29 November 2009

Thanksgiving Chronicles

There most definitely is no better way to celebrate the end of first trimester than with Thanksgiving break! After PUMaC, I was happily looking forward to break, praying that the last two test-ridden days of the trimester would fly by. Well, the last two days of hell went by, and here we are! BRAKE TIEM!

Wednesday afternoon was mostly prep for Thursday's party. I made sure I had all the materials for my quiche. I had bought the crust and light cream on Sunday, but made one more trip today to pick up the cheeses and the onion. Unfortunately, when I was looking at the frozen pie crusts, I realized I bought the wrong kind of pastry crust. Fortunately, it was not a bad mistake.

Thursday was the day of the party. It was an annual event among my family friends. Usually, we don't host the party, but since I'm moving to MA, we would have one last get-together. After setting up the hot-pot, washing all the veggies, and tidying the place a bit, our guests came! They all brought delicious desserts, including a chocolate cake, apple pie, and pumpkin pie. Because we couldn't fit twenty people at the dining table, the kids ate first. I had a little bit of turkey, some mashed potatoes, and a piece of pizza! During dinner, we all gave thanks for about five seconds each, so I thanked the AAST math team (my random number generator picked it XD).

Here is my corny-copia of thanks:

[A/N: Be prepared for the onslaught of Japanese [and Naruto] references >:D]

(0) Parents: I must thank my parents for all their efforts in supporting me throughout life. They deliberately sacrificed their work days to be with me when I was sick. They took their time to train me in math, physics, and programming and bore with me during my countless stupid moments. They sent me to math team every Saturday, even when they strongly believed that it was a waste of time. Most importantly, they were willing to lease an apartment in Bergen County so I could get a world class high school education (turns out it's not very ``world class'' XD). Though I don't regret not being their ``ideal child''. =]

(1) My antisocialness/math team friends: I definitely could not have become what I am today without my general aversion to socializing. During my first two years at the Academies, my friends were mostly the top math kids in my grade (A/N: it turns out that they are the top computer kids, as well) and they didn't seem to care about IM, etc., so I didn't care either. I took that time to train and investigate in math, programming, and physics, so I wouldn't seem inferior and incompetent when compared to them. As a result of using them as my benchmarks, I got tremendously better at those subjects and I was acknowledged by my peers and teachers ^_^ Surprisingly, my [lame] programming skills is good enough to be the #1 high school female in programming. o_O. what the hell, I'm so incompetent in class…

Also, I have to thank Pavel and Sam for teaching me bridge ^_^ otherwise my life wouldn't be as great [and weird] as it is ;)

(2) Mr. Holbrook: There is no more important figure at the Academies than Holbrook-sama, the coach of the AAST Math Team. Ever since I met him on the first day of BCA Math Camp, he has given me endless opportunities to grow mathematically. He gave me plenty of materials to take home, including two USAMO/IMO packets, In Polya's Footsteps, The Art and Craft of Problem Solving, and of course, the two volumes of Art of Problem Solving (which I had already purchased, but oh well). He has supported me through my four years at the Academies and encouraged me to train and compete with the best of my grade. He also gave me many chances to represent the school at many competitions, including Duke, Princeton, HMMT, Stanford, and ARML. As one of his most prized shinobi, he has let me become the captain of the math team =] Even though we disagree on a few things and that I did not turn out to be his ideal shinobi, I am grateful of his support and guidance during my four years at the Academies.

I would also like to thank (in no specific order) my teachers at the Academies for making my experience at the Academies the best it could be, Math Boosters for graciously assisting me with the BCA Math Competition, Masashi Kishimoto for writing the bestest manga ever :D, Brian Hamrick, Hannah Huan, Matt Mayers, Arthur Safira, Jenny Yung, Julia Zhu, billions of other people and natural phenomenon for making my life the awesome way it is. :D

