

To conclude things on a lighter note. I was watching television today and when asked why he cheated in a relationship the man simply responded with, "Competition.If she knows that there are other women then they will try harder to out do the competitors. It's simple economics really. If capitalism can work for the American economy then why shouldn't it also work for my love life?" I only wish I was there to see his girlfriend/fiancée/wife kill him after hearing that excuse.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Don't Give a Damn? Well You Should

Clearly something isn't right. First off I am creating a post at 12:16am, just in case you didn't notice most of my post tend to be between 8pm and 10pm. Secondly my room is actually relatively clean but for some reason I have an irresistible urge to clean.

Everyone has moments in life where everything all comes together or is a pivotal turning point. After speaking with someone who is luckily enough to realize the moment before it is gone. I think this is just what they needed to help them get their life more organized.

During our conversation I began to reminisce of when I used to volunteer just about every weekend. From 8th grade till I graduated high school I would volunteer at the library every Saturday (well the Saturdays that I didn't have MAO or soccer). At the time it didn't seem like I was doing too much; basically I would help clean the kids area, help get books back into circulation, and occasionally help with the computers. The time there usually tended to be the most relaxing part of my weekend. The work environment was very casual, I didn't even know my supervisor's sir name until I needed her to sign some forms for me during my senior year. Also I had some time away from my family so I would have quiet time to think about whatever I chose to during my break. Finding a quiet place in a house with six people is just near impossible. It was not until end of junior year/beginning of senior year that I realized just how much I was appreciated by the library staff. Now that I think about it I am kind of oblivious to how much I mean to people. Recently, well about a month ago, I knew that I was good friends with someone but it wasn't until I read their birthday card that I was made aware of just how much I meant to them and visa-versa.


I know that I have gone way off topic but that doesn't matter. The main point is that after talking to them it made me realize even more just how lucky I am. My parents made it so that I never really had to worry about money while I was growing up (sure I never had an allowance but I did have a bank account...that wasn't accessible). Then you look at kids who have to work and you wish that there was some way you could help them. In my experience kids that work while in high school (during the school year) can be partitioned into two groups. Now I know some of you might disagree but o well. There are those that work because they have to in order to help provide for their family, and then there are those who are doing it just so that they can have money that they can spend with out mom and dad knowing. The ones that work out of a need make me thankful for the lifestyle my parents have allowed me to live. The latter just bother me for some a variety of reason, but I'm not going to get into it here. However, I will say that they need to get their priorities in the right order.





If you don't get it yet then let me spell it out. The car above (Ferrari Enzo) is something I would like to own one day but I know it will not make my life any better or me any happier.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Happy Hour Has Been Extended to Happy Week

This has been one of the best weeks I have had for some time. Possibly one of the best weeks in my entire life.

Finally started working at Buchholz. Their summer practices are much different than the ones they held in the spring. I wish that I had been there in the fall just to see what they did then. Back to the topic; for some reason I was surprised at just how "structured" their summer practices were. Really I should have expected this since I was there in the spring and got a feel of how they operated. After seeing just how serious they were with practice (but they still manage to have fun) it is clear why they are the best Mu Alpha Theta team in Florida. Chiles "practices" were fun but very rarely would any productive work be done. Looking back at it now makes me wonder just exactly how did we manage to become any good. Anyway, back to Buchholz. I work with the precalculus group. I almost never have to explain how to do a problem. Great group of kids, unlike some practices for Chiles, if there is a problem they don't understand they aren't afraid to say so and ask for an explanation, instead of just hoping they will never see any problems like that ever again.

Well my friend came back from her trip to the Bahamas. So I had another person to talk to online while I procrastinated. Well after talking to her about her vacation for a while I put her back to "use". Ok that doesn't sound to nice so let me elaborate. She the person I usually go to when I have to make major nonacademic decisions. Even if the advice isn't always helpful it will at least give me a new way to look at the situation. But I would like to thank he for helping me with the last thing I asked her.

June 7, 2007. You have no idea how hard it was for me to say that. Mainly the last part, but am glad I did.

Friday was crazy. First off I had an insanely easy Linear Algebra exam. I am expecting either somewhere between 78 and 80 point out of the possible 80. Then my assistance was needed at Buchholz so headed out there. Upon my arrival I found a pleasant surprise, BRENT HO! Sadly, we couldn't ever decide upon a song for our "spontaneous" outbreak of song and dance. Later in the day Trina and I played pool before Ryan, Jeremy, and Jarred arrived. The usual "what should we do now?" conversation ensued and lasted about an hour. Eventually we headed back to Jeremy and Jarred's apartment and played some games and watched White Noise. I got back home around 4:10a.m. at which time I stumbled into bed and forced myself to sleep.

Four hours and five minuets later I was awaken by my alarm. Laid awake in my bed for about ten minuets before reaching for my phone. Well I woke up the person on the receiving end, which was alright because they were expecting me to wake them up that way. Spent the next 57 minuets talking to them (don't ask me how since to me it seemed like thirty minuets max). About an hour later I realized that my phone had not been charged for some time and that recent call almost killed my battery...whoops.

