Day 693

Today was filled with a lot of research.  I never imagined that I would have to write a 15 page paper for a math degree... but I am.  I think it's going to be a decent paper.  I don't really like this method of research, I've realized.  Most of these projects are starting with studies that other people have done, find a data set, and see how our results compare with the other studies we read.  I'm at a point where, given more time and my current level of understanding of the topic, I could take it all much further.  But time constraints, lack of understanding, and other human factors have made it pretty well impossible.

Our project is mainly a statistical approach to finding important factors for the differences between income of men and women.  It's been very interesting to study.  We picked about 10 variables (like age, education, occupation, region of the country, etc) that might account for a difference in income.  However, even our most robust model suggested that gender is a fairly significant factor.  The theory is that if all of the proper variables could be accounted for, there should be no (or minimal) difference.  Otherwise, there is potential for discrimination.  And I've learned a lot about the topic and why there is a difference... but no statistician or economist has yet been able to come up with an informed reason for the difference.  There's plenty of speculation, but no objective reason.  So if I had more time, I'd want to acquire more data to see if a better model could be found.  But alas, that's not going to happen.  Instead, I'll just write up a paper, include lots of tables with important numbers, and include notes on how the study could be continued.

After working on my paper for the majority of the day, Kimmy and I went on an adventure!  There's a little shop in the park by our house, so we decided to walk over there and see what was inside.  It always seemed to be closed, so we were hoping that it wouldn't be this time.  We checked the weather before we left and saw it would probably rain soon, so we brought an umbrella.  It's a good thing we did because it rained a lot.  We both got soaked.  But it was fun.  Usually our spontaneous adventures turn out poorly (like buying tickets to a comedy club in New York...).

When we got back, it was time to make some dinner.  Today's adventure was stir-fry!  Specifically, we made stir-fry with chicken, eggs, cucumber, corn, and pineapple.  It was pretty fantastic.

After dinner we were both feeling kinda antsy and just like we needed to get out of the house... so we went to the grocery store.  Apparently that's what we do when we're bored and poor.  So we went to all of our stores (Aldi, Marsh, and Walmart).  I had the weirdest experience while at Walmart.  I saw three different students that I've had over the past couple of years.  Usually one of two things happens when I encounter a student.  Either a) they greet me or b) avoid me.  I've developed this dreadful habit of simply making eye contact with my student and waiting for him/her to respond.  My favorite response happened about a week ago.  I was walking across campus when I saw a former student.  I made the obligatory eye contact and she instantly put her ear buds in and looked at the ground until we'd passed.  It was funny to me.  Oddly, there's no correlation between grades and how students react when they see me.  I've had students get A's and avoid me while students who got D's excitedly greet me.  And I've had the converse as well.  It's strange.

Anyhow, I think that's about it!  Good night, everybody.

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