Archive for April, 2013

The Math Behind a GPA Calculator

Calculating your GPA isn’t as straight forward as you might think – particularly if you have multiple grading scales to account for.  The math can also get quite complex if you must convert between different scales.  Therefore, I reccommend using a GPA calculator to figure your grade point average.

Just twenty years ago, going to college was a big deal for many families because opportunities were scarce. However, today, access to tertiary education has increased and attaining a college education is not as difficult. Now that so many people are able to get college degrees, academic success is even more important. Young people have start preparing for university from the time they enter high school. When they get to college, ranking high on the GPA calculator, the right attitude and being well rounded are what makes them truly successful.

Preparing for University Early
High school students should be encouraged to start thinking about a career from early so that they can research information about their intended field of study. They can also take the necessary high school courses that will prepare them for college level study.

Getting Good Grades
Getting good grades in college is very important. Students have to prepare for classes and ensure that assignments are completed in a timely manner. They should aim for a 3.0 average or higher on the GPA calculator. Students should also seek a tutor if they find that they are failing a class.

Having the Right Attitude
College students need to have the right attitude to be able to excel in their tertiary studies. One cannot look at college as just a hobby, especially with the rising cost of tuition and the burden of student loans. Students have to stay focused and not let anyone or anything distract them from doing their best.

Being Well-Rounded
Students have to focus on their academics but also need to be involved in other community based activities. Employers always look to see what a student’s personal interests are. Students do not have to join five organizations or enlist for several causes, but they should consider at least one activity, especially if it is related to their field of study.

College students have to work hard to be successful. It takes encouragement from their family and alignment with other students who also want to succeed. Ranking high on the GPA calculator will certainly gain them access to the best jobs.

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Teaching & Relating

My main teaching method is finding a way for my pupils to relate to certain problems and using things in their everyday life to apply. For example in algebra I used a football league table, by replacing a points tally with a letter the pupils then had to work out the value of the letter by looking at the games played, won, draw and lost.

This way engages the pupils and we get a bit of banter about certain teams and the most important thing is that they remember and learn. I have had great success through the years and another good one I like to do is use ing fat footballers weights, again we have a good laugh and it gets the point across. Click here for a few fat footballers that have made it into my lessons.

There are so many different ways you can appeal to the mindset of your pupils and make the lessons a bit more interesting, too many teachers go for the old fashioned approach whereas this injects a bit of life into the lesson.

I am hoping this technique sweeps through the school because I feel that subjects like English could take advantage of modern music, literature and film to appeal to the younger generation.

 

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The Very Basics of the Random Walk

It’s cited and used in a great many disciplines, however you’ll find it most often used in the study of probability.  It’s often one of the first lessons a probability student will hear, the story of a drunk leaving a bar and attempting to head off home.

There are lots of areas to consider when we are investigating the drunk’s walk.

  • What position do we estimate the drunk will be after n steps?
  • Expected time of the drunks last visit to 0
  • the maximum position of x that the drunk may reach after n steps
  • the probability that the drunk hasn’t backtracked after n steps

The example isn’t a difficult one, yet it illustrates many important questions about probability.  The main question is how far did the drunk get from the bar or to phrase it more specifically – what is the probability that the drunk is at a specific point x after a certain number of drunken steps n.

There are several interesting mathematical concepts to cover in this question.  We have to look at the sample space, basic probability, the random variables involved and eveb the Bernouilli principle.  We can work out a full probability distribution for the final position of the drunk, or at least after he has taken n number of steps!

So how do we even start to calculate this.  Well first we have to make a few assumptions, the drunk has to take unit steps for example mainly so we can estimate his steps with an integer.  We also have to presume that the position can be recorded from a straight line from the bar to the end position.  This means for example if he takes 4 steps to the left then we can state that the position is -4, then steps to the right would be +1 so 3 steps to the right would addd +3 to the location.

So we can then model on the basis of the above equation which will give the position of the drunk after taking n steps.  the random variable is of course Gn and to work out the possibilities you need to work out the distribution of that variable.

You can of course take this a lot further, and there’s lots of great websites that will explain this concept in more detail.  try the BBC website whch has some great tutorials and radio programmes covering similar concepts – posted here on how to access.  There’s also some papers and documents available on the websites of big universities.  I found some interesting ones on a few Polish University sites but last time I checked you needed a Polish IP address to access them for some unknown reason, there’s a link here.

 

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