Well off to bed, parents are going to be here to pick up some stuff early (6am early) tomorrow morning.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

An Empty World

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had not met some of your closest friends? Well personally I try to avoid thinking about this because I realize if I had not met them then I would have found someone else to "replace" them. However, I do sometimes think about what I would do if one of my close friends were to no longer be part of my life. Well I'm going to experience something like that in the near future. Two of my closest friends are going to on "vacation" for some time. Actually, they won't be gone that long but to me it will seem like forever since I literally talk to then every day. I guess I could call them but I would find it hard to actually do since I for some reason would feel like I was interrupting their fun. Later on I should discuss this with them before they leave.

Recently I have been having dreams, the kind you have when you fall asleep. So far most of them have been quite dull and only worth sharing with one person. Then there are those that would make interesting movies and/or books. Even these I only share with that one person, and I am sure that they know not to openly share them with others. Really none of these dreams are personal in the slightest but I still would rather not talk about them.

I start working Monday, and am quite anxious to start. If you know what the job is then you should be able to understand why I feel this way. For those of you that really have no idea what I am talking about then there is probably a very good reason you do no know, but if you feel as if you should know then just ask me and I will fill you in depending on whether or not I judge you to be knowledge worthy.

From my last post one of my friends pointed out that for some reason I used more stream of consciousness that I usually had in the past. Odd but after comparing it to some older post I realized that they were right. Heck even this post is like that in a similar sense.

Well I have to get back to studying.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today...WTF!

Well woke up around 7:00am and just laid in bed till 9am or 10am. Returned a missed phone call from the previous night. I am not really at liberty to disclose many of the details but I will say that it and eye opener in some respects. After having breakfast (well I guess brunch would be the accurate title but I always just call my first meal of the day breakfast unless it comes after 2:00pm) I checked the answers to the problem set I had done the previous day. Gladly not too many questions were missed and of those I missed many were because of stupid division or subtraction mistakes. There was the occasional question where I had no idea how to proceed so I need to go back and try solving them again to make sure that I understand what is going on. Not too much excitement took place for the next few hours. Around 12:30pm I started to get hungry, but sadly realized that there really wasn't any food in the apartment. Really I had food but I didn't have anything that I was excited about eating. I ended up walking to Publix, which is only about ten minuets away. Once I got back I decided to cook the raw meat right away; mainly because there wasn't enough space in the refrigerator. While cooking I turned on the television and went thought my usual channel check. It turned out that Comedy Central was playing Office Space, since I have only heard good things about this movie I decided it would be worth while to watch.
Overall today was no to interesting or fulfilling after that "early" morning phone conversation.
After typing that I got to thinking about my phone usage. I don't really call that many people. Even when I call home I for some reason choose to call my sister before resorting to calling the house phone. Then the person whom I call the most isn't the person who I spend the most time on the phone with, and I find this strange for some reason. Normally when I am on the phone I usually have a reason for calling the person and try to get to that reason as soon as possible. There is however, one person who I speak to and somehow manage to have interesting and sometimes pointless conversations (average length of 20min). We usually only call each other about once or twice every two months. I know you might be saying this is why we talk for so long but that's not why. We talk almost regularly online thanks to various instant messaging providers.
I don't know but for some reason I feel stressed and angry. I have no reason to be stressed really. There are no projects or assignments I have not done nor are there any imminent appointments which I must attend. Actually my life is pretty dull and predictable right now, and for some reason this is causing me to stress. Now the "anger problem" I can identify where it comes from but I can't actually explain why it makes me mad. One source is the cable news stations. I guess it's because every time I tune in it is either something on the war or about some celebrity. Really, is there nothing going on in this country that is more important than the 10 people that were killed in the last few days and Lindsey Lohan's possible DUI charges? Another thing that makes me mentally scream is the lack of creativity in naming new products. Take for instance this new software that Facebook uses called "iLike" or Google's personalized homepage which is called "iGoogle". Now I am not a big fan of Apple but I can imagine that they are not too happy about this. I have no problem with Apple doing this for all of their music products since they are the one that came up with the theme, but other people just mimicking this naming style just makes me sick. Why would you name your product in such a manner so that when people use it they either assume you are affiliated with Apple or they think of other Apple products? I am not saying that I am the best person for naming new products but I am pretty sure I can do a better job than "i____". Really Google come on you have been pretty good at naming products in the past (Gmail, GoogleTalk, Orkut) why resort to iGoogle? Here is an "original" idea, how about making iGoogle GMatrix (of G-Ray). I'm pretty sure that people know what an array is. If you (the reader) doesn't then let me explain in a layman's terms. An array is something computer programmers use to store and receive information from. Basically this is what iGoogle is used for. Basically you choose what applications you want and they each present you with a different bit of information. [A matrix is basically an array if you were wondering]

