Back in the summer of 2009 we passed out survey forms on the bus after each hike, hoping to collect feedback that would help us improve our service. We took quite a while to process the information gathered, finding a lot of good suggestions and ideas from our hikers.
Everyone that left their email address had a chance to win a prize of a free hike. It took us quite a while to process the information gathered, and even longer to pick the winner.
We considered having Huijie’s mother pick a name out a hat, but in the end we had Hayden write a little computer program to pick a name at random - saving paper, and making sure that the winner would be picked at random by an impartial computer-judge.
First, all the email addresses were put in a list. Then we used computer power to shuffle the list, and assign a number to each address, and pick three of the email addresses at random, all at the push of a button.
The first email address to come out was the winner, with the next two to be used in the event the winner wasn’t able to use the free hike.
Thanks to everyone that took the time to fill out the survey - we received a lot of good feedback and useful suggestions!
* Original winner Rachel K. had moved away from Beijing, so the prize went to the next name out of the computer’s hat.