Friday, January 31, 2014

Permutations of the Smith

Liz and I sat for a couple hours one evening trying to calculate our group's odds of getting our dates for a Smith River float permit. We kept coming back to that our odds were 120 percent, which are odd odds. We invoked some serious trigonometry and divided everything by everything, then multiplied it with itself - 120 percent (but that only applies if we understand how the drawing works). Last year, there were 30 applicants for the date we most want to get. There are four of us, so far. Nine of the 30 will get it. There are four of us...

Yes, please. (Not the Smith River...)
Integers, permutations and exponents later, ....
We eventually turned the iPad sideways and it said we have a 76 percent chance. For that one given day. And if we spread out our dates among the four of us to four dates that would work, we determined we'd have about a 95 percent of pulling a permit based on last year's numbers (we're looking at non-peak dates).
Then she wanted to put it into a spreadsheet that would show our odds for different combinations of application/dates. Then graph it...

6 comments:

Stephanie and Dustin said...

As son as the little fry gets a little bigger, we plan to start putting in for a Smith float as well. It's high on the bucket list.
Good luck!

Lester Kish said...

New math? I like your odds. Good Luck with the draw!

Joshua Bergan said...

Thanks guys! Can't wait to find out!

Robert Farrell said...

Great read, I spent hours studying the same material, and now convinced our group to apply for a date that will most likely be a mudfest with this snowpack. Next year, I will wait until the last minute for my secret formulas to produce "the" date.

Joshua Bergan said...

Yeah, ultimately, it's always a crap shoot unless you draw for late July/early August (even then, really). And you can always cancel or no show and face the penalties. Good luck - I hope you draw and have good weather, flows and fishing!

Joshua Bergan said...

So all three of us in our party pulled our first choices! Wild...