Thursday, May 24, 2007

...And Tomorrow I Rest

So I just realized that I need to really work on my basic math. I was working through a probability text book and missed a few problems, not because I did not understand the material but rather because I had made a stupid subtraction error. This mostly happens when I have to evaluate definite integrals. Really I don't have a problem with integrals (I find integration more interesting than differentiation but that is not the point), I just do not like having to actually plug in the limits to evaluate them. The main reason is because I sometimes make a mistake with the subtraction and this throws off the whole answer. Really I guess I just need to be more observant.
I finished reading and working through the book "Probability for Risk Management" a few days ago. In my personal opinion it is a good introductory book since the problems are not all that difficult and the authors do an excellent job at explaining the material. The hardest part for me was having to just accept some of the formulas on faith. I have just gotten accustomed to reading math books a theorem is stated and in the ensuing lines there is a proof. However, even though they did not provide proofs for every formula they did site other works where one might learn more about the particular topic and most likely find a proof.
Currently I am working through the 2005 ACTEX study manual. The first four sections were basically review for me since they covered some set theory and counting principles. The set theory stuff was mostly intuitive while the counting stuff was easy since I have been doing it since junior year of high school (and the problems I encounter then were much harder than the ones in the book). I did however, manage to get to challenging material. I even looked at a few of the practice exam problems to get a hint of exactly what I am in for. I think that was the biggest reality shock/ego killer I have had this year. Looking back on it I am relieved that I did that, so now I know just how much of a joke the exam isn't.
Linear is going smoothly. Honestly I don't see why people are always telling me it is so horrible. We just finished chapter 1 in class and none of the material was really taxing. I am about half way through chapter 2 and still nothing too bad. Right now I am contemplating if I should actually even take the number theory class in the fall. If I don't I will take Advanced Calculus 1 instead. I have arguments for whether or not I should take either class. However, there is no way I will take them both because one alone will be enough work since I have not taken the Intro. Number Theory class and from a reliable source and a few professors the Adv. Calc. is hard and time consuming. O well I am sure I will think of something by the time I need to make a decision.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Busy Body...

The one week break between the spring and summer semesters was amazing. I'm not going to go into exactly what I did because that is not the purpose of this post (if you really want to know then ask me on AIM or GoogleTalk). However, I will say that both Fridays were amazing.
This summer I am only taking one class (Linear Algebra). Even though this might seem like a light load I will not have too much free time since I will also be studying for my first actuary exam. It is recommended that you spend 100 hours studying for every hour of the exam (the one I will be taking is 3 hours and in August). Sure this might seem like unnecessary amounts of studying but if you knew just how hard these exams are then you would understand. Also I start working with some high school kids on June 4th.
So far the studying for the actuary exam is going alright. I am currently working through Probability for Risk Management by Hassett and Stewart. I am working at a rate of one or two chapters per day for Monday thru Friday and then spend the weekends to review what I covered that week. Currently I have finished six chapters. The only problem I have is matching the formula for the variance with each probability distribution. I can easily derive most of the formulas but during the exam I would not want to waste time doing this. Chapter 7 starts talking about continuous random variables so instead of starting this I think I'll spend Friday and the weekend going back over the first 6 chapters. So far most of the material is familiar from AP Statistics and probability problems from math contest so I have not run into much completely new material. If all goes as planned, during June, July, and August I shall be working through a study book or two and taking practice exams from the internet, hopefully I will be prepared in time.
In regards to the class I am taking; I have heard mixed reviews from past students. Most of them say that it is hard and almost made them hate math. However, others [who I would say have a mathematical background similar to my own] have claimed that the class was not that bad. So far it looks as if the class will be manageable if I try to stay about a section or two ahead of the class.
Well time to get back to work.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Academic Portion of Spring '07

Think I will start things off by just listing my grades before giving my opinions on each of the classes.

Numbers and Polynomials -A
Elementary Differential Equations -A
History of Jazz -A
Man's Food -A
Introduction to Financial Accounting -B

Now that I have gotten that out of the way I would like to make it very clear that I am somewhat disappointed with my grades, more precisely the B in accounting. I know that I could have gotten an A but there is no point in dwelling on it, I just have to accept that it was my fault I received a B and move on.

Numbers and Polynomials: Interesting class. The purpose of the class was to help math students transition to proof based mathematics. Personally I found this class very easy and somewhat unnecessary since I had been writing proofs since the end of my junior year in high school. Regardless, the class was pretty cool. The first few weeks were a pain since was had to prove what many would consider trivial statements; such as "Prove that for any real number v that v*0=0." I know stupid right, but since the class was here to help us build rigours proofs we had to provide a proof, which for this problem was not all that obvious.

Elementary Differential Equations: First let me say that this class was geared more towards engineers than to those of us who crave rigours math classes. Now you can imagine that I was bored out of my mind. I spent most of my time in this class bored out of my mine. Occasionally, he would provide an interesting proof but I think this only happened twice. The one that I remember the most was when he proved the formulas for the Laplace transforms for the sine and cosine functions. Instead of the usual process of integration by parts he used Euler's formula (e^ix=cos(x)+isin(x)) and worked with a simple complex integral. I know that he did not explain why the usual rules for integration over the real numbers also applied to integration over the complex numbers but I guess that will be left to another class. However, this class did somehow manage to make me want to take more differential equations classes...hopefully ones that are for math students.

Man's Food: Class is online and boring as hell. All he does is read off of a PowerPoint presentation. You really don't need to buy any of the books or do any of the reading. All you need is the CD which enables you to complete the first assignment. If you are willing to spend $45 to buy notes then you can easily make an A. I only spent $30 because I chose to actually study on my own for the first exam but then realized that there were more important things in life. If you are looking for an easy biological general education credit then I would suggest this class.