Arigatou gozaimasu~


After dinner, we played some combination of Brawl and Mario Kart. That didn't last long, however, because the other girls sucked at it and just didn't like video games in general. T_T So then they played palace while I listened to music and played Sudoku on my iPhone XD I also texted Jenny for some amusement, but stopped after a while. (why am I developing such bad habits now; Facebook, IM, texting >_<;;) Oh, then I watched the Duke and PUMaC awards ceremonies on Kelley's (AAST '13) iPhone XDDD (Yes, he recorded them. the PUMaC video was ~25min long and 500MB O_O. Also, we were so fucking loud when the Duke people announced "from the small polluted state…" that his iPhone speakers almost died XD) So I think that's what happened for the rest of the night…

On Friday, I woke up and sat around for a while. Then my dad took me to the mall (bad idea) to see what kind of sales there were. I got a sweater from Aeropoatale, but nothing from Apple. -sad face- But I did get to try vim maximized on the 27" iMac! 2560x1440 pixels of glory… Anyway. Since one of my family friends was hosting a party tonight, I wanted to do something special, so I made a quiche. Unfortunately, I lost the recipe, so I had to look it up on my dad's phone via EDGE. D: I made everything, put it into the oven, and waited…and waited…and waited for about an hour until it was done. :O Then, we had to depart.

At dinner, I served my quiche! I was eager to have everyone taste it. Surprisingly, everyone liked it! I was indeedly happy ^_^ When I tasted it, I thought it was awesome too :D More surprisingly, the crust I bought complemented to the taste. I loved the quiche so much that I had a second slice :D Then I had some xiao long bao and lobster. It was OK, nothing bad, but nothing great. =/

Unfortunately, I couldn't eat in peace because the hostess had to bother me about some trigonometry concepts that she didn't get. And she didn't even know what concepts she didn't understand. wtf. Though I had fun redirecting her to Kelley, who claims that he sucks at trig (which is prolly true anyway) XD

After that, we played more Wii (Kevin and Kelley brought theirs because the hostess doesn't have one). Peoples got bored of it again ._. so they played Palace. Luckily, there was a working internets so I could amuse myself :) I read the latest Naruto chapter :D (OMG HOW COULD I FORGET THAT) Then Kelley was trying to get Chicken Invaders, but failed, so I had to torrent + install + crack it for him. Why am I always the math/tech guru D: We played Chicken Invaders 2 for a while, and I got to Level 60! :O Then I watched the parents play zhaopengyou for the rest of the night.

Saturday was pretty routine. I did more USACO and physics. My dad let me drive to Micro Center and I bought a battery for my laptop :D Oh, the joy of refurbishing your [4 year old] computer. Then I went home and life became more routine.


Moral of the story? Break is boring without the relevant friends and relevant training materials.

I didn't get to play bridge T_T

Also, early action/decision results come out in ~2 weeks!! :O

25 November 2009

End of School/Picture Dump :O

Today was indeedly the last day of trimester, and school, to an extent. It's also the end to Classical French Cuisine, which I'm going to miss dearly. Anyway, to preserve those moments of pure win and epic fail, I took pictures! (seems so OOC for me XD) Without further ado, here they are:

Left 4 Dead in Data Structures

What's wrong?

Our Sun Fire! with dual 750GB goodness!

Sun Fire internals. It's a single proc AMD with 4x512MB RAM

Looking at our motherboard for a science fair in Data Structures. o_O

ZOMG our circuit board etcher that no one knows how to use (except for George Hotz, ofc) XDD

Assembly-lining the BCA Math Competition 5th Grade grading room. It went fast, but they didn’t catch the boo-boo in the answer key. =[

My awesomely awesome answer key that sped everything up by a factor of 2 :D

The crapload of butter left over from the math competition. Anyone want one? =]

Unnecessarily short ethernet cable amid our ghetto LAN setup for Hadoop XD

Julia's vomiting pumpkin

The Fall Play, in which Mark-sempai performed!

Unnecessary celebration of Duke victory that covered our lockers.

LED sign fail (part 1). The people put it up after we won Duke. Well not me, but Mu A. Apparently the people felt like spoiling our victory, so they inserted a boo-boo…

LED sign fail (part 2)

Watching Pokémon during internship lunch break :D

Internship setup. Note the unnecessarily large object on the table. Some dumbass sat on my colleague's laptop, which cracked the screen, so he has to use an external screen XD

They give me a screen, I use it! XD It's a Dell Ultrasharp 2009WFP, btw. (the one that uses the sucky TN panel D:)

Same thing in the engineering room. This time I'm using a dual screen setup connected to a Dell Ultrasharp 2209WFP (another sucky TN panel monitor D:)

The computers in the engineering room. Each has a 2GHz QC Xeon, 4GB RAM, and 160GB HDD

Cupcake man in the school parking lot? WTF?! o_O

Typical day in physics. Yes, Kamran is riding on top of Fahmid.

