The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Sports Special (Math exercises in sports)
So You Think You Know BASIC? (Questions about BASIC programming language)

```[image] Sports Special

Look for math exercises in various sports that your students follow so avidly.
Here are some examples of things to be computed in different sports:

Baseball Batting averages
Hockey Penalty minutes per period
Football Pass completion percentages

Another interesting exercise is to make a prediction model. It is easiest to do
with the win-lose record for each team. For example, about halfway through the
football season, the win-lose record for four teams might look like this:

5
Dallas Cowboys
4
3 Pittsburgh Steelers
WON
2 San Francisco 49ers
1 Boston Patriots
0
0 1 2 3 4 5 LOST

Using this graph, a team that is higher and to the left has a greater chance of
beating one lower and right. The further apart the teams, the greater point
spread would be expected, i.e., the 49ers might be expected to beat the Patriots
by one touchdown, whereas Dallas might be expected to tromp Boston by three
touchdowns. Make a big chart for the class that can be updated daily or weekly
and predict all the games each week. How accurate is this prediction model? Try
other variables instead of win-lose record, such as third down conversions or
total yardage gained.

Some students might wish to write a computer program for the prediction model.
In such a program, several variables can be averaged together or even given
different "weights" to make an even better model. A word of warning: No model,
no matter how many variables are considered, is perfect. Indeed, if the outcome
of sporting events could be perfectly forecasted, there would be no more
"sport".

Here is the output from one such program:

EXPECTED EXPECTED
TEAM1 SCORE TEAM2 SCORE
BOSTON 19 BUFFALO 17
NY JETS 21 CLEVELAND 14
NY GIANTS 10 MIAMI 28
OAKLAND 21 DENVER 18
etc.

194

So You Think You Know BASIC?

List the seventeen fundamental statements in the BASIC language

1 7 13
2 8 14
3 9 15
4 10 16
5 11 17
6 12

A. lf there were a decree that said you had to use fewer statements, draw a line
through the 5 statements you could easily do without. Are there 5 others that
you could get along without?

B. Circle the four that really do the most for you and which you would hold on
to until the very end.

C. After getting rid of all 10 statements asked for in A., is there anything you
really cannot do? If there is. you ought to think about changing some of your
decisions.

D. Which statements are necessary, and which just make programming easier? What
value do you place on these latter statements?

E. Consider other items in life similarly. What possessions do you enjoy (make a
list of 12)? Which ones could you give up if you had to? How important to you
are things that are nice but not necessary?

[image] Insert the numbers from 1 through 8 in the eight boxes, one digit to a
box, in such a manner that there are no consecutive numbers next to each other,
horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

John R. Cossen
Bellerose, N.Y.Page 194        << PREVIOUS        >> NEXT        Jump to page:                Go to contents        Go to thumbnails

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