History of Jazz: Thank you Bethany and Wanda for suggesting that I take this class. I do have to admit that the class was very easy but unlike most easy classes it is actually interesting. Sadly this was the professors last semester at UF. This was probably my second favorite class, after Numbers and Polynomials. Reading the book was not the most enjoyable thing but it was better than reading for other classes.

Introduction to Financial Accounting: The information was interesting. The reason for the B was that I did not study as much as I should have for the first test. However, I managed to get A's on the second exam and the final. I am sure that the professor actually new more information but was not able to openly show it because of the way the class was set up. He would basically just review some PowerPoint slides, which all contained information that could be easily found in the textbook.

Overall the semester was one step short of a success. Now I am looking forward to linear algebra, actuary exams, working with Buchholz, and trying to still have a social life; let's see how things go.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Day After Day Three

Well as stated previously I have decided to stick to the plan regardless of my two finals. The main reason for this is that I had devised a plan to get around the problem. Well my exams would last from 7:30a.m. to noon with no time for me to take a nap in between. So I am going to take a nap at 6:20a.m. right before I start so that I will not be insanely tired come the end of the second exam. Also I plan to finish the second exam early since it is structured like the usual class test but instead of being 80 questions it is only 60. In addition I have studied like crazy for this exam so I should be finish early and not miss many questions. Immediately following the conclusion of the second exam I am going to take another nap before I proceed to finish packing. Then I will return to the originally scheduled nap times.

Just got done with my all of my finals. Numbers and Polynomials was easy. We only had to answer ten of the twelve questions. I knew how to do eleven but only wrote ten proofs because I pretty much had an A in the class unless I somehow managed to bomb the final, which didn't happen. History of Jazz was nice, the whole final took about 31 minuets. However, you have to consider that it took him about 5 minuets to pass out all of the test. I feel really good about that one, should get an A. Right now I am really glad that I didn't stress out about the clash between the finals and the sleep because it turned out to not be a big deal. For breakfast I ate half of a Subway tuna sub (I think vegetarians can eat fish right?).

Well on my way back home for a week and then more school. Yay work.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Il Prendra plus de Trois Jours pour Me tuer

Most people never get the chance to see what campus looks like around 3a.m. Sadly many of the people who experience this tend to be drunk. Well I went for a walk around campus this morning, between 2a.m. and 3:15a.m. For the majority of the walk I was alone and had time to do some thinking (nothing too serious mind you). However, there were two instances I will not likely soon forget. The first was walking past a guy who I believe was drunk, even though I couldn't smell any alcohol. I really am not sure of what he was trying to say to me but from what I was able to gather it sounded like he was under the impression that I was high (I don't smoke so this clearly wasn't the case for those of you that were wondering). Basically he repeated the words sticky and rolling while occasionally pointing at me. Near the end it seemed that if I continued listening things might have gotten a little physical. I am pretty sure that if this did happen that I would be able to outrun him, even in my sleep deprived state. The second event occurred about five minuets after talking to the previously mentioned man. I was walking by Beaty and heard people talking behind me, so I stopped and looked to see what they looked like. However, to my surprise I did not see anyone. I stood there for about a whole minuet just looking to find people who were talking, since I could clearly hear voices, but still nothing. I soon began to think that the lack of sleep might be having some mental side effects. Just a few seconds later I heard the voices and for some reason decided to look back; I suppose this was in hopes of convincing myself that I was not going crazy. Sure enough there were people talking across the street. The reason I had not been able to see them before was because they were being hidden by a large truck. Now whether these people were real or were just created by my mind is a whole different story, one which I would prefer not to think about at this point in time.

After the walk I got back to the dorm and talked to people on AIM (I was just as surprised as you that people are), played a few games on addictinggames.com, and then finally downloaded and watched the first few minuets of the new Bleach episode.

The nap at 4:20 was greatly needed since for some reason I was unable to fall asleep during the scheduled 12:00 nap. Well needless to say I woke up from this nap completely refreshed...until I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 4:50a.m. (I should really stop doing that) Then it finally happened. Around 5:00 I had my first thoughts of quitting and returning to my "normal" sleep schedule. Really I don't know how I convinced myself to suck it up and continue but I did and am very proud.

Overslept. Don't know exactly how it happened since my alarm was right by me and my other alarm was across the room. O well, no use in dwelling on it too much, I should just accept that it happened and move on.

Due to the recent events (not getting up to my alarm) I have decided that I will not do this sleep cycle until I have taken my finals which last from 7:30a.m. to 12:00p.m. I know this will slow down my ability to adjust but I think that getting to my finals is just a little more important. Right now I am not 100% sure on whether or not I will actually stop, but it is just an idea.

Well I have decided to stick with the naps and just adjust the timing before my exams so that just in case I do oversleep there will only be a small probability of me missing the exam. 4:20p.m. nap was pretty good. Off to study right now. [Just in case you have not noticed every paragraph or so is written a short while after I have completed a nap or am about to start the next nap.]

