[grads] problem

Igor Cialenco igor at math.iit.edu
Mon Nov 9 19:47:03 CST 2009

Dear All, 

as I mentioned the other day I have a problem for you, as part of Math 593, but not limited to those registered for this class.  

As you know, I am collecting the attendance list for each colloquium talk. One requirement to pass Math 593 is to attend at least 75% of the talks. The question is: Develop a method to "establish" who gets the pass for this class. 

The most obvious method (and the most deterministic one) is to make a spreadsheet and record all the names and the attendance, from which I can get with 100% confidence who passed the class and who did not. 

Of course I am looking at something clever. I have in my mind at least two more methods, and as you can guess they are not that deterministic as the above one. How would you, AS  AN APPLIED MATHEMATICIAN, approach the problem? Note that now even the problem is not stated fully! I will leave as much flexibility to you as possible, so you can perform at your best.  

Please write your solution (I am sure you can find at least one) and send it to me only. The solution should be typed (yes, LaTeX). The method should be supported by some math arguments, at least at the intuitive level. The authors of the best solutions will get additional bonus for this course. Probably during some math teas we can discuss the approaches you had. 

Looking forward to see your creativity, Igor. 

ps: another natural step will be to guess what method I will use, so you can maximize your passing grade (find out how many more talk you have to attend). This is much, much harder problem in general, and definitely you will run into stochastic optimization problems. However, I will help you with this part: I will use the deterministic method described above, i.e. I will follow the syllabus.     

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