# Numbers, Perfect and Imperfect by Matt McGann '00

Math geeking, and a guessing game.

A quick entry, before returning to reading applications…

I am perfect today.

Perfect? What do you mean, “perfect,” you ask? Well, today is my birthday, and my age is now a perfect number.

Perfect numbers are pretty cool, and have been discussed at least since the time of Euclid. They are also related to Mersenne primes: every Mersenne prime corresponds to exactly one perfect number. If you’re even a little bit of a math geek (like me), it’s hard not to be fascinated by perfect numbers and Mersenne primes.

Also, I expect that the number of applications we received this year will be published on Tuesday. To make this a little fun, we’ll play this as a guessing game: how many freshman applications do you think MIT received this year? Many thanks to fellow admissions blogger Daniel Creasy at the Johns Hopkins University (a fantastic school, btw) for the idea.

To give you some basis to work from, here are our freshman application numbers for the past five years, starting with last year and working backwards: 11,373; 10,440; 10,466; 10,549; 10,664. One guess per person. This is just for fun. No prizes will be awarded, just pride and bragging rights. Oh, and in case you’re wondering — this number has nothing to do with Mersenne primes or perfect numbers (no, we did not receive 33,550,336 applications).

Leave your guesses in the comments, and good luck!

I say an even 12,000.

happy birthday! i’d say you got about 10700 applications this year btw this whole perfect numbers theory is wrong, everyone knows that there’s only one perfect number, the answer to life, the universe and everything and that number is 42

I’d agree with Stephen… somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000.

Hey Happy Birthday Matt.

I’d say something around 11000 applications. Well to choose a number ..mmmmmmm 11330.

I heard numbers were up around 10% this year…I’d say about 12,250.

I say 11,999 (hey just a guess!)

Hey Jen we managed to blog at the same time

Hey Jen we gave our answers at the same time !

12,273

I say 12,345 coz everyone likes numbers in a row :D

Stephen, that is the same number that crossed my mind… but I think I’ll go with 12,120 ish. Just because it’s a pretty number.

Lets do this the fun way.

Applicants

11,373..10,440..10,466..10,549..10,664

Difference in applicants

+933..-26..-83..-115

Difference in the difference of applicants

+959..+57..+32

etc

+902..+25

etc

+877

Now.. going backward, we get

+1779..+2738..+3671

which yields a final applicant pool of 15,044!

Of course, the reason for this large prediction is because of the huge jump in applicants last year. Too bad the data wasn’t more consistent.

I’ll base my actual guess on the EA data, though. There were 3493 applicants EA this year, 2,965 last year. Assuming the ratio between EA and RA stayed consistent between the two years, there’d be a total of

13398received applications. That’s kinda scary.So yeah. My guess is 13398 applications. Let’s hope I’m not right.

Sorry for this ridiculously long post.

Hey Happy B’day!!!…..

My guess is around 11,300

I’ll venture an educated guess by means of polynomial extrapolation…

Year: # of applicants2002: 10,664

2003: 10,549

2004: 10,466

2005: 10,440

2006: 11,373

2007: 15,4262008: 24,197

2009: 39,859

2010: 64,918

…

Within about 150 years, the number of applicants to MIT will far exceed the population of the Earth, which is clear proof that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, and wants to attend MIT.

happy birthday!

I say 11,252

11,476. haha just a guess. Anyway, happy birthday to u, Matt.

Oh, and happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Matt! And I’m guessing since you’re neither 6 nor 496 years old, you’re age is the perfect number between those two. That also made me realize that my age is exactly half-way between the only two perfect number ages anyone is likely to reach.

And for the number of freshmen applicants, my guess is around 11,800.

Happy Birthday Mr. McGann. I bet you are 28 years old today. Well I know for a fact that the number of applicants this year is 11,229

11288

Hope to be one of the admitted

Oh, and happy birthday of course!

Happy Birthday!!!

I guess 11,534.

11000!

Happy Birthday!

12,685!

Who knows, it just popped in my head.

I hope for your sake that it’s closer to 11,000 than that.