Today, I was more or less done with the assignment at internship, so I downloaded and dd'd (UNIX clone tool) Chrome OS onto my 4GB flash drive. The dd took so long that I was able to walk across the school with my laptop open and sit down for another 15 min. Then, when my friend let me boot it, we discovered that we needed a working internet connection to log in. And we couldn't get that unless we got a web browser. School internet FTL D:

While I was in the parking lot searching for my bus, I saw a car with a weird sticker on the lower right  of the windshield. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that the stick was a ``failed inspection'' sticker. And this was my first time seeing one XD

And this concludes first trimester. I'll upload the pictures of the food later. Stay tuned =]

22 November 2009

PUMaC 2009

For the past week, I did not sleep well. Why? I was responsible for LaTeXing the power round, which meant staying after school every day and waiting for people to push changes to the Google Doc at 2345 (that's 11:45PM non-nerds). Even though I wasn't directly involved with the math, I still had to read through all the proofs, lemmas, claims, w/e to check for unLaTeXed items. From that, I pretty much memorized the following lemma (and its proof :O):

If is a set that generates and is a linear bijection from to , then will generate an isomorphic lattice .

We finished with everything around 20:20 (yay 2020! and yay for 20/20 vision XDD), after incorporating Alex's rewrites for three of the problems. Then I got home, reread the latest Naruto chapter, looked at the solution to 2007 AIME I Problem 15 (a geo problem XD) and went to bed.

Then the next morning, I woke up at 0715 and drove with parents to Princeton. There was relatively little traffic, so we got there at 0815, hopefully at the same time as the rest math team. While were finding McCosh Hall, I spotted TJ heading toward registration, so I got off the car and went to talk to Jenny. I detached from the group a while later to call Dr. Mayers to see where the rest of my team was. He said that they would arrive in roughly 15m, so I stayed out in the cold. I also saw Austin sometime around then, and we talked for a bit.

After 15m, they still didn't come. Austin's friend reported that they're in New Brunswick and would be here in 15m. (Hmm, see a pattern?) So I foolishly trusted their estimated and hung out in the cold. According to the schedule, registration was supposed to close. I held up the A division registration and Austin held up the B division registration. After yet another 15m, Dr. Mayers and Dr. Abramson finally arrived, followed by a pack of 90 people.  Learn to ESTIMATING, people.

Anyway. Once the A teams got settled in McCosh 50, the opening ceremony started. Arthur gave us our room assignments and we promptly dispersed.  Our proctor took us to our room, read us the rules, and distributed our tests. I took Geometry first. There were some fun problems, but 1hr flew by. I'm not quite sure why trig ceva didn't work for the last problem. =/ (lol wtf am i using such a useless theorem)  Next up was Algebra, which I bombed due to lack of practice and exhaustion from the previous test.

The team round was really cool and refreshing. The answer sheet was a crossword puzzle, meaning that you can check if you got a fail answer based on your other answers. I worked on a geo problem for most of the time. I probably could have finished it a lot faster had I not been exhausted and hungry. D: After that I looked at the recursive problem, which was pretty cool. We managed to get all the answers, with the last answer solved at 1m left. Phew.

As we were cleaning up after the team round, our proctor announced the individual finalists :O To my surprise, we had not one or two or three but FOUR individual finalists. And probably to everyone's surprise, I QUALIFIED. At first, I thought he was kidding, but then Pavel told me and the others to get our lunch tickets and run, since we only had 15m to eat. (hmm, another instance of ``15m''. hmm.)

After it occurred to me that I had indeedly qualified, I thought:
There is most definitely something wrong if I make INDIVIDUAL FINALS and then get 7th in Geometry. In other words, the Chinese people failed to do their job (assassinate US mathletes being competent) correctly.

