Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Alex Returns To NNV Math Club


Song:  Something

Group:  The Beatles




Alex returned to the NNV Math Club after several months of absence.

Alex had gotten sick for several months...
and for a couple of months prior to that...
he was so busy with many close together exams.

So, on this day, Alex had returned to his beloved NNV Math Club practice sessions.

There have been some changes since Alex was there last.

The founder of NNV Math Club has lined up university math professors
to start teaching at the club sessions.

One will start on the very next session.

There were also some new members that I have not seen before.






One of the older members teaching a middle schooler how to efficiently solve a particular problem.





Each child has particular strengths...
and so, they readily help each other.


The young man in orange is congratulating Alex on his first place win
 on the previous day's math competition.


All of the young members in the math club are very mature.

They do not display any negative emotions such as envy or anger.

They all readily pitch in to help others...
and they are happy for each other's successes.

Each realizes that they are preparing for life...
not just math.

Each time they compete...
they learn.

So...
in essence...
the main competitor for each...
is himself.

Math at this level is applied logic.

Logic is applied to all of life.

They are learning how to efficiently and effectively think...
and so, how to learn in an efficient and effective manner.

So...
to conquer a problem...
is to achieve another step of self mastery.


This is why there is no envy...
and why they readily help each other.

They are all on the same team...
and all are facing the same enemy.

They are intellectual knights out to slay the dragon of ignorance.

And...
as each will eventually become Kings or Queens of their own realm...
there is no direct competition among one another...
but rather, there is a strong sense of camaraderie.  

Each cheers for the other's victories...
and each help prepare the younger ones to achieve their own victories.

This creates a strong learning atmosphere.


This is why Alex loves going to his math club practice.

















Saturday, March 18, 2017

Alex Won Gold At Mathleague Competition



 Song:  Highway Song

Group:  Blackfoot


Today's Mathleague competition was the last for the school year...
and it was needed for the NNV Math Club competitors
who had not competed in the requisite number of math competitions 
in order to qualify for this year's ARML Nationals.

So, there were many top competitors from the math club...
as well as from other schools.

Alex was especially excited about today's competition because he knew 
many top competitors would be there.


As it was a long competition lasting many hours...
I had dropped off Alex, and then went to pick him up an hour early.

When I had arrived...
Alex was still with the high school group in their testing area.


About half an hour later...
Alex came into the awards room.


Just before the awards ceremony...
there was a count down round for the middle schoolers.

This is the same as in Mathcounts.

Alex really loves to watch this particular round...
as it brings back fond memories of his Mathcounts days.


This young man had made the Mathcounts Nationals team the year before Alex had.

He graduated High School last year.

He has a very outgoing and engaging personality.

He was the Master of Ceremonies for the count down round...
where the middle schoolers went head to head in rapid calculation
(there are no calculators allowed).

He did a masterful job in keeping the contest moving forwards...
and in maintaining control of, and entertaining, the audience.



Just a couple of the head to head questions the middle schoolers had.

Just as in Mathcounts...
often times...
the children buzz in before the question is fully read.


The high schoolers had gotten their papers back.


Alex being called up to receive his First Place High School Individual winner ribbon.

The young man in orange had received second place.
He is one of the top competitors in NNV Math Club.

As he is a senior in high school...
he had already sent in his applications to the major universities in the US last year.
He should be getting the results soon.

I have no doubt that he will receive many acceptance letters from top universities.

Alex will be submitting his applications this October.





Alex's first place individual in the high school category.


Alex with a well earned happy smile.

I was especially happy because Alex has shown steady improvement
(dramatic improvement in his AIME score...as well as in competition).


On the way home...
I had asked Alex to what he attributes his great improvement.

Alex said that he has been concentrating on his missed questions...
researching the answers, and thereby, learning where he had gone wrong.

This is, of course, how a person learns in a most efficient manner.

The ones he had gotten correct he doesn't have to worry about...
but the ones he had missed are the ones from which he has the most to learn.

This is why Alex loves to take tests, and also compete.

They show all of his weak points...
and so, points to exactly where he must concentrate his efforts
so he may constantly improve.

Alex has not gotten complacent...
but rather, continues to strive boldly forth.



This is Alex's highway song:

Test to identify weaknesses...
and then concentrate on those areas
to always move on down the highway of life
at the highest rate of speed without burning out...
and so, to remain in constant high speed cruise mode.

He also knows that his study habits are what fuels his progress
on the highway of life...
and this is what allows a person to travel unimpeded by self doubt, or by laziness.











Friday, March 17, 2017

Alex's Progress in Mathematical Analysis II




Song:  Spring Waltz

Composer:  Chopin



The important thing you will see here...
is that, although Alex had received partial points on some of his homework
for some answers due to incomplete answers 
(although he still had done excellent work on all of his homework)...
on all of his quizes...
he had received full points.

This means he had learned from his mistakes.

Again, Alex uses 'Latex' programming to type out all of his homework
(although you must learn how to use basic 'Latex' programming language
to type out the mathematical symbols...Alex says it is relatively easy to learn...
and use).

Again...
math kids (children who love math, like Alex)
will love to see Alex's answers here.

