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08 Oct 2017
The Yardstick

My parents marked my height on a yardstick throughout my childhood. The stick is gone but recently I found the data on a slip of paper. Here is the data and a smoothed fit:

Height vs. Age

To fit the data I used a cubic spline with a smoothing factor of 2 from Scipy.interpolate. Next I plotted my height growth rate inf inches per month:

Growth vs. Age

After infancy I had two growth spurts, one ages 4-6 and the other ages 12-14. My peak growth at age 13 or so was about 0.5 inches in a month!! That’s 1/64th of an inch per day which is an amount marked on some precision rulers. Crazy to think that adolescents can grow a macroscopically measurable amount in a single day.

I always remember being tall relative to my school classmates. I wonder if this was in part due to my kindergarten growth spurt. Encyclapedia Britannica notes that after rapid growth as an infant children steady to a constant growth velocity by age 4. This velocity decays to 0 by adulthood interupted by a spurt in early adolescents and sometimes in males one around age 5.

Grow early grow often! #dairystate

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