## Tuesday, August 24, 2010

### The Teacher is now the Student!

Run, don't walk, to http://onlinemathcourses.org where you can take refresher courses for teachers online at your own pace from Algebra to Calculus.  This is a quick and easy way to get some graduate credits and improve that FAS (Final Average Salary) for retirement!

I am currently taking MTE507 Algebra II.  One of the first topics discussed was Linear Programming.  Here's what I had to say about it:

Linear Algebra in general and Linear Programming in particular encompass a wide variety of skills and applications.  Indeed, it is a shame that this topic is often relegated to a one-week or two-week unit at the end of most PreCalculus curricula.  The fact that this topic is slowly finding its way into the Algebra II syllabus is very encouraging.

Students who study Linear Programming will learn a valuable problem solving technique for maximizing or minimizing objective functions.  In addition to learning a new method for problem solving, the student will review many important skills learned earlier in the course.  The student will need to review linear equations, points of intersection, solving 2x2 systems of equations as well as graphing inequalities!  This is a great opportunity to share the movie "A Beautiful Mind" about John Nash's Theorem which introduces the concept of Linear Programming for the first time.  The movie shows how John Nash's discoveries were applied to the field of Econometrics many years later and even earned Dr. Nash a Nobel Prize!

Solving optimization problems in this way can be done in a traditional fashion with just pencil and paper.  However, this is a great time to use technology too!  The students can solve the systems of equations graphically using a Graphing Calculator.  The student may even be introduced to the Matrix Menu of a TI-83/84 to solve these problems via the tools of Linear Algebra.  Using technology also makes it easy to entertain "what if scenarios" where one could change a few parameters in the question to see how they affect the solution.

However, the teacher is not bound by the technology of Graphing Calculators in this day and age.  Many schools have access to PC Classrooms with Mathematica, Maple or MATLAB software installed whereby these problems may be addressed using the power of a computer.  In fact, I have used a free software platform called SAGE, which is much like Mathematica, exactly for this purpose.

## Sunday, August 22, 2010

### RIP BHCC 1999-2010

The Baldwin High Chess Club had a great run from 1999 to 2010! However, I am giving it up this year due to time constraints....

We started out as an extension of my Computer Math class, believe it or not, just playing some games informally. Then we started meeting after school. Then we became an official club in 1999.

We started out having Ladder Competitions every Monday doing Game/5 or 10 or 15 or 30.  The following year we all got USCF memberships and played rated QUADs and OCTOs against each other.  I even got certified as a USCF Coach and a USCF Local Tournament Director. We even made BHCC an official USCF affiliated club:

# USCF Scholastic Affiliate H6017160

The following year we added a traveling Chess Team when we joined the NCICL (Nassau County InterScholastic Chess League).  The second Thursday of each month we'd host a school that came from, say Freeport HS, by 4PM and each player had 90 minutes per game.  6 games were played similtaneously between the two 6 player teams.  The fourth Thursday each month we'd go on a bus to challenge another school ourselves!

Our last such meet was at home and as luck would have it, my team was made up primarily of Freshmen and the opposing team Seniors. That, in and of itself, posed no difficulty. However, the opposing team was extremely late!  So, we started their clocks at 4PM and by the time they finally showed up, they each had only 15 min left of game time while my team still had the customary 90 min! Everyone played on with fine sportsmanship until, one of the Seniors lost on a technicality that my Freshman made rudely evident. So, said senior proceeded to through my tournament pieces all over the room and stormed out of the faculty cafeteria where I was hosting the event and nearly knocked over a Coke machine in the process. I was afraid my poor little Freshman was about to get flung out the window as well....

Recently we went back to USCF rated tournaments in house. Below you will find some screenshots from our old BHCC website.  Here's a record of all the games I hosted as a USCF Tournament Director (ignore CA listings) http://www.uschess.org/msa/TnmtLst.php?bhcc

MAIN PAGE (links may not work soon as old http://calcpage.tripod.com site is closing):

# http://calcpage.tripod.com/bhcc calcpage@lycos.com

The first competition of the year will be a 1 section Swiss Pairing System Tournament to determine initial ranks on the club’s Ladder Board.  Initial placement will be according to ratings after the SLQ.  The ratings will be calculated based on games won, lost or drawn and the appended SLQ Ratings Table (see below).  All players are rated 1200 initially and re–rated at the conclusion of each round of the SLQ.

The Tournament Director will announce when the SLQ will be held.  For example:

First Meeting Each September; Baldwin High CC Closed Quick Swiss Ladder Qualifier 6SS G/5
Room 429; Baldwin High School841 Ethel T. Kloberg DriveBaldwinNY 11510
EF: Free; G\$\$ Ladder Board Placement, Trophies to top 3 and Medals to rest at the end of the year
Registration 2:45 PM, Rounds: 3:00, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30, 3:40, 3:50
INFO: A. Jorge García via http://calcpage.tripod.com/bhcc
NS, NC

The top 3 ranked players will receive trophies.  Also the highest rated, the most games played and the most ranks gained will receive plaques.  Awards will be distributed at our last meeting in June each year.  The top 10 ranked players will also receive a medal!

New members (anyone not playing at least one round of the SLQ) can join anytime during the year.  These students will also start with a provisional 1200 club rating, but the rank will be at the bottom of the ladder board.  Please note that all tournaments except the first (SLQ) and the last (Annual BHCC Championship) are OPEN to all USCF members as well as students, faculty and staff at Baldwin High School as most of our members are now rated USCF members.  See our Tournament Life Announcement at http://www.uschess.org in Chess Life magazine (a publication of USCF).

