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iD On The Road: Ohio State University, a rendezvous dilemma

students collaborating on coding project

Hey guys, I’m currently on the road at one of iD’s Tech newest locations: Ohio State University! Let me tell you I’m excited for this location!After my tour today I have no doubt that we are in good hands at OSU, here are some of the highlights:

  • One-bedroom apt. style dorms: Each dorm room has a living room and a bedroom area and its own bathroom! During the year, these rooms house 4 college students but we’ll be using them for only 2 iD Tech Students (shh… don’t tell the OSU freshman that!)

  • An amazing Campus! OSU is the biggest single campus university in the entire country and every inch of it is filled with something interesting, cool art installments and amazing architecture from also most every American period.

  • Lots of fields to play on, nice cafeteria, lots of fun stores and cafes to visit, I could go on!

Additionally, while on campus I experienced an amazing chance encounter!

As I was heading toward my car to leave I ran into my good friend Jennifer who I had known in Davis, CA but had since lost touch with. I had absolutely no idea that she had enrolled as a Ph.D. student as OSU. This lead us ponder; what were are the odds that we would run into each other in that fashion? As an engineering student, I’m sure she’ll appreciate this handy work. The odds of us having a rendezvous were:

9.9282872 × 10-26

derived from:

(1/12*1/260*1/240*(1/76,447,800*20) )*(1/7 * 1/274*1/480(1/76,447,800*20))




Odds that I would be responsible for this particular iD Tech location. As we have 12 regional managers (an un-paralleled level of support for our camps) let the odds of me managing this locations: “M” = 1/12

Odds that I would be visiting OSU on that particular day of the year. Though there are 365 days in a year, there are only 260 work-week days on which I can conduct business so let days: “D” = 1/260

Time spent on campus. As I spent about 4 hours and our rendezvous would not have occurred if I was offset by even 1 minute, let: “T1” = 1/240 (60 minutes)

Odds that I would be in that specific location on campus. Ohio State University is the largest single-campus university in the entire country, weighing in at 76,447,800 square feet. So let my odds of being in that particular location be: “L1” = 1/ 76,447,800.


Though I can only be in one place at a time we must assume that I can identify people within 20 square feet of me so we’ll need to multiply L by 20.

Currently we have equation:

1/12 * 1/260 * 1/2 * (1/76,447,800*20)

-or –


However, this falsely assumes that my friend

1)Was not considering any other PHD programs when applying

2)Stayed in a fixed position on campus all day

So we need to include an entire other half of the equation for her. It will be similar to mine but we have to adjust certain items. For instance we’ll assume that she spends 3/4’s of the year on campus (D2) and we’ll assume that OSU was one of 7 different PhD programs which she applied to (P). Also we’ll assume that on days she is on campus she spends the entire day work-day on campus (T2).So her side of the coin looks like:

(1/7 * 1/274 * 1/480 (1/76,447,800*20))



When combine with my side, the result is 9.9282872 × 10-26 which is a face-meltingly small number, far lower then getting a royal flush in poker or even winning the state lottery.

(outside one of the engineering buildings at OSU)

  • Oh yeah? Well UCSD has a cute rock teddy bear in its engineering courtyard. :)

  • Rene

    My brain is now firing on only one neuron after absorbing this blog. Um, Imm tryyingg tos kepppp typiiinglsk but brainnnnnnnnnn is mmusush

  • Kacey

    Should I be concerned that I was able to follow that explanation, and actually understood it?!?

    Did they actually have an “11” somewhere, or did they stop after the first 4 prime numbers?

  • Mary Ann

    I love it!

  • Alisa

    For those who’s heads are still spinning after reading this, I think a Billion to One works too.

  • Julie

    Amazing! Wow…good thing I was in charge of MIT so I can understand all of those equations!

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