On the few questions where Alex had missed giving a complete answer...
his professor writes in what was missing...
so they will be able to see what more was needed.























Alex will be competing in one last math contest tomorrow...
until near summer.

As most of the major tests are now out of the way...
other than midterms...and his constant preparation for his AP exams...
and especially for his SAT II Physics test 
(A special advanced Physics specific test coming up this May.
Although Alex is now taking Physics...his school did not offer advanced physics...
so, he is studying more advanced Physics on his own).

Alex now has a little breathing room.

He is looking forwards to tomorrows competition...
as many of the top competitors from his math club are expected to be there
(One of them is also in his Mathematical Analysis II class at UNR).











Thursday, March 16, 2017

Alex Tours Tesla's Gigafactory


Song:  Theme From Valley Of The Dolls

Artist:  Dione Warwick


Northstar Online High School had booked a tour at Tesla's Gigafactory...
for its students.

Alex and I went on this tour a couple of days ago.

Although Alex wasn't particularly keen on going...
I saw it as a great opportunity to let Alex see the organizational structure of a large company.

Elon Musk is the man behind Tesla.

He is a man of tremendous vision and drive.

Tesla is looking at the future...
not just in cars...
but in a way to convert the world to efficient solar and electrical energy storage...
not just in transportation...but in everything.

The function of this factory...
the largest in the world...
is mainly to produce Lithium Ion Batteries for Tesla cars...
and for the batteries which are sold to households...
companies...and municipalities.

The company representative had asked us to not show pictures 
of the inside or outside of the factory...
as it is still under construction.

The only place we could take photos was in the lobby...
and of the charging stations.


The Gigafactory is less than half an hour from our house.

We arrived at 10:45 AM...
and departed at around 1:30 PM.

I had taken this picture just outside the building...
of the supercharging stations.

They fully charge a Tesla car's batteries in about 1 hour.

The car can go approximately 400 miles...
so, if one wanted to go across country...
he would drive until lunch...
charge while eating...
and then continue on for the rest of the day.

They may also be charged at home (with 220 v)...
and overnight, it will have plenty of charge.


Tesla had bought a five square mile area for its operations.
'



This is a mockup of what the factory will look like when finished.


We were waiting in the lobby for the, over two hour, tour to begin.


This is a living wall.

All of the plants were alive.

They have a built in watering and feeding system.

From here...
the tour guide took us up one floor to see some of the employees at work at their workstations.

There were no cubicles...
no offices...no walls, other than the perimeter walls.

The tour guide had said two key things which I repeated to Alex on the way home.

1)  Tesla had lain out their work stations to get rid of barriers to direct communication
among the different departments.  Elon Musk believes in the path of efficiency
to lead to that which is most effective.  The tour guide told us that all department
leaders had received an email from Elon Musk stating that if any of them have nothing
to contribute to any meeting...they were to leave immediately (the meeting)...
and to find something more productive to do.

As I constantly stress to Alex...
it is all about efficiency through simplicity.

This is how you become the most effective.


2)  The whole concept of their business plan is a meritocracy.
What they are trying to accomplish is something which no other company 
has been successful at.  Elon Musk knows that the PC nonsense of the typical
university graduate will not do anything for his company.

He wants only the best...and a strict meritocracy is how to get it.
He rewards performance...not PC.

On the way home, I had reiterated this to Alex.

As I have said many times to him...
the world only cares about performance...
not about feelings...not about perceived offenses 
or diversity for diversity's sake...not about entitlements...
and certainly not any other PC excuses...
just performance.

Any organization which must streamline to survive...
and eventually thrive...
must operate as a meritocracy if it is to do this.

That is why the world of sports and symphonic orchestras do this...
it is the only way to become the best.

You get the best people...regardless of any other concern.

Nothing takes a higher priority.

--------

We were also shown the under frame of their new car...
and he had explained the materials and design used.

He had also talked of their designs for future cars...
ones aimed at the middle class buyers.

---------

The tour guide also said that they are hiring now...
and that for just 6,500 various positions...
they have received over 2.5 million applications.

Why so many applicants?

They pay a fair price...
and they offer great benefits.

That is how a meritocracy works...
you pay the best to get the best.
The rest of the world can have the remainders.

To be the best...you have to have the best.

Conversely...
if you want to be with the best...
you have to be the best.

----------

The tour guide also said that it is not what a person already knows...
as they can always train them how to operate.

He went on to say that the number one aspect of an applicant 
that they cannot train...
is their mind set.

This is what they are looking for...
why they wish to work for them.

Most of life is about attitude.

This is precisely why the PC crowd is always in for such a shock
once they leave their little PC world and step into the adult shoes
of the rest of the world.

It is always about performance...
it is always about operating in the competitive world of a meritocracy.


On our way home...
with Reno in the back ground.

We live on the far side of the picture...
in the mountains.


We are but a mile from home in this picture.

-------------

Tesla has plans for a total of 12 such Gigafactories throughout the world.

It is their plan to electrify the world...
in their cars...
homes...
cities.

------------

I had wanted Alex to hear about the underlying organizational philosophy directly from...
what is poised to become...
the largest company the world has ever seen.











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