Intel day 3 March 13, 2010Posted by Akhil Mathew in General.
Tags: Intel STS
(Today was the third day of the Intel STS competition.)
I had my third judging interview today at about 11:40 am. The judging panel included a computer scientist who pointed to the seven wrapped chocolates on the desk and informed me that to each was assigned a number, and that I needed to discover which contained the median. I didn’t have the actual numbers, but I could compare any two. In the end, I said something about sorting algorithms (e.g. heapsort). He then asked me about counting paths from (0,0) to (m,n) where one can move either right or up on each move; I stated a recursive formula, but got the wrong closed form expression (it’s a binomial coefficient, and I said it was a power of 2). I was then asked by the other judge about what change I would make if I had to design the human body. I suggested eliminating cognitive biases and improving rationality but that wasn’t legal; I then suggested various ideas such as removing vestigial organs and improving our ability to type, but settled on increasing the efficiency with which energy can be extracted from food.
I then had lunch and went to the National Academy of Sciences, where we set up our projects. My poster had developed a slight tear from being sent through the mail, but I fixed it with construction paper.