Thursday, April 19, 2007

Abacus Rapid-Mathematics

Been quite long since I added something here! Although I've been doing many interesting things around. There's a wonderful academy called ABACUS which trains young minds to master the art of logic and rapid-mathematics. Sadly enough - the older lot are deprived out of the fun it can be!

Recently, there was a contest in my city which had about 7000 participants in and around the city. This was the Abacus rapid-addition contest. Rules were simple: 150 questions, 2 marks per right answer, 5 minutes and the bombshell 100+ questions (a score of 200) is minimum to qualify! There were batches and batches of people - why? - simple, one round was only 20 mins. 5 mins warm up, 3 mins break, 5 mins actuals and the remaining time to packup! This thrilled me.

Thanks to a colleague of mine who courteously brought me a couple of the question papers as her daughter had been to the test. Me and my wife tried it one Sunday afternoon and I was aghast - I cracked only 58 and her 65. We tried again - Still we scored only 60 & 68. Soon, it caught the attention of the people around. In about 15 mins; I had almost 12 people solving the paper - we were timing it. Interestingly - all elders (50+) had answered between 88-98 questions, while us the younger generation <30 could only do 60-75. In the next round - an uncle and my mother-in-law qualified by hitting 100 answers. That was astounding!

Alright - they are better at this! But - I can do something which probably they cant! Write a Generator for the Question Paper - Spread it around. I spent thinking about it for 1 day in the background. The first version came through in about 4 hours in an Excel Sheet. But I couldn't get the macro working in OpenOffice at home - shucks. So, the next day replicated the logic in a Javascript; why didn't I think of that in the first place - thats portable & convenient!

So, here it is - Generate Abacus Test