Queuing is that ‘in between’ stage – when teams leave their coaches and mentors behind and patiently wait in designated lines before entering the competition floor for robot rounds.
When Flip and I volunteered to be Queue Managers at the recent Silicon Valley Regional Championship in Campbell, California, we were not prepared to discuss the theory of queuing.
According to Wikipedia, Queueing theory is the mathematical study of waiting lines, or queues. The theory enables mathematical analysis of several related processes, including arriving at the (back of the) queue, waiting in the queue (essentially a storage process), and being served at the front of the queue. The theory permits the derivation and calculation of several performance measures including the average waiting time in the queue or the system, the expected number waiting or receiving service, and the probability of encountering the system in certain states, such as empty, full, having an available server or having to wait a certain time to be served. In other words… HOW MUCH LONGER? WHEN DO WE GET TO GO? WHAT DOES “SOON” MEAN?
Wow, are FLL team members smart! They had the 2 of us ‘on our toes’ when it came to all elements of the line and every angle of probability – AND they did it with Gracious Professionalism !
For FLIP and me – queuing wasn’t just educational, it was also a blast!
The 2 of us got to spend quality time with some amazing kids as they waited to compete in their robot rounds, and we got to check out their robots, attachments AND hear about their projects.
Now Flip is Quietly Querying me as to whether the Queues at the World Festival are Quick? And he’s wondering what it takes to Qualify to help there?…