I got back to Sunnyvale on Thursday morning. Nothing especially interesting happened for the rest of Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday, I went to watch the California high school chess championship. I had a good time seeing some friends from high school. It was strange not playing though.

Yesterday, I managed to become very sick. I don’t know what happened, but I had a bad headache when I got up, and it just got worse after that. I don’t know what is wrong. Maybe it’s the flu, but it’s just cheating to get the flu after having had a flu shot. That’s not fair, but nor is life. My mother thinks it was caused by stress, but I don’t believe for one second that stress can make a person sick. At any rate, I wasn’t allowed to take AIME today, although I had planned on taking it just for fun. I suppose I should still solve the questions. At any rate, I feel much better today than I did yesterday.

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About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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10 Responses to

  1. mousie1389 says:

    When we get the questions back I can send you scans. (Although, my track record for making scans hasn’t been all that great…:-\)
    The test ended up being three hours of slow, brute force…
    Didn’t you say to Darrell something to this effect, “You don’t get sick if you will yourself not to?” What do you have to say for yourself? ;D

    • Simon says:

      I have the questions. I hope people did well on the AIME. Yes, I did say that to Darrell. I suppose that’s why I didn’t get sick enough to miss any of my classes (although I wasn’t necessarily feeling great all quarter).

      • mousie1389 says:

        But you were sick part of this morning…
        Darrell, Abe, and I discussed a few of the problems during lunch. We ended up using a thermos of macaroni and cheese as a “wizard’s tower.” They did better than me (if I get more than 2 problems right, I’ll be very surprised), but I don’t think any of us did all that well.
        Using brute force can’t be right. There sure was a lot of solid geometry.

  2. z9r4c3 says:

    the geo was all so purty! but yoni got a problem right that i got wrong!! that just sucked. but yanno, i want to know who wrote that #14. unicorn? silver rope?! wizard’s tower?!?! isn’t it usually “a goat is tied to a cylindrical silo. how much grass can the goat eat?”

    • #14 threw me for a bit — I had trouble figuring out what was going on. Why was the unicorn 4 feet aboveground on the top of the tower? It’s supposed to be on the ground so it can graze. I guess the wizard is just evil.
      #10 was not purty at all. Ihhh…

      • apix says:

        Hmm… I thought that the unicorn was on the ground…
        And was #10 really that much messier than #9 or #14?

        • “The rope is attached to the tower at ground level and to the unicorn at a height of 4 feet.” Maybe I’m misinterpreting it, but shouldn’t that put the unicorn aboveground?
          Maybe there was some nice way to do #10, but it seemed to be some sort of weird shape.
          Hmm. I am silly. They were being surprisingly straightforward and weren’t asking for the probability that the circle will not touch AC because they were feeling tricky and wanted us to calcuate the area of the region in which the circle does touch AC. Calculating the area of 2 triangles sounds a lot nicer than the area of a weird hexagon. Hm. See, at first I thought that if the circle touched the diameter, its center would be in a nice parallelogram. But ’tis not so. Bummer.
          But how did I manage to get the half-tangent formula in to it? I was pretty messed up there.
          Speaking of which, what’s with the complete lack of trig? But what I really missed was not having a nice problem to be done with Ceva, Ptolemy, or at least Power of a Point. Easy synthetic geometry makes me happy 🙂

          • apix says:

            I assumed that the unicorn was standing on the ground but that the rope was attached to the unicorn 4 feet above the ground. Besides, aren’t towers generally more than 4 feet tall?
            Yes, #10 is actually fairly nice, especially since the two triangles are congruent… one just needs to examine a few 5-12-13 triangles.
            And yes, the lack of trig was rather strange, although I did not really miss it. Easy synthetic geometry might have been nice, but I am glad that there was no non-easy geometry this AIME; I sometimes have difficulties with problems like 2002 #13.

            • Hm — unicorns are generally 4 feet tall. I guess I was just making a “spherical cow” assumption. I don’t remember 2002 #13. I just looked up the Kalva version, and don’t recall whether I solved it. It could very well have been the one problem I skipped — I answered 14 of the 15, and I know I answered the last two.

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