I’d guess it’s probably infinity, give or take a few.

12,879.

Why not?

11079.

No… I take that back.

Let’s instead gamble with the harmonic mean of everyone else’s response: I say 11940 freshmen applicants. =)

Happy Birthday Matt!

My guess is 11578.

12,178.

Matt!!!

Happy Birthday!!!…My guess in your little competition would have to be 12,007. Seems reasonable right? =)

10,575 for the win! I only say so thinking in the mindset that more applied EA.

Happy 28th Matt! :D

600. 600. <== I wish

12256

If this were Price is Right, I’d be the annoying guy who bets $1…

But since it’s not, I’ll say 13,129

11,750.

and happy birthday :D

12924 (+/- 3)

happy birthday matt!

12,430

12853 – 13% increase for EA, so hopefully regular is the same. (rounded up to a prime number!)

And happy birthday!

13428, i’d guess… the last two digits put there in honour of your birthday, if i guessed correctly…=)

anyway, happy birthday!

Happy Birthday.

I’m Guessing 11,750

Happy birthday!

My guess : 11,953

Happy Birthday!

I guess 11,590 (just a random guess).

12783.25

I’d say 12,013

Regarding an earlier post about the answer to the universe being 42…I watched a video in physics this year about integration, and apparently the integral of a tea pot is also 42…go figure…

11793

(that’s my lucky number, by the way!!)

oh no, wait its

oneof my lucky numbers.Have a lovely day, everybody!!

ah, no sha, it´s not ^^

so cause nobody else has said it yet I guess it´s

E1337 seems to fit perfectely

and happy birthday!!!!

the golden ratio raised to e all times pi what exactedly does that mean? (i´m an international app)

Haha you can integrate teapots…?

Um, I think it’s over 12,000 so I’ll just use my birthday for the last 3 digits. 12,413.

And Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Matt!

I guess 11,969 applications.

Happy Birthday

And the no. of app. could be – 11,694

HEY ALL I’M comin to MIT this year.

cya.

11867

Happy Birthday Matt..

My guess: 10,566

Happy 28th Perfect birthday Matt!!! Next time you will be perfect , none of us will be around. I wander what will be mit admission like then. My guess for number of applicants in mit will be in between 2*fourth perfect number and 160th triangular number.

13,727 applications…. and Happy Birthday!

Great site. Admin cool boy!!!

Thanx for resoure

As a long-time computer person and former mainframe user, I have to guess 13,030.

390/3493 = .111652 (EA Acceptance Rate)

Since they are dedicated to only accepting 30% of their admits in EA, the total accepted will have to be 1300.

(Total number of applicants)x(.111652)=1300

Total number of applicants = 11643.3 [floor it]

11643HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

12134

11436

I bid:

$1

and the actual retail value is…..?

Wild guess!

the number of apps may be 10110110010011 in binary!

But is your age just a perfect number, i dont think so! here are some fun facts about your present age:

1.) 28 is also a trianular number,hexagonal number, centered nanogonal number. also keith number.

2.)Last number in Indian magic Square or order 3.

3.)its also a mersenne prime

4.)4th magic number in physics.

5.)its 11100 in binary and 1C in hexa

6.)its XXVIII in romans

7.)number of human teeth w/o molers.

8.)saturn revolves round sun in 28 years.

9.)hey wait! its also on padovan sequence, how can i forget to think about it before? man!

10.)2^2(2^3 – 1) = 28

alrite, i cant remem any other, but really, 28 is the cool number.

For those of you who like averages, here’s all the guesses from the previous posts (excluding Ian’s second guess, only one guess per person). Happy averaging!

10575

10700

11000

11229

11237

11252

11288

11300

11330

11476

11523

11578

11590

11621

11621

11643

11667

11750

11750

11800

11867

11940

11953

11969

11999

12000

12007

12013

12120

12128

12134

12250

12256

12273

12345

12413

12430

12568

12685

12783.25

12853

12879

12924

13030

13129

13289

13398

13727

15426

42575

Hey I posted my last entry, just before going to bed last night. And guess what.. Matt you were there, in my dream, telling me that the no. of applcations this year was 12392. =P

Hey I posted my last entry, just before going to bed last night. And guess what.. Matt you were there, in my dream, telling me that the no. of applcations this year was 12392. =P

It was me with the above posts.

