Friday, May 14, 2010

Quick Post: Wolfram Alpha

From a gaming site:

Background Research

If you don’t care about where my information came from or how I compiled it, skip on over this part, but for the naysayers out there, this is what and how I did it. I’ll include links at the bottom of this article in case you kids at home want to try it out. In a rather complicated nut-shell… I referenced population data in Wolfram Alpha by state and county and compared that proportionally to the registered DCI users from the DCI player database online. I then cross referenced every county in the US via its latitude and longitude as recorded in the US Census from the year 2000 against the addresses for every National Qualifier event in the US and Canada as found in Wizards' online event locator. (The addresses found in the event locator were tossed through an online tool I found which converted them to latitude and longitude.) I then bounced all those coordinates though an Excel calculation to take into account the curvature of the earth and give me accurate distances (as the crow flies) to each event from every county. Once I had those HUGE data tables arranged and I had broken Google Docs spread sheet I reorganized the data into usable bits to tell me things like the minimum distance that someone in each county would have to travel to an event, and how that differs from the 2009 event schedule etc. I also weighted all the averaged distances by the affected population that would have to travel them.

I am not teaching my students to use the available resources sufficiently well.  That is all.

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