The rest of the day nothing special or worth reporting occurred, so I shall end here.
The last of my finals for the spring term are on May 4th, wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

El Segundo Día

Let me begin with this trivial observation. Twenty-four hours is a long time. I know that I am only actually awake for twenty to twenty-one but it seems like an eternity. The night hours are not as bad as I had first imagined. This is because of sites like addictinggames.com and splashdot.com, if you do not know what splashdot is then I strongly recommend that you visit it in the near future. After some reading and application I have come to the conclusion that sleeping on your back helps you fall asleep faster. Other positions that I have experimented with include; on my left side, on my right side, on my stomach, and the fetal position (both facing left and right).
The time between 12:50a.m. and 4:20a.m. was filled with me trying to learn some linear algebra from a book that I had previously downloaded. However, I soon realized that I was not as fine as I would openly admit. I realized this when I started making basic addition errors and was also unable to retain material that I had just read no less than five minuets ago. Normally when this happens I know that I am in dire need of sleep and will head to bed, but because of the constraints of the schedule I was forced to find a way to keep myself entertained. Before going to addictinggames.com I played a game of Yahoo Spades, which consumed about half an hour. I find that playing puzzle games work the best since I have to keep my mind active. The 4:20 nap was subpar. This might be my fault actually, since even though it did feel like I had a full night's worth of sleep my mind quickly reminded me that in reality I had only been asleep for at most half an hour. While waiting for my next nap I started to play more puzzle games on addictinggames.com, hopefully I will be able to find one soon that is challenging but not so much that I give up after only two hours.
After I awoke from my 8:20a.m. slumber I did something I had not done since my first or second week at UF, I actually went to the dining hall for breakfast. Taking the advice I was given by my friend the previous day I avoided meats and excessively fatty foods. For some reason I chose to eat grits, it should be noted that I hate grits and have for the majority of my life.
The time leading up to my 12:00p.m. nap was hell. Well that is an overstatement but it was worse than the entire night cycle. I think it was because of the 4:20a.m. nap. During this period I experienced my first real case of fatigue. Every time I closed my eyes I was tempted to fall asleep, truthfully I do not know how I managed to hold out till noon. Well the nap at noon was AMAZING. I felt totally refreshed, but this elated state did not last long because I soon looked my clock and realized that it was only 12:50p.m. bummer. Around 2pm I started feeling very tired. It got so bad that I was afraid to even try and walk for fair that I would fall over. So I decided to take a nap even though it would not be at one of my scheduled nap times. I woke up from this nap disgruntled because I once again looked at the clock. I think I am noticing a pattern here, maybe I should try and test it with mathematical induction.
The 4:20p.m. nap was the best to date. I was in such a deep sleep that my alarm was going off for about a minuet before I was able to hear it. Also my roommate was about to wake me up just a few seconds after I heard the alarm. I think that this was the first nap where I was not hungry when I woke up. I was able to get a lot of studying done during the first two hours of the transition period between naps.
The final nap of the day could have been disastrous if it were not for my roommate's girlfriend. I don't know exactly how this happened but when the alarm that signaled the end of the 8:20p.m. went of I did not hear it at all. Luckily she was helping him move out and she just happened to walk in as the alarm was going off. The ensuing interaction took place. For the sake of privacy I will call her "L".

L: Nick.
Me: F**K!

Now, I didn't say that out loud, but it is how I felt on the inside for two reasons. One was because I did not hear my alarm go off. The second is that she woke me up from what felt like a ten hour nap. Luckily I did not over sleep, because from what I have been told and have read over sleeping makes it more difficult to adjust to the new schedule. To make sure that this never happens again I plan to use two alarms; one will be on my cell phone and the other will be an alarm clock with the volume near its maximum.
Overall today was not as horrible as I had originally anticipated.

The First Day

Today was my first day with the Uberman's sleep schedule. As I have previously stated I did not plan to start this till next week but today I just happened to take a nap at 12:20 for some reason. Usually I don't take naps, in all honesty this is probably my fist one since second grade, so me taking a nap today was kind of a big deal. After taking the nap I decided, what the hell might as well start a week earlier than originally planned.
So far it hasn't been too bad but then again it is only the first day and I had a whole night's worth of sleep the previous day. Just a little earlier I was talking to my friend who had tried this, he had to stop for a while because he got sick but plans to start back soon, and he advised that I try to become a vegetarian, cut out as much fat from my diet as possible, and to exercise during the night cycles. I had already planned on doing the exercise bit but the part about changing my diet seemed a little odd. However, after thinking about how your body digest fats this made perfect sense.
One obvious advantage is that I will have more time in the day to be productive, all I have to do now is draw up the will power. During the first half of the night cycle I am going to spend learning more about material that is not directly related to my class, then in the second half I will exercise most likely by going for a run.
Well it is almost nap time so I have to wrap this up. I guess I will keep a log of how I feel for the first week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Uberman's Sleep Schedule