The four AAST finalists ran to the lunch line, grabbed some food, and started munching. Then our proctor called us to head to the testing room. When I entered the room, I saw Brian, who congratulated me for making it (and at the same time, forced me to eat my words -.-) The proctor distributed tests and started the timer. Not long after, I heard the iPhone Tri-Tone sound from my bag. I thought, "oh gawd, why is she texting me at a time like this -___-''." I immediately set my phone to vibrate. However, that was the beginning. Jenny proceeded to text me again and call me twice. Since I didn't train for proofs at all, I barely got a question. Oh well…

So then Brian and I were pretty hungry, having barely eaten before the finals. We headed over to the Panera bread located on Washington St. Afraid of getting lost, I pulled out the map I had printed out the previous night, but proceeded to cut myself. My finger was oozing blood and I failed to pack napkins in my purse, so I applied pressure on the region of the cut and held it in my jacket until the platelets stopped the blood flow. We then got to Panera bread, at which Brian got a Turkey panini (I think: it's almost been a year and I'm back to revise this <_<) and I had a cream of broccoli soup. Anyway we sat down and took our time to eat. Surprisingly, a group of unofficial AAST freshmen/sophomores walked in to eat (while quietly ignoring us ^_^;;) In any case, after we ate, we slowly wandered back to McCosh, during which we sort of got lost.

Then was the awards ceremony. Oh wait, PUMaC was behind schedule, so we watched the quizbowl finals, which AAST won, as always :D Although Pavel just had to screw up the PPPL question, which stands for Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, not Princeton Physics Plasma Lab. The good part was that I disciplined him in Data Structures today for his fail =] What the hell is Physics Plasma anyway…
Then was the real awards ceremony. I got 7th in Geo :D, Sam got 8th and Alex Radek (a Mu Ber) got 3rd in Algebra O_O, John Chiarelli got 7th and Ian Osborn got 5th in Combo. We got an astounding 85/86 on the power round :D and perfect on the team round :D Both Mark and Mr. Holbrook were very happy =] and I was happy that they were happy. Unfortunately, TJ A didn't get announced, which surprised me since I knew they Brian put an enormous amount of effort into it. Therefore, it could be trivially deduced that there was an internal difficulty.

After we regrouped outside with the B division people (including unofficial ones), Aviv and a lost TJ C asked me where TJ A and B were. XD So then I said, "Well you should call them. I'll call Jenny." to which they responded, "lol good idea"

And then I drove home with my parents.


Er, wait. There's probably stuff that I missed, which you can read about here

The Good:
  • We rock at teamwork :D
The Bad:
  • I'm only good in Geometry.
  • AAST sucks at individuals.
The Ugly:
  • A 25 makes individual finals.
  • Our 5551 test distribution worked. rofl.
  • A one-man army got 3rd place overall.
  • Reading the latest Naruto chapter the night before is an effective studying method.

Other Thoughts

TJ math team needs to LEARN TO TEAMWORK. They're going to fail a nontrivial amount once the owner of this blog leaves.

Blah. now i can't upload the power round cuz i fucked up apache on my web ssh server. oops.

In other news, you should go buy a racist microwave

In other other news, I managed to use both ``fail'' and ``trivial'' in a blog post ^_^

14 November 2009

Math Prize

For now, I just have the questions uploaded. Maybe I'll actually blog about it when I'm not busy.

Some stats:

HM I: 9 points
HM II: 10 points
8th - 12th ($600): 11 points
5th - 7th ($1000): 12 points <-- me
2nd - 4th ($6000): 13 points
1st ($20000 -- 10 MacBook Airs!!!! [see end of post]): 14 points

EDIT 1: yay trophy ^_^ daamn the text on the bottom is not clear at all =[ it weigh more than my computer O_O (aka more than 5.25lbs)

EDIT 2: giant check that i can't use


Tiebreak problems:

Problem 1:

Problem 2:

10 MacBook Airs: Because I knew that there would be massive death at the competition (especially since the china girls math olympians are going), as a joke I said that if I got first, I would buy TEN MacBook Airs (at the newly-opened Broadway Apple store :D) with the money. Of course it didn't happen, but I was indeedly surprised that I got 6th.

Anyway, here is what 10 MacBook Airs looks like: