Side Projects (Part 1?)

I think it is important to have a variety of projects capturing one’s attention. The breadth and depth of these will vary by individual, but they should be there nonetheless. Someone who is incredibly invested in one particular field or interest will be more aware of the branching-off points, and can thus develop projects related to the disparate branches of that field. Others may be interested in many topics, and have projects related to each.

I fall into the latter category, as do a good chunk of my friends. I have become widely interested in many topics throughout college, and this was one of the main reasons I did not immediately pursue higher education. While I love mathematics, I cannot see myself devoting a majority of my life to only studying it for the next five years, and wanted the opportunity to do many things I did not do in college, or double-down on some of the projects I started then.

In addition to this blog that I am trying to keep up with better, there are the podcasts Operation: Have a Conversation and Comical Start. There was the joke-blog I announced a couple of weeks ago. I’m trying to read more, and still keep up with doing some math so that I can be more effective at my new job I am starting soon. I have been playing tennis more, and joined a softball league while I’m still in Minnesota.

These projects keep me busy, and keep me happy. I like to have a variety of things to work on, because I’ve always loved each subject I’ve been introduced to. My passion for them may diminish at times — I’ll always¬† be more invested in math than in biology — but being able to have conversations or read a few articles about new ideas is exciting. Writing this blog is exciting, and talking with my friends and editing podcasts is invigorating. Playing newer and older sports to me is always a good time, because I like to stretch the muscles I’ve worked all my life, but also pick up new skills. The internal growth I want to achieve is being reflected in the growth in new activities I’m participating in. There will be more to come about that last sentence.

Card Game Simulation

I had another busy week, so I’m taking advantage of old stuff I can recycle.


A month or two ago, I was playing a Solitaire variation my parents taught me when I was younger, and I realized that it was a completely deterministic game once the deck was shuffled. That is, unlike traditional solitaire, there was no element of choice by the player. As such, it made it very easy to write a simulation of it and analyze the details.


The very brief report I wrote up is here, and the simulation code (which is also linked in the report) is here.

The short version, is that it is a break-even game on average, which is pretty interesting. Furthermore, the overall result is normally distributed around breaking even.


I’m trying to include a more well-rounded amount of content here, since math is still very close to my heart and I’d like to only maintain one sight for everything. It will continue to be a mix of things, so that we’re all on the same page.

Shameless Plug

An extension cord walks in on its son, a vacuum (three-pronged cord of course), plugging itself into an electrical outlet. Aghast at what it sees, the extension cord can only cry out: “You shameless plug, you’re grounded!”


I’m going on vacation this upcoming week. This original joke is the best I could do. The actual shameless plug is my friend Brandon’s review blog, as well as my competing review of his blog, where I verbally abuse and critique his writing even if I have not experienced whatever he is reviewing.

It’s all in good fun.