Your SLQ Responsibilities
You will be informed by the Tournament Director as to whom you are playing, whether you are white or black and the time control.
Its is the responsibility of the Black player is to set–up the chess board, pieces and clock.
Upon conclusion of the game, it will be the responsibility of the White player to report the result of the game to the Tournament Director.

Subsequent Tournaments
Every meeting will consist of a tournament.  In SS or RR tournaments, we will follow SLQ rules.  We will alternate between QUAD and OCTO meetings (G/10 = 3 rounds in one meeting, G/30 = 3 rounds in 3 meetings).  Every game affects your standing on the Ladder Board.

Change of Club Ratings
Ratings will be adjusted after each Tournament based on games won, lost or drawn using one of the attached ratings charts.  Ratings do not influence ranks except in the initial SLQ (at the beginning of each year).

Change of Rankings
There will be no penalty when losing or drawing a match for the higher ranked player.
There will be no award when winning a match for the higher ranked player.
If the lower ranked player, the challenger, wins the match, this player will be awarded a new rank half–way between the current rank and that of the opponent.
If the challenger draws the match, this player will be awarded a new rank one-quarter–way between the current rank and that of the opponent.
If the challenger losses the match, this player will not be awarded a new rank.

EXCEPTION1:        If the challenger is on the same rung of the ladder as the opponent, then winning the game causes the two players to swap ranks.  Further, drawing the game will cause the challenger to assume the rank directly below the opponent!

EXCEPTION2:        If the challenger is ranked directly below the opponent, then winning the game causes the two players to swap ranks.  Further, drawing the game will not cause a rank adjustment!!

EXCEPTION3:        If you do not defend your position on the ladder board at least once a month, your rank will be reduced by the number of months that you have not defended your rank!!!  Anyone losing 10 or more ranks in any given meeting due to repeated absence may be removed from the ladder board.

Every player will have an index card on the Ladder Board with their name, club rating, rung, rank, date of last defense, number of games played and ranks earned recorded.  These cards will be arranged with the higher ranked players on the top on a bulletin board in Room 429 as follows.  This website will also report the ladder board.

Rungs            Ranks
A:                    1
B:                    2                      3
C:                    4                      5                      6
D:                    7                      8                      9                      10
E:                    11                    12                    13                    14                    15
F:                    16                    17                    18                    19                    20…

G/5 Ratings Table
 Ratings Difference If High Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If Low Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If a Draw, Add to Low, Deduct from High 0 25 25 0 1–50 20 30 5 51–100 15 35 10 101–150 10 40 15 151–200 5 45 20 201 or more 0 50 25
G/10 Ratings Table
 Ratings Difference If High Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If Low Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If a Draw, Add to Low, Deduct from High 0 50 50 0 1–50 40 60 10 51–100 30 70 20 101–150 20 80 30 151–200 10 90 40 201 or more 0 100 50
G/15 Ratings Table
 Ratings Difference If High Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If Low Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If a Draw, Add to Low, Deduct from High 0 75 75 0 1–50 60 90 15 51–100 45 105 30 101–150 30 120 45 151–200 15 135 60 201 or more 0 150 75
G/30 and SLQ Ratings Table
 Ratings Difference If High Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If Low Wins, Add to Winner, Deduct from Loser If a Draw, Add to Low, Deduct from High 0 100 100 0 1–50 80 120 20 51–100 60 140 40 101–150 40 160 60 151–200 20 180 80 201 or more 0 200 100

SAMPLE EVENTS PAGE:
Baldwin High Chess Club
Every Monday Lessons, 2:45 PM – 3:00 PM, Room 429
Every Monday Tournaments, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Room 122

BHCC Weekly Challenge

6thAnnual BHCC Championship
05/03/2007      05/10/2007      05/17/2007      05/24/2007
4SS G30

FREE Entry for Baldwin Students
USCF Rated 3RR G/30 Every Monday (3 meetings)
USCF Rated Prize OCTO 3SS G/10 Every Monday (1 meeting)
USCF Membership Required for Rated Prize OCTO:
Students \$25/yr, Seniors \$36/yr, Adults \$49/yr
Entry per USCF Member: \$5
Prizes per OCTO:  \$20-\$10

September: Ladder Qualifier CYCLONE 6SS G/5
June: BHCC Championship TORNADO 4SS G/15
Last Meeting:
Plaques: Most Ranks, Most Games, Highest Rated
Trophies: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Places in Championship Tournament

#### Open to Students, Faculty and Staff

###### New Members are always Welcome!

Mr. A. Jorge García
USCF Certified Chess Coach
USCF Certified Local Tournament Director
http://calcpage.tripod.com/bhcc
ftp://ftp.baldwinschools.net
calcpage@lycos.com

MEMBERSHIP PAGE:

Home Phone:____________________          Birthdate:__________

________________________________________

________________________________________

Have you ever been a member of a chess club before?:____________________

Are you a member of the USCF?:____________________

Do you have a National Chess Rating?:____________________

Beginner
You do NOT know how to move the pieces yet.

You do know how to move the pieces, capture an
opponent’s piece and have played a few games.

Intermediate
You’ve played more than just a few games and have
an understanding of the en passant and castling
moves.

You’ve played regularly at a club or at several
tournaments.

# Please send donations to calcpage@lycos.com via www.paypal.com.

Generally speaking,