This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.
Traino 1
Four Years of Being a Math Major = One HalfFriend
I remember my first day of classes at Boston College.
I’d imagine most people
do.
I also remember my second day of classes.
I remember waking up early – way too
early actually, much like the previous day.
This of course led to more time to feel
awkward sitting alone in the dining hall.
I remember picking out my second best polo (I
had worn the first the day before).
It was still clean, crisp, yet to be shrunk, unstained,
and hanging in my closet, just as my mom had left it.
I gelled my hair, put in my
contacts, got a full breakfast, and arrived to class plenty early, allowing myself ample
time to pick out a good seat and strike up some conversations.
However when I got to
class, I found things to be very different from the previous day.
I was by far the first
person to arrive to the classroom.
As people trickled in, they seemingly made a point of
sitting as far away from me as possible.
I had showered that morning, so I was very
confused.
The professor showed up, handed out the syllabus and immediately dove into
the material.
Since I had been caught off guard and it was entirely too early to pay
attention to anything he had to say, I aimlessly looked at the people around me.
Some
students feverishly copied down notes, others looked as bored as I was.
No one made eye
contact.
No one smiled.
People seemed content to sit in their wrinkled clothes, unaware
that they had any classmates.
The class lasted the entire 50 minutes.
I made no friends.
The cold, antisocial environment was exactly opposite from the environment I had
experienced the previous day.
That was my introduction to math classes at Boston
College.
After spending just over three years experiencing math classes very similar to that
of my second day I began to wonder how many friends a math major is likely to make in
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.
View Full DocumentTraino 2
their math classes.
I came up with this.
Let
x
= the number of friends a nonmath major will make in his/her major classes over
the course of his/her Boston College career
1
Let
y
= the number of friends a math major will make in his/her major classes over the
course of his/her Boston College career
E(
x
) >> E(
y
)
2
This seemed very obvious just from my own experience.
But in an effort to
calculate E(
y
), I developed a very scientific formula:
Let
m
= the total number of math courses taken at BC
k
represents the
k
th
math class you will take at BC
3
E(
y
) = m
•
E(
y
k
) for any k
∈
Z
+
4
such that 0 <
k
<
m
This of course leaves the very simple task of determining E(
y
k
) for an arbitrary
k
within
the parameters.
The formula is as follows:
Let
n
= the average number of students in a math class
Let
p
= the probability of befriending a given student over the course of a semester
E(
y
k
) =
n
•
p
We will assume that
n
= 30.
We now must determine what
p
equals.
This is where a
little ingenuity is needed.
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
to
access the rest of the document.
 Fall '08
 CAPUTO

Click to edit the document details