For those of you that do not know what Uberman's sleep schedule is I advise that you go look it up on Google or Wikipedia or just continue reading this post.
This is how the sleep schedule works. You take 20-30 minuet nap every four hours. Lets say that you chose to take your naps at 12, 4, and 8, the nice thing is that no matter what times you choose the time are the same regardless of am or pm. Obviously to stay on this schedule you need to be able to either adjust your daily schedule or take care in choosing nap times. Also at first it is going to be difficult to adjust from the normal mode of sleeping, where you get all your sleep at one time. Some sources claim that it takes about a week to get adjusted and even then you still need a lot of self discipline to remain on schedule. According to "Steve Pavlina" this purpose of this schedule is to help the user enter what is known as R.E.M. sleep faster.
After reading more about this from various sites and my friend's personal account of trying it, I have decided that I would like to try it. Unfortunately I will not be able to start this intense task until I am done with finals because right now I do not have a week to "waste" while getting adjusted to the new sleep pattern. As things are now I plan to start the week between finals and the start of summer classes. Hopefully I can find a job where I will be able to fit my naps in during my lunch hour. The only foreseeable to actually doing this is going to be convincing my mother that I will be "perfectly fine". Once I get past that staying awake is going to be a pain since I do not have anyone else who is willing to do it with me as of right now. Hopefully once I start I will not miss any of the naps because that will really fuck things up as you can imagine.
Wish me luck and if you are interested in doing this with me and will be in Gainesville over the summer feel free to let me know. I know that doing this while studying for the first Actuary exam isn't the smartest thing ever but the exam isn't till August so by June I should realize if this is for me or not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Integration Technique

Today I was helping out at the Buchholz calculus team practice and there was only one problem that they had no idea how to solve. The problem was similar to the one below.

I have left of the limits of integration because for this kind of problem they are not very important. There are several ways to proceed when solving this, first you can write the denominator as one sine or cosine function. This is the most obvious way to proceed but is certainly not the best, I am not sure where it will lead but just with a little mental computation you should quickly realize that you have not made the problem any easier. The method I suggest is that you make an appropriate substitution. When I first mentioned to them that there existed a convenient substitution they looked at me in disbelief. I suggest that you try and think of the substitution before reading any further.
The substitution I am referring to is,

After some algebra and trigonometry you will arrive at the following,
After you replace each trigonometric expression with its corresponding algebraic one you should have an integral that is much easier to solve.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE,...

These past two days were a very much needed break from studying and stressing over REU. First off I did not get accepted to the REU program, but I am not too upset because the program was designed for students with more mathematical experience. This summer I will spend taking classes either at FSU or UF. Most likely at FSU assuming that the math department allows me to take Linear Algebra and have it count towards my major; if not then I will have to stay in Gainesville and find a summer job to help cover the cost, since my scholarships only pay for the spring and fall semesters.
Now that I have discussed that it is time to get back to the original topic.
On Friday I went to the Hands Down Showcase, which was a hip-hop dance competition. All of the performing groups did an awesome job. Yes Trina, I'll admit that the Assins performance was good, but only on a performance level. I think Sarah's description of their dance is the most accurate one that is possible with the English language (the description was: SEX, not sexy, it was sex). After the Hands Down event we (Trina, Joe, Gene, Sarah, and I) decided to have a wholesome meal at Subway. We had conversations about things I don't remember anymore, I hope that none of them were about anything serious. Boredom set in so we decided to go to "Club Joe". That was fun until we had to turn down the music because some girl on the second floor complained that our music was too loud. Her exact words were, "Could you turn it down, or at least the bass. I mean EVERYTHING IS FUCKING MOVING!" Honestly, what could she possibly have been doing that would require silence? It was Friday at around 11p.m. she needs to get out and have some fun. Well after she left we had some fun with the lights, hopefully no one in the room was prone to seizures because then I would feel bad about us putting them through that. We even watched about three or four episodes of Happy Tree Friends, if you do not know what that is then I suggest you go to YouTube and find out. Sarah had the best reaction to these videos. Trina was laughing at them which was something that I was not expecting at all. Later at around 3a.m. on Saturday we decided to watch Battle Royal at Beaty in Matt's room. The movie was somewhat disturbing, but overall I thought it was alright, definitely something that I would consider watching again in the future. The movie was bases off the manga which was bases off a book. I don't think that I will ever read the book but if I can ever find the manga I would love to read it and hope that it will help to clarify some of the things in the movie. By the end of the movie everyone was tired so we decided to call it a day and all went back to our respective rooms. I got back to my room and fell asleep around 5:00a.m.
After I woke up I went and saw The Man of Mode with Trina, Sarah, and Gene. The plot was somewhat original and very humorous. The only problem was that since I am not very good with names I do not remember the names of all the characters, I had to identify them by how they acted and the clothing that they wore. Medley turned out to be my favorite character in the whole play, because it was through him that many of the events were set into motion. Also everyone in the play was almost always willing to share their "secrets" with him. After watching the play we went at ate then went back to Weaver and watched a few episodes of Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The days events were concluded with about an hour of pool at the Reitz.
Well I need to head to bed now since I have to wake up early for church tomorrow.

Video 1:


Video 2:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Well Spent Day

Today was the first time in about a month that I have actually had the time to do math problems that I actually find interesting. When I say I have time I mean that there was not a test that I needed to be studying for, or an assignment that must be completed. Sure I have a differential equations test on Friday, but it's going to be easy so no need to waste time with studying for that.
I started off the free time by solving this problem;


If you are unable to read the above problem then just click on it and it will be displayed in a larger format.
The problem did not require too much insight. It was basically a routine exercise with Lagrange multipliers. Also if you did not know any calculus the problem was still solvable thanks to the Cauchy-Schwartz inequality. This about two minuets to think up the solution and then another five to write it all down.
The next three hours were spent doing problems that were more challenging and took a little more insight. However, there was one problem that took the majority of the time. The disappointing part is that I was not able to solve the problem.



