6.006 2014 Spring Problem Set 4 Title Distribution

Here’s the distribution of what the students of 6.006 in Spring 2014 titled their fourth problem set.

[no title]: 2
PSET 4: 1
6.006 PSET 4: 1
Problem Set 0: 1
Problem Set 1: 1
Problem Set 2: 7
Problem Set 3: 8
Problem Set 4: 261
Problem Set 4.A: 1
6.006 Problem Set 4: 5



In Search of Faded Colors

There were many of us
Most of our blood was red
But there were some of us
For which else could be said

We knew this they don’t like
So we didn’t dare show
We knew for best of all
Only us here should know

But one day you got hurt
And from that wound you bled
And they all saw that hole
Pouring blood not quite red

They would not stand strange blood
And to exile they sent
You and your foreign veins
Thus was how a friend went

Later on they then made
An injection they said
Would replace exile
It returned blood to red

Then they found all of us
That had in us more colors
And they rescued, they said,
Us to be like the others

Yet it was very clear
They still hate us inside
The only difference now
Is our true blood denied

And then I realized
Dead I might as well be
As without the blood dyed
What was left wasn’t me

UPDATE: 2015.03.19: changed fourth word of third line.
UPDATE: 2016.01.31: changed third word of eighth line.

2014 USAMO Qualifier Statistics

The following is a map partitioning the United States into four regions of approximately equal numbers of qualifiers.


The most represented last name is a three way tie between Chen, Wu, and Zhang, each with 8 qualifiers.

The least represented first letter of last name is a two way tie between I and U, each with 0 qualifiers.

New York has a notable downward trend, from 22 in 2012 to 15 in 2013 to 12 in 2014.
North Carolina has a notable downward trend, from 9 in 2012 to 7 in 2013 to 3 in 2014.

Florida has a notable upward trend, from 5 in 2012 to 7 in 2013 to 11 in 2014.

As is usually the case, New Hampshire has the highest qualifier to population ratio, being home to Phillips Exeter Academy.

The Chens of MIT by Major

Here is a graph of the number of students by major at MIT with last name Chen. Note that this includes both undergraduates and graduates; the height of one of these bars would be drastically smaller if the graph was of just undergraduates. chensGraph

UPDATE: Due to multiple requests, here is a comparison to the expected number assuming being proportional to the MIT overall major distribution.


The Staircase

Once with a friend
I came upon a strangest of staircases I’ve seen
Located in the heart
Of an already bewilderingly strange building

Its bottom: floor three
But when we gazed up we couldn’t see to
The top at nine
For the stairwell veered off vertical

Many weeks later I returned
To behold the spectacle this staircase was once again
Perhaps find a why
For the staircase’s scoliotic how

Then I thought
Such structures visited barely anymore in the modern world save during a fire
Must truly have known the fullest loneliness

A loyal twisted quadrilateral
Only to meet friends of old when sacrificing for them during
A time of danger
To deliver them safely

Your devotion to us even after
We abandoned your kind
Makes me reconsider you
Your story I’ll remember for you
Of how you reflect
Tides of time changing you