The Game of Probability

Describe an event that has had a great impact on you and why?

“Quick, help us out! Have you done the first bonus question yet?”

There are five minutes left in the GAME Candy Bar Contest. I turn the problem sheet over; the question is on…probability. I groan. Probability has always been my white rabbit; I take a deep breath and read the problem.

Wait…I have seen this question before. I did the same kind of problem in my probability course as a math major at Governor’s Honors. I shout, “Guys, I know how to do this one! Hold on one second!”

“The winner of the Candy Bar Contest is Norcross High School. Congratulations!” The math meet is over, and once again we have won. Today I return with a personal sense of victory; I have successfully answered a question that I would usually find challenging. I breathe a sigh of joy.

Math always presents itself as both a challenge and an adventure. I remember my first accelerated math course. I lived in China then, and I was in first grade. My teacher picked a group of five students from a class of 40 to take an extra class after school three days a week. Before we began the lesson on those days, we always did a timed practice of 25 math problems. I loved the adrenaline rush of always being the first to complete all 25 correctly. That experience instilled in...

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