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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Per request, the interviews are re-established! Interviews are a chance to get to know one of your fellow VBers better. The first interviewee was selected by popular vote. Each interviewee will then be able to select his/her successor.

Interviews will run from (approximately) Monday one week until Monday the next.

Starter questions:

Question limit:

Gender:

Age:

Birthday:

Location:

Dietary Path/Reason Why::

Favorite food(s):

Brief Intro:

Picture:

Website (your own or one of your favorites)

Previous interviews can be found here:

Libellula, Tesseract, Amy SF, goettling, karenlovessnow, elibrown, Moechalatte, Ludi

Tom, MrsKey, Indian Summer, Diana, veggiejanie, isowish, purrpelle, Blue Plastic Straw, OregonAmy,

Jessica Alana,Compassionate1, Jeezycreezy
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's the first interview thread of the new year,

so I just have to ask:

What's your New Years Resolution?
 

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Hi Nigel!

1. Can you explain, in terms that a simple person can understand, what are

Ethnomathematics

Predictive Modeling

genetic algorithms

2. What is your favorite color?

3. How many pets have you owned at one time?

4. Do you remember your first crush?

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

6. What are some of your favorite foods?
 

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Cripes Karen! It's New Year's day. I can't be expected to think!

I'll do my best:

Quote:
1. Can you explain, in terms that a simple person can understand, what are

Ethnomathematics
Ethnomathematics is an overlap of anthropology and math. There is culture to the way groups of people perform and represent math. For example, most of the modern world works with a base 10 system. Subsequently we work in terms of 10s as much as possible. When giving directions we might say "about 30 miles to the east" instead of 29 or 31. The metric system works in factors of ten. 100 degrees is the boiling point of water, a kilometer is 1000 meters, etc.

The ancient Maya and the modern Maya to some extent, use a base 20 system. Land is measured in "mecates" which is 20x20 of an arbitrary length (which has now been standardized to a meter). Estimates are given in factors of 20. One of their calendars works with cycles of 20.

If you're into the bible at all, it probably hasn't escaped you that the number 7 comes up a lot. In Middle-Eastern culture of the day, 7 was significant as representing a level of completion. If a man had 7 sons, that was considered an accomplishment.

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Predictive Modeling
This has really taken off with the advent of Geographical Information Systems. I'm an archaeologist so I take data on terrain, location of water, types and location of food sources, soil types, geology, elevation, whatever, and see how they correspond with the location of prehistoric sites. The end product is a "map" that predicts the likelihood of finding a site at any unsurveyed location. Where it comes in especially valuable is when you find sites where you think you shouldn't, or don't finy any where you think you should. This stirs up questions that starts new directions for research in whatever your field is.

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genetic algorithms
This is hard to answer simply and briefly at the same time. Basically, You have some known inputs and their corresponding outputs (called examplars), and you want to make an equation that will process all of those number correctly, and can also be used to handle new inputs and give reasonable outputs. There are many ways to accomplish this: genetic algorithms are one. Basically, you write a computer program that randomly creates a bunch of equations through which the exemplars are processed. Those that give the "closest" answers are modified slightly in many ways through many iterations and the test is run again. This goes on, millions of times, until an equation is created that satisfies all of the equations.

It's a handy process, because sometimes you get equations that are far more efficient or more flexible that anything a person can come up with.

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2. What is your favorite color?
Purple.

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3. How many pets have you owned at one time?
My family moved to Virginia in 1972 with 2 cats, and found that 17 more came with the property we bought. We ultimately found most of them homes and kept the rest (a total of 5)

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4. Do you remember your first crush?
Jenny. In the 1st grade. I even remember her last name.

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5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
If I had that liberty I'd live in a number of places, but if I was going to settle down somewhere, it would probably be somewhere in east-central Quintana Roo, Mexico. It's a harsh landscape, but the forest and caves and diving are the best I've ever seen or heard of. It's isolated, but only a few hours from civilization.

Quote:
6. What are some of your favorite foods?
Avocado, asparagus, mid-Atlantic region tomatoes, chilis, spinach, collards, kale.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cissy View Post

how do you feel about nigel the smiley?
I was pissed when I found out that the nigel smiley was a penguin. This would have been far more appropriate ->
 

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nigel said:
Cripes Karen! It's New Year's day. I can't be expected to think!

I'll do my best:

Ethnomathematics is an overlap of anthropology and math. There is culture to the way groups of people perform and represent math. For example, most of the modern world works with a base 10 system. Subsequently we work in terms of 10s as much as possible. When giving directions we might say "about 30 miles to the east" instead of 29 or 31. The metric system works in factors of ten. 100 degrees is the boiling point of water, a kilometer is 1000 meters, etc.

The ancient Maya and the modern Maya to some extent, use a base 20 system. Land is measured in "mecates" which is 20x20 of an arbitrary length (which has now been standardized to a meter). Estimates are given in factors of 20. One of their calendars works with cycles of 20.

If you're into the bible at all, it probably hasn't escaped you that the number 7 comes up a lot. In Middle-Eastern culture of the day, 7 was significant as representing a level of completion. If a man had 7 sons, that was considered an accomplishment.

