Just received some exciting news that I gained final approval and will be making a presentation at the 2017 Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology (HEART) Conference in Denver, Colorado at the end of April. The topic I’ll be discussing (via the poster session) involves the characterization of our facility’s linear accelerator after some upgrades we recently implemented.
This is the first time in recent memory that someone from my work will be presenting at a conference, so everyone is pretty excited about the opportunity to showcase some of our site’s capabilities. My team worked very hard over a span of several weeks in order to accomplish all the appropriate testing so that I could compile the data and submit my paper to the conference. It was truly a joint effort and I am looking forward to presenting for the first time the results!
Without a doubt, the most trafficked part of this site is my auto-generated number sense practice tests, so I thought I’d give you an update on the project. Here is where we stand at the moment as well as some things I want to implement in the near- to mid-term:
- The process is almost entirely automated now. The only human component is the transcribing from .pdf to LaTeX code. This should reduce the number of errors you see on practice tests as everything else — from segmenting out a test’s LaTeX code to adding the questions to the appropriate database to generating the practice test itself — is entirely automated and, hence, error free!
- I have about 6,000 questions in my database. This equates to about 75 complete tests that have been translated in LaTeX code and are being used to generate the practice material.
- I’m adding at a rate of about 500 questions per week. This means I should hit my goal of having a 10,000 question bank by the beginning of May.
- As we approach the latter stages of the competition season, I will begin posting practice material more frequently on the repository page, so check back often.
- I’m going to try to begin making a separate database of regional and state-level type of problems (harder difficulty, multiple steps in order to solve, etc…) in order to gear up for the more challenging exams. I should be able to begin posting that material by late-March.
- I’m also going to start doing a series of youtube videos detailing step-by-step instructions on how to solve most types of questions asked on the exam. This should help out the more visual learners grasp the concepts.
- Over the summer, I am going to revise my Number Sense Manual in order to update the LaTeX code, add more sections that are applicable to the current exams, and include much more practice material. Because the manual is sectioned off into types of problems (e.g. multiplying by 11, squaring tricks, roots of polynomials, etc…), students can focus more easily on a particular type of problem they are having difficulty with and do drills to really solidify their understanding.
- Finally, beginning for the 2017-2018 school year, I’ll make it where students can generate their own practice exams through my website — thus eliminating their dependence on my posting on a weekly basis. You’ll be able to practice as much as you want, whenever you want!