Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A lament for time and energy wasted
Posted by Raznor

So, I'm grading a project I assigned my students, that involves finding standard deviations for a different data set per student. So, since all I have is Mathematica, I've set up a sheet on Mathematica that, step by step, finds the standard deviation. First finding the mean by adding things up, then dividing, then typing a different calculation for the standard deviation each time. And as each student is finding 2-4 standard deviations, this is a huge pain.

Then I thought "Hey, wait, this is way too much work for a common mathematical calculation", so I look up standard deviation in the Mathematica help file, and sure enough, there's a command called StandardDeviation that does all the work described above for me. And here I have spent hours over the past three days trying to get this graded the hard way, when I probably could have cut my time in half, at least.

So the fact that things are going easier at the moment is the only consolation for what I just went through. Ah life.

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