This has really taken off with the advent of Geographical Information Systems. I'm an archaeologist so I take data on terrain, location of water, types and location of food sources, soil types, geology, elevation, whatever, and see how they correspond with the location of prehistoric sites. The end product is a "map" that predicts the likelihood of finding a site at any unsurveyed location. Where it comes in especially valuable is when you find sites where you think you shouldn't, or don't finy any where you think you should. This stirs up questions that starts new directions for research in whatever your field is.

This is hard to answer simply and briefly at the same time. Basically, You have some known inputs and their corresponding outputs (called examplars), and you want to make an equation that will process all of those number correctly, and can also be used to handle new inputs and give reasonable outputs. There are many ways to accomplish this: genetic algorithms are one. Basically, you write a computer program that randomly creates a bunch of equations through which the exemplars are processed. Those that give the "closest" answers are modified slightly in many ways through many iterations and the test is run again. This goes on, millions of times, until an equation is created that satisfies all of the equations.

It's a handy process, because sometimes you get equations that are far more efficient or more flexible that anything a person can come up with. (QUOTE)

Wow...just wow....I'm so impressed!
 

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Where's your intro post?


How much Tom Waits have you listened to?

Fave Waits song(s)?
 

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Quote:
3. Do 2 spams make a solicitation?
My expertise lies solely in solicitation, so I'm afraid I have no answer.

Quote:
3. Oh, and what's your favorite fartin' story?
Farts are such a fixture in my life that I can't single out one event, so I'll just share a recent happening.

Over the holidays my 4-year-old daughter fell into a few whoopie cushions (longer story) She's been planting them on everybody, including her grandparents, their friends, my friends, her imaginary friends, my imaginary friends, and, I think, my boss (last night). She's learned that farts are funny.
 

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Quote:
Where's your intro post?
Question limit: till I pass out or throw up

Gender: male

Age: 2 twenty-year-olds

Birthday: April 14,1966

Location: Redlands, California

Dietary Path/Reason Why: Flitting back and forth 'tween vegetarianism and spots of omni since 79. Reasons have changed over the years, but generally I see factory farming as wasteful and plain bad. Went vegan about 4 months ago for health reasons. Have lost 30 pounds, HDL way up, LDL way down.

Favorite food(s): Karenlovesnow got my answer on that. I'll add that when I'm really hungry, rice, beans, salsa picante, y corn tortillas hit the spot like nothing else.

Brief Intro: Professionally and in education my background is in math, computer science, and archaeology. Hobbies are cooking, photography, walking around and looking at stuff, reading, music, SCUBA diving, and playing stringed instruments. When I get older I want to do some farming and be a luthier. I'm happily married to the finest human on the planet. I have a 4 year old daughter who is a close second.

Picture: attached. Me, drunk. Last night. I look like this a lot of the time.

Website (your own or one of your favorites): http://www.mrmethane.com/

Quote:
How much Tom Waits have you listened to?
Not enough. The man is a brilliant, cosmopolitan artist. I like him as an actor, too. At Play In the Fields of The Lord is one of my favorite movies, and he's a big reason for that.

Quote:
Fave Waits song(s)?
Tom Traubert's Blues. Enough that we named our daughter Matilda.
 

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Some of what you wrote about ethnomathematics actually made sense to me; it takes a lot for reading about math to make sense to me. To what do you attribute your lucid writing style?

What is the best cover version of a song you have ever heard?

In the middle of the road, is my private cul-de-sac?

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, what is the road to heaven paved with?

If all roads lead to Rome, would you ride there on a Vespa?

Tell me everything I need to know about Hanson.
 

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What is your dream concert: Three opening acts, one headliner, at the venue of your choice. Remember, you are dreaming so these bands needn't be together, contain people who are still living, much less exist.

What's your beer of choice?

Have you ever gotten drunk at a wedding and danced?

Which stringed instruments do you play, how well, and which do you own (and what are they)?
 

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1 Why can't some mathematics organization reduce pi to a more reasonable number without all those cumbersome decimal places?

2 What are your favorite movies?

3 Other than hummus, what's your favorite food?

4 Why does everyone in California hate America?

5 Duke Cunningham: great civil servant or the greatest civil servant?
 

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I received an email telling me that my order with amazon.com has shippedand its all your fault. Are you happy for me?

For how long have you and Sevenseas been married?

Name five bands you think the world should know about?

Which do you like better: Louis XIV or Louis XIV
 

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Quote:
Some of what you wrote about ethnomathematics actually made sense to me; it takes a lot for reading about math to make sense to me. To what do you attribute your lucid writing style?
I'm used to explaining things to vegans who are, as you are well aware, a bit behind the curve in the brains department. Small words and short sentences are key.

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What is the best cover version of a song you have ever heard?
The first that comes to mind is Richie Haven's "Here Comes the Sun." I reserve the right to return to this question.

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In the middle of the road, is my private cul-de-sac?
If I can get to the curb, I pray that Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone are also there.

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If the the road to hell is paved with good intentions, what is the road to heaven paved with?
For you, my friend, hummus. And when you meet your great reward, may your feet turn to tongues.

Quote:
If all roads lead to Rome, would you ride there on a Vespa?
No.

Quote:
Tell me everything I need to know about Hanson.
Like Eddie Cochran and Cyndi Lauper, I'm afraid that much extraordinary talent has gone to waste, for reasons we'll never understand.
 
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