Monthly Archives: December 2011

Education Musings

Every year a bit before Christmas, a particular 8th grade science teacher from my old middle school holds a Christmas Party. Funny enough, she was not my science teacher (but she was my science olympiad coach), even though I learned much science from her. She has a reputation for being strict and rigorous (which she deserves), and in general she was one of those teachers that people know are simply good.

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Tiontobl: A combinatorial game

As a sophomore at Georgia Tech, I took a class on Combinatorial Game Theory with two good friends, David Hollis (now at Reckless Abandon Labs, which he founded) and Michelle Delcourt (now working towards her PhD at UIUC). As a final project, we were supposed to analyze a game combinatorially. The three of us ended up creating a game, called Tiontobl, and we wrote a brief paper. We submitted it to the journal Integers, but we were asked to revise and expand part of the paper. At some point in time, we’ll finish revising the paper and submit it again (it’s harder now, since we’re split across the country – but it will happen).

Nonetheless, I was talking about it the other day, and I thought I should put the current paper out there.

The paper can be found here (tiontobl).

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Mapping Class Groups

I recently wrote up a small article on a talk on Mapping Class Groups. This isn’t quite the final draft, but it’s what it is.

EDIT: I have updated this paper, and I think all of the small errors have been corrected. I hope so, anyway.

mappingClassGroups

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Ghostwritten Word

I’ve just learned of the concept of ghostwriting, and I’m stunned.

A friend and fellow grad student of mine cannot believe that I’ve made it this far without imagining it to be possible. I asked around, and I realized that I was one of the few who wasn’t familiar with ghostwriting.

Before I go on, I should specify exactly what I mean. By ‘ghostwriting,’ I don’t mean situations where the President or another statesman gives a speech that they didn’t write themselves, but that was instead written by a ghostwriter. That makes a lot of sense to me. I refer to the cases where a student goes to a person or service, gives them their assignment, and pays for it to be completed. And by assignment, I don’t just mean 20 optimization problems in one variable calculus. I mean things like 20 page term papers on the parallels between the Meichi Revolution and American Occupation in Japan, or 50 page theses, or (so it’s claimed by some) doctoral dissertations.

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