Thursday, January 23, 2014

Taxes, Fencing, and Stats

I spent this quarter working for the Byron Public School District. I put together a group of students and we worked to analyze data about houses' taxable market values. One thing this project taught me was that working with the government can take a very long time. My group is still waiting for data from Olmsted County. When we get the data we will use it to generate a model of projected residential growth in Byron. We will then present to the school board and community. We hope to find that Byron will grow enough that taxes will fall low enough to cover the added cost of a bond for the new school.

Another project I wanted to take on this quarter involved fencing. I wanted to statistically analyze the game to see if any particular factors heavily influenced the number of touches a fencer could get. In order to do this I would either have to collect real life data, which is very hard to do in such a fast paced sport, or build a computer simulator. I decided to build a simulator. I had a very limited programming experience before undertaking this project. I only knew how to program calculators.
I started to teach myself python (a programming language) using
I spent seven hours learning the syntax, and wrote several basic programs. I then laid out logic for my fencing simulator, but realized i didn't know enough about programming to make the simulator work. I will continue to learn more about python, and hopefully I can bring my simulator to life.

This quarter I spent a lot of time learning about things I would have never guessed I would be learning about in a statistics class. Even though my projects are still in the works I have accomplished a ton.

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