I was able to develop a recursion formula and initial conditions but after this point i was not able to generate a closed form. My answer is split into cases depending on the parity of n and then it has the solution in the form of a product of terms.
Hopefully, I will be able to solve this problem, and the other problems on the three sheets (a total of 29 problems) before the end of the semester. This is the second set of problems that I am attempting. In the first set I was able to solve six problems on my own, I needed help on four, and have incomplete proofs for one. The source of the problems is the first compilation of 100 Mathematical Problems by Yang Wang, a professor at Georgia Tech., so I am working on the first fifty-one problems, and find it very rewarding even if I have to ask others for help. Asking for help and learning something new is better than being clueless for eternity. Obviously I only ask for help after I have put in a considerable amount of effort (normally a weeks worth at least).


Well I need to sleep now, early class tomorrow, so I shall leave you with a parting quote.

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of a sculpture.
-Bertrand Russell

Friday, March 30, 2007

MIT Can Shut Down Your Brain

The first paragraph from the article, MIT Neuroengineer's Pulsing Light Silence Overactive Neurons, written by Anne Tafton.

Scientists at the MIT Media Lab have invented a way to reversibly silence brain cells using pulses of yellow light, offering the prospect of controlling the haywire neuron activity that occurs in diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.


The entire article can be found here. It is definitely worth reading at least twice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's Get Some Shoes...

"What were you expecting? Condams?" If you know where that is from then you have been to youtube at least once in your life.
This post is for those of you who have been deprived of seeing the Shoes video on youtube. This is personally my favorite video, and I think that I watch it about twice a day.
It was not until a few days ago that I had learned that one of my friends had NEVER been to youtube. Honestly, how do you get accepted to Chicago and yet you have never been to youtube. Well luckily they have such wonderful friends. We just had to introduce them to the world wonder also know as youtube.
One last note: Lawrence and Will, I am making it your personal responsibility to make sure that this person (you know who I am talking about) never forgets that this video is out there.

The Shoes Video:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

PEOPLE WHO ANNOY YOU

No this post is not really about people that annoy me, but I should really make one for that topic in the future.
To stat things off here is the funny video from South Park. It remains funny no matter how many times you watch it.



Well onto a different topic. A few days ago I was looking at the list of math and finance classes that were offered here at UF. Some of the math ones were interesting, especially the ones on probability and differential equations. But, for the most part they all seemed quite dull based on the names. I am sure that if I didn't also want to take finance classes many more of them would appeal to be bust sadly this is not the case. In the same manner not many of the finance classes sounded interesting. The ones that I would really like to take all had a long list of prerequisites. This is going to be a pain. The good news is that the class on risk management only has one prerequisite, and that is a class called Risk and Insurance. Which I probably would have taken anyway. After some thought I don't think that I will double major (math and finance) or even get the minor in actuarial sciences. The main reason for this decision is that to double major I would only be able to take the minimum amount of math electives for the math major since the finance major has a lot of required classes. Also I am not sure that I would be able to finish the double major in four years (yes I sat down and tried to plan it out). The reason for not wanting the minor is kind of childish but still it's a reason. There are just some classes that are required that not to my liking. For instance, the class STA4322 (Mathematical Statistics 2). In stead of taking this I would rather take the class on Probability Theory and the Stochastic Process.
Well now I'm just complaining. Nothing really major to report so I'll get back to studying and programming.

Friday, February 16, 2007

PredatorSpace

Its really beginning to get old. Parents trying to hold online communities, such as MySpace, responsible for children's actions. You think that if parents spent as much time and effort educating and monitoring as they do filing lawsuits then maybe this wouldn't be a major problem. It is starting to get harder and harder to navigate the internet without finding a story about an underage child that was taken advantage of by an online predator.
From what I have read, MySpace has a way to prevent underage (for some reason I think the limit is set at 13 year of age) surfers from creating accounts with the site. However, as we all know it is almost impossible to verify if someone is telling the truth about their age when online. If the system is like that of other sites then all it ask is for the user to input their date of birth, and anyone with basic math knowledge can figure out what fake birthday they need to be allowed to use the site. Personally I believe that asking for a credit card or checking account number is a much more reliable method of age verification, but this to has its obvious flaws (if they are not immediately obvious to you then too bad, because I am not going to waste time explaining such a trivial matter).
Here is a typical "MySpace story". Basically the stupid girl said that she was 18 (in truth she was only 13) and met a 19 year old guy online. We all know what happened next so no need to get into it. One Question I have is, how the hell did she manage to meet him? I mean as you know she certainly wasn't able to drive to the meeting place so someone had to give her a ride. But I digress. According to this article there is some intelligence in Texas. Yes, it was a Texas Judge that realized that what caused this inappropriate meeting were the deceitful actions of an idiotic 13 year old girl.
Now I'm no parent, but I think that I somehow managed to pick up a thing or two about raising children from my parents. One of the first things I learned before ever using the internet was that you are never to agree to meet people in public unless you already know them in person. Also is it not a parent's job to protect their children? I would take this also include monitoring their internet activity until they believe that the child can be trusted and is mature enough to know how handle this new freedom.
Well I could go on for some time, but I think I'll head to bed now.

