Samstag, 16. Dezember 2006

Criminal Minds - Now I've realized it..
FBI BAU Special Agent Spencer Reid
Played by Matthew Gray Gubler, Dr. Reid graduated from high school at age 12. Reid is a 25-year-old former Las Vegas schoolboy with a triple PhD. Often serving as the team's statistics expert, he has an uncanny ability for spotting complex patterns. He does not believe that genius can be measured but admits that he has an eidetic memory, an I.Q. of 187 and can read 20,000 words per minute. Dr. Reid's mother is a mental patient, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, an illness that can be passed on genetically. Dr. Reid also serves as the team's handwriting analyst.
The second intelligence test mentioned by Guinness is the Mega Test, designed by Hoeflin and taken by Marilyn as an adult in the mid-1980s. The Mega Test yields deviation IQs: scores obtained by multiplying the testee's z-score (the rarity of their raw score on the test) by a constant standard deviation (in this case 16) and then adding 100. Marilyn's raw score was 46 out of 48, corresponding in the latest norming of the test to a z-score of 5.4 and therefore an IQ of 186, a percentile of 99.999997, and a rarity of 1 in 30,000,000 (Hoeflin 1989).
It is safe to say that Marilyn has one of the highest IQs ever recorded. More extravagant claims—that she is the smartest person in the world (Schmich 1985), or is more or less intelligent than such-and-such a child prodigy, historical genius, or famous intellectual—should be treated cautiously. Marilyn herself values IQ tests as measurements of a variety of mental abilities, but believes that intelligence itself involves so many factors that 'attempts to measure it are useless' (vos Savant 2005).
Conclusion: Since Marilyn vos Savant is quite famous in the USA, it is likely that she was the model for the character of Dr. Spencer Reid of Criminal Minds.

The Monty Hall Problem

Yes, this problem illustrates why I sometimes get so enraged with people who seem to be worse at logics. According to Wikipedia, even a lot of academics, including Ph.D.s in mathematics, doubted Marilyn vos Savant's correct solution to this problem and accused her of "innumeracy". Of course Marilyn was right. But it's difficult to convince somebody of one's rightness if this person is worse at logics because this person will have a hard time understanding the argumentation.

That's why there are mathematicians after all. But, as I said, in this case even a lot of Ph.D.s in mathematics were initially unable to follow Marilyn, and only after several more explanations they finally had to admit that she was right and they had been wrong.

A similar problem occurs on discussing about subjects that require a relatively high level of education, while there are many popular misconceptions. Politics is a good example, for there are many common misconceptions about terms such as left-wing, right-wing, fascism, freedom, democracy, liberalism etc. For example, a lot of young people call themselves "left-wing" in order to defend themselves against accusitions of being "right-wing", but have no clue about the various possible meanings of these terms. That's also the reason why I wrote and published my personal definitions of various terms some weeks ago.

Sho Timothy Yano

"Sho Timothy Yano (矢野 祥, born October 22, 1990, Portland, Oregon) is an American boy who reportedly scored over 200 on an I.Q. test. Yano's father, Katsura, is of Japanese descent and his mother, Kyung, is of Korean descent.

Yano reportedly played Chopin on the piano at age 3. He went to the Mirman School as a child. After scoring 1500 out of 1600 on the SAT at age 8, he entered Loyola University at age 9, graduating summa cum laude at age 12, and now attends the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago in the MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program) program designed to earn a combined MD and PhD. According to him, he owes much of his success to his mother, who noticed his intellectual gifts at an early age and helped stimulate him through rigorous academic enrichment. She also homeschooled him through the 12th grade, saying she felt other students his age wouldn't be as interested in their studies."

He, too, owes his success to homeschooling.

Donnerstag, 14. Dezember 2006

Eragon and homeschooling

Yesterday Austrian TV featured a short news about the upcoming fantasy movie "Eragon". I learned from this news that the author of Eragon, Christopher Paolini, is younger than me. However, thanks to Wikipedia I now know that he actually isn't that much younger than me, but rather almost exactly my age (he was born on 17 November 1983, I on 8 October 1983).

At Wikipedia I also learned that Christopher Paolini was taught by his parents at home and never attended school.

IMHO he's a good example of why homeschooling may be a good thing for gifted children: Homeschooling gave him enough time to develop his world of fantasy, which enabled him to become the author of a best-selling novel at the tender age of 22. According to Austrian TV, he's a millionaire by now.

Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2006

Das erste Mal

"Österreichische Jugendliche sind im europäischen Vergleich Frühstarter in Sachen Sex. Im Durchschnitt findet das 'erste Mal' im Alter von 16,3 Jahren statt - das bedeutet Platz zwei im Ranking von 26 Staaten." (

Interessant! Ich dachte, das erste Mal fände beim Durchschnitt der Bevölkerung noch viel früher statt.

Samstag, 9. Dezember 2006

Geek, Dork or Nerd?

My results:

Pure Nerd
78 % Nerd, 39% Geek, 39% Dork

How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness

You scored higher than 99% on geekosity

You scored higher than 99% on dork points

Freitag, 8. Dezember 2006

Ganztagsschulen und Mathematik

Auf ist ein Artikel über eine Studie, wonach Ganztagsschüler in Mathematik bessere Leistungen erbringen als Halbtagsschüler, insbesondere in Textaufgaben. Toll! Vielleicht ist Ganztagsschule doch eine gute Sache.

Aus den Kommentaren zu diesen Artikeln:
solala | 04.12, 21:41
Das leben besteht nur mehr aus Mathemaitk, Geld verdienen, und den Naturwissenschaften!
Blöd nur, das das nicht wirklich der Fall ist, und die Menschen dann in einem sehr konfliktreichen Leben stehen werden.
Wie wäre es mit einem weiten Sprektrum aller Bereiche des Menschlichen Lebens im Unterricht.
Ochjö, das wäre wirklich zu viel verlangt, nichtwahr?!!?!?!
burnside | 04.12, 21:57
Du meinst anscheinend Themen wie: Wie reisse ich auf? Wie bekomme ich mein Gegenueber ins Bett? Wie uebervorteile ich meine Partner? Mobben - aber richtig! Selbstdarstellung fuer Fortgeschrittene... etc.

Diskmag presentation

I've uploaded my Powerpoint presentation about diskmags from RESFEST 2006, which took place in Vienna last week.

Unfortunately there were not many visitors (only about 20). Probably that's because the demoscene isn't well known among the general public. Maybe it was also because the presentation started at about 17:00 and this was a bit too early for most... although it was Saturday.

Donnerstag, 7. Dezember 2006


I haven't posted for a while since I'm now working as an intern at the gynecology department of a hospital in Vienna. I have to spend only five hours a day there, but that's more than enough for me! Well, today I had the chance to watch some surgical operations, which was interesting, but apart from that, it's rather boring. I'm not jealous of the doctors who have to do this dull routine all their lives.

This has made me wonder yet again what the challenging medical study is for, if afterwards you have such a job that is neither challenging intellectually nor physically.

Well, of course there's one good thing: the doctor's degree, with which you can show off! :-)

Freitag, 1. Dezember 2006

Déjà vécu,1518,450913,00.html

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