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Facing the Big Bad Wolf

By Grace Gorman, VI Form

Facing the Big Bad Wolf

My mom has always described me as “fearless.” To some extent, when she recounts my fearlessness, she is referring to my willingness to try new, courageous things. However, I also possess another kind of fearlessness – the determination to face whatever comes with strength and bravery. The way she retells it, she first recognized my fearlessness during a family trip to Busch Gardens amusement park.

That day, I was unable to go on many rides with my siblings because I was too small. However, this all changed when we arrived at The Big Bad Wolf. This ride was notorious for being the fastest and most thrilling at the park, and no matter how much my mom tried to convince me that I should not go on it, I was determined. Despite measuring tall enough to ride, right before stepping into the suspended seat, my stomach dropped, filling with fear and uncertainty. Nevertheless, I proceeded and, with my mom sitting next to me, we climbed the long, steep track. As we were hurled through the air, my mom screamed, “Gracie, are you okay?” I joyfully hollered back, “I want to do this again!”

From that moment on, I have been considered the most adventurous child of my family. At four years old I gleefully jumped off the high diving board at a local pool, at eight years old I began riding horses, and last year I snorkeled in the middle of the ocean, where I swam right next to a Barracuda and touched stingrays. While my mom might use these examples to describe my fearlessness, these are not the moments during which I consider myself to have been the most fearless. My most fearless times were after my sister died. (more…)

Math Modeling: Improved System for Ranking Colleges

By Steven Li & Gabriel Xu, V Form and Finn Reams & Thee Ngamsangrat, VI Form 

Math Modeling: Improved System for Ranking Colleges

Summary

Our task was to rank undergraduate colleges based on major elements that were most important to us. To solve the problem at hand, we first came up with six general elements of a college that held significance and found specific variables that would quantify each element. After putting all the variables into a ranking function, we adjusted the weights put on each category in correspondence with the importance we believed they contributed. We applied our model to both normal and extreme cases for testing, and we drew a 3D graph that showed the relationship between the final result with two of the variables as well. (more…)