Dave Chappelle and Naruto.

Friday, February 09, 2007

We Need to Work Together

So looking around the internet for informative and interesting news. I found a few things that I believe will produce a positive response with my readers.

1) Samsung introduces its new phone. Some people are going as far as calling it the "iPhone killer". I remember just a few months ago when "experts" were calling Microsoft's Zune the "iPod killer", we all know how that turned out. Sure it might take a while for the Zune to pick up popularity but let us be honest, I don't think that it will ever become bigger than the iPod. Also these so called experts were predicting that Microsoft would have sold millions of Zunes in the first few months of its launch. I am not sure of the exact number of sold units but from what I have read it falls well below these inflated predictions.

2) While on the topic of iPods it should be noted that Carl Kruger, a Democrat from Brooklyn, is planning to introduce a resolution that would basically ban the use of iPods and other electronic devices on the streets of New York. He is claiming that people are spending too much time on these gadgets and as a result they are being placed at higher risk to receive traffic injuries. One comment a form user left was "...if a person would rather be indulged in listening to their Green Day album than paying attention when they cross the street, they deserve to get hit, before they have the change to take on any task of important, such as raising a child..." Since this story should be read I will provide a link to redirect you.

3) WHO WANTS $25M? Well this can be yours if you find a way to solve the "problem" of global warming. Personally I find it interesting that
Richard Branson, a British billionaire, would offer such a prize for a person or organization to fix a problem that does not even exist. Come on, doesn't this guy watch the Colbert Report? Steven on his show clearly proved that global warming was created by the Democrats in order to distract us from the real issues. Such as how the rich need more tax cuts. As we all know, anything that comes out of Steven Colbert's mouth is automatically truth. He is basically Wikipedia in human form.
If you thought that I was actually serious before then there must be something wrong with you. That or you have never seen the Colbert Report. Well honestly I think this is a wonderful idea, now I have something else to do in the time between solving Millennium Problems which only offer a $1M prize.

Bravehearts - Quick to Back Down

Thursday, February 08, 2007

How Harvard Slowed Light

This is truly amazing. Even though I am not able understand how it was done or how it will better benefit society, I know it is a major accomplishment.

"...In 1999, Dr. Hau headed a team of scientists that slowed light, which travels a brisk 186,282 miles a second when unimpeded, to a leisurely 38 miles an hour by shining it into an exotic, ultra cooled cloud of sodium atoms. At temperatures a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, the atoms coalesce into a single quantum mechanical entity known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. Shining a laser on the cloud tunes its optical properties so that it becomes molasses when a second light pulse enters it...."
The rest of the article can be found at this url.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hella' Fun

This weekend, well the whole week for that matter, was amazing. I'll spare you all the insignificant details and just start with Friday. Had test in both Numbers and Polynomials and Differential Equations. The Numbers and Polynomials was definitely the easier of the two. The test concisted of six questions and we only had to write proofs for five. However, if we choose to write proofs for all six he would choose the best five to give us credit for. The questions came straight from the book and other exercises that were covered in class. I am so glad that I not only did the proofs before they were covered in class but I also rewrote then when they were done by the professor. The Differential Equations test was also pretty easy, but sadly not as easy as the previously mentioned test. There were eight multiple choice questions and one open ended questions. The open ended on was easy, considering that he even told us in the previous class where it would come from. The multiple choice questions were also easy but I took my time because I didn't want to loose point for misbubbling or anything of that sort. There was one question on the multiple choice section where the answer I got was different from any of the selectable answers. Luckily I was able to just take the answer choices and just plug them (thanks to 4dyce) and use the other information provided by the problem in order to find the only solution that would work.
Later that day I went to Riker, I think, and played some pool with Jarred, Trina, Andrew, and Justin. Since most of us hadn't eaten since noon, and it was now about eight, we choose to go get something to eat. Once they food had entered our respective digestive tracts the real fun began. Bowling was comparable to an acid trip, ok really I don't know because I don't do drug but you get the idea. Jarred and I tied for second with a score of 109, he almost beat me but couldn't knock down that last pin. Then Andrew on his last chance decide to show us up and get a 112. So the game took longer than expected, as a result we missed the movie that we had originally planned to watch. At midnight Lance, Jarred, and I met some girls, I only remember 3 names, and we played Apples to Apples until about 3. Later back at my dorm I watched part of Ice Age 2, pretty funny.
When I finally woke up it was time to do some work so I shall spare you all the details of the hardcore study time. Finally it was time for the CASA Chinese New Years Event. The acts were amazing I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend. For personal and security reasons I will have to refrain from disclosing any of the events that took place at the CASA after party or what I did after that. However, if you would like an idea I guess you could go to facebook. Holy shit it is only Sunday. Well I woke up at 2:00pm. and spent the whole day studying and reading not much else went on.
Monday: I got a 50 on my Numbers and Polynomials test from Friday. Hell Yeah! Just so you know, the test was out of 50 so I got an 'A' not an 'E'.




That is what I would look like if I ever choose to make a guest appearance on South Park. Ask my sister if you would like the website to find out what you would look like. I would like you to know that you will not look as good as me, so don't be too disappointed.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force