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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Computer Is Smarter Than Me

Or maybe it was just luckier?

Almost a month ago during my regular playing for ESPN's game Streak for the Cash, I started out horribly. I began the month with an 0-9 record. It was terrible, disgraceful, and degrading. So I said to myself, "Forget this. I don't need to humiliate myself this way." Then I decided to delve into my fascination with pseudorandom number generation and chance. So, I put my computer to the test and let it take over all of my Streak for the Cash choices for the rest of the month.

I always looked for picks where the percentages weren't seemingly blowouts to attempt to maintain as much of a "coin flip" atmosphere as possible. Sticking as closely as possible to the 50-50 ratios, I let my computer simulate a luck-of-the-draw choice and the results are rather interesting. As one might hope to find, the computer did a pretty good job (with such a small sample size) of remaining close to 50% wins and losses. After starting 0-9, my end of the month results totaled 34 wins and 36 losses. Subtracting out my 9 losses that aren't attributed to the computer, that gives a final computer-generated result of 34-27 (55.7% win percentage). That's right about what I could have hoped for and expected.

So, it was fun while it lasted and I'm glad the results came out how I had thought they would. Alas, it's time for me to get back to choosing my own picks. Here's hoping I'll do much better than I was before I started this experiment!

- Isaac M. Comelli (5/1/13)

P.S. If you want to see my other blog posts related to this experiment, here they are:
The Beginning
The Middle
and this is The End.

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