Math 203 Project: Frequently Asked Questions (archived page)


How should the project be submitted?

As a hard copy, stapled or bound in some way.

Is it to be written out like a paper? How much of the math work do you want us to show?

You may choose to write up the project as a series of problems with solutions, or you may write it up in the form of a term paper.

In any event, you must show the math work. Since math is harder to typeset than text, you may want to defer computations to a handwritten appendix.

Should we list our sources?


Task 1

Is it sufficient to do perform the nearest neighbor algorithm starting in Jefferson City?

To make sure that you find the best Hamiltonian circuit this algorithm can give, you will have to do the algorithm once for each city.

Task 2

Do we have to calculate all these standard deviations?

Yes you do. If you are not proficient with a spreadsheet or in possession of an advanced calculator, have patience or team up with someone who is.

Which formula for standard deviation should we use?

To compute the standard deviation for the mean value, you must first determine the standard deviation, s, for the sample of 10 readings. For this you should use the formula from page 222. Once you have that, you can find the standard deviation for the true reading time, using the formula from chapter 8. You may want to study the example on pp. 310-311.

Task 3

Task 4

What is plurality voting with runoff?

Plurality voting with runoff differs from simple plurality as follows: If no candidate wins 50% of the votes, a new election is held in which only the two top contenders (or more, if there are ties) participate. This ensures that the final winner is elected by a majority of the voters.

France uses plurality voting with runoff in presidential elections.

What do you do in sequential pairwise voting when there is a tie in the first round?

In sequential pairwise voting, any winner of a round goes on to the next round. Thus, if one round is a tie, both candidates go on to compete against the next candidate on the agenda.

Task 5

If Arnold has a higher probability of winning a state, does he then take all of the electoral college votes for that state?

The idea is to weight the prize (number of votes) by the chance of getting it. For example, if Arnold has a 25% chance of carrying a state that yields 8 votes, this "gives" him 25% of 8 votes = 2 votes.

Should we round up/down on the number of votes Arnold recieves?

Do not round the votes for the individual states. You may round the final result, the expected number of electoral votes, up/down.
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