## Saturday, September 08, 2007

### Week recap!

Ok, first (half) week of school is done. I'm now stuck on this horrible weekend away from that heaven of learning. Ok, don't have that much to say, except about AP Calculus and AP Physics, which were exceptionally fun! Most the other classes were still about getting used to the setting and going over the class requirements and all of that boredom.

So, AP Calculus was pretty fun. It was a review of functions, namely the "mother functions" (it took me a while to get that too). They are y=x, y=x^2, y=x^3, y=1/x, y=|x|, y=sin x, and y = cos x. I think that's all of them. But yeah, that was what was so interesting.

AP Physics was more fun! I look forward heavily to this class in the year. We did some examples of Fermi problems, which are essentially problems where you have to estimate to get the correct answer, because finding the actual answer is impractical or impossible. For example, "How many notes does the 'typical' radio station play in a year?" You can't count or call up the station, your best guess is to estimate. And the best way to do this is with the factor-label method. This is basically, you start out with an assumption, lets say a station can get through 200 songs in a day. You start with that, then you keep converting that until you get to notes per year. It goes like this:

200 songs/day * 700 notes/song * 365 days/year

You end up with 51,100,000 which is about in the ballpark of what we did in class. Of course, other students used different values, some more reality-based than others. But they were all in the ten millions range, pretty close for estimates like that. We had a lot of fun with those. So that's some of the stuff we did in that class. And, uhhh, can't think of anything else to write about.