December 24th, 2007

smoke by jemppu

Santa Claus Math

There are two main branches of math: the physics of chaos theory, and the statistics of probability theory. The first describes how the present “moves” through world, from its place or origin to the proper Christmas tree. This is describes in the “Santa Claus Gift Momentum Equation”, shown below. The bold “V_gift” describes, in three dimensions, the actual physical location of the present. The other parameters are the forces which govern that movement.

Now, the parameters in the momentum equation are decided by the probability equation, given next. The “p” in the equation is a probability, which should give you some hint that these methods are not perfect. Pay attention to the “I(Nice)” function. That is the “naughty or nice” indicator. Yes, Santa still keeps track of these things, so be careful! There is also a lot of “secret stuff” in these equations. But if you are too curious and just need to know, the best thing is to study physics or math and then someday, if you get good at it, Santa may ask you to help him with Christmas.

William M. Briggs, Statistician

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