250000

Happy Birthday!

13,056, for no particular reason.

28…a mersenne prime?

My guess is OVERFLOW.

-1.60217646×10^-19

oops! i meant to say that a mersenne prime is its factor! sorry for that!

talkin of mersenne prime, the 44th of it and largest till date was discovered by steven boone on 6th sepetember, 2006! and its this:

(2^32,582,657 – 1) or simply M32582657

12669

13,400

12,227

Ohh, Happy Belated Birthday,

I don’t know why but i feel its 19,000 or close to it.

Happy B’Day Matt.

I’d say 12459 applicants.

Can we fax our mid-year grade report?

Happy Birthday!

And my guess is 17,359 applicants

Happy Birthday, Matt!

I’ll say

12539.Happy Birthday, Matt! I’d have to venture a guess at, oh say 11,846 though the thought of more applications scares me as a deferred applicant.

I was the min! until Millikan came along =—–

COMMENT:

AUTHOR: Jennifer

EMAIL:

IP: 76.169.245.238

URL:

DATE: 02/05/2007 01:39:13 AM

COMMENT_BODY:

My guess is 12,201. I would have said 12,200 but these types of things never seem to be nicely rounded numbers.

11500

12851

Happy b-day Matt!

btw, my guess is 13370

Happy Birthday!!!

ummm…11560…

Hi Matt,

Happy Birthday!

I’d say, given the surge in EA Applicants all of a sudden… That MIT’s overall count of Undergraduate Applications would go to 13,648… Not because of any calculation lol… but it might be around what should come in…

Its odd, but lets see!

Have a super birthday Matt!

Guessing that your post on perfect numbers is a clue to the answer- 11213

Christ!! Everybody seems here had been fascinated by Hardy & Littlewood Inc. at one point *

tilts his head* or this time around.Anyway since the prime occasain of this blog seems to be B’day of Mr. McGann so Happy B’Day. And yes I am not in this guessing game. Since there are already many and Snively’s enough for it. Anyway gotta do the job. So….Bye. And please do not guess my name, if you know it then keep it to yourself.

Ah! Gotta move fast.

I am with Solomon. You are 28 and I wish today turns out as the happiest day of your life.

I can’t settle on a particular number, but I suspect it’ll be between 12500 and 13000.

Happy Birthday be lated

13435(error +-1%)

umm…lemme c… 22,326 apps in 2007…hw abt tht

Oh ya…n HAPPY BDAY – BE LATED!…=D

Happy birthday Matt, suprisingly enough, it is my birthday as well, apparently making me both practical and poweful in mathematical terms (I could only wish in realistic terms). You can see Wolfram for definitions. My guess is 11,621 (the golden ratio raised to e all times pi). Have a good one.

Have a Happy Birthday Matt!

I would guess 13289 applications (or my birthday in the European format) .

I’ll say 10,497, because I want to have either the highest or the lowest guess so far, but saying something higher than 42,575 would probably be pushing it.

Well, considering the idea the factors that more people are adopting the ideology that colleges don’t look at test scores, immigration statistics and the years people from Asia and other regions of the world came to the US so that there children could pursue higher education, and the fact that last years number could have very well been just a outlier in the data pool, I think that this years admissions will be roughly the same as last years +/- 300. Maybe, 11,621, I like Scott Mitchell’s logic.

OH! I almost forgot, Happy Birthday!

12,128

Matthew Ché, I guess you are 28 years old now,(You are too old to be 6) Happy Birthday to you.

I close my eyes, and randomly hit the numeric pad 5 times, here we go……….42575…….. eek it’s too much, but ok, it’s my guess

I’m going to say 11,237. Completely random.

Aaaaannnnd, Happy Birthday.

Happy B’Day Matt. I guess it’s 12568 apps (ran a random number generator)