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  1. #1

    CingularDuality's Avatar

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    Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    Math is hard

    Math teaching then and now. This one has been going round the Internet for a while, but non-mathematical readers might have missed it. It demonstrates the changes in math teaching techniques across the years.

    Teaching math to American kids in...

    - 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
    production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

    - 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
    production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

    - 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M." The set "C", the cost of production, contains 20 fewer points than set "M." Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M." Answer this question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

    - 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
    production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

    - 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20 profit. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

    - 2000: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
    production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit
    margin is $60?

    - 2010: El hachero vende un camion carga por $100 La cuesta de produccion es.....

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  3. #2

    =DdogG='s Avatar

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    english would follow the same:

    1950: using the fourth chapter of War and Peace, break down every sentence to define its structure, list all fragments, run on sentences, and improper tenses.

    1970: What is the subject of the following sentence: Please do not burn your draft cards.

    1990: What is wrong with this sentence: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

    2010: k, 1337 hax0rz. frag 0nly the verbage: D00D!!!!! ur such a n00b!!!!! quit spawn camping or get T.O.S.'ed

    2050:

    10010010
    10011101
    01000100
    10101001
    01000011
    00111101
    00100100
    10010101
    10010100
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

    If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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  5. #3


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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    Haha, nice one

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  7. #4

    H-Hour's Avatar

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    I'm glad I didn't learn math in the 70's!

    On a similar note, I hated math in school. But once I had a really cool Math teacher (11th grade). When we started a new section, he'd always put up a problem on the board and ask us to figure it out before we learned the specific equations or whatever that we would learn to solve the problem. That was the only part I ever liked, because we got to try and figure out our own way to answer the question without being fed an equation and then told to "repeat 50 times" on problems that are virtually identical. I really hated math. The teacher was also a swing dancer, so I made fun of him for that.

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  9. #5

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    I had this awesome College Math teacher who used card games, gambling (not actual gambling, but discussions on roulette and stuff) and magic tricks to discuss all sorts of math concepts like probability and such. He also would ask things like "does it make more sense to buy this computer outright, or rent to own it?" Then we would get the interest rate and do it out and see how much money we could save.

    It really was awesome- always entertaining. He even brought in baklava that his mom made for us on the day of our final.

    Great professor.

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  11. #6

    jex's Avatar

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    3 men go into a shop to buy a TV. They all have 10 each on them. They see one on sale for 30 and ask to buy it. The assistant goes into the back of the shop to tell the manager that they've finally sold that last TV. He tells the assistant that its actually been reduced in price to 25. The assistant, being a bright spark thinks he can make some money from this and decides to pocket 2 and gives 3 back to the customers (1 each). Now if the customers paid 9 (x3=27) and the assistant pocketed 2 (27+2=29), where did the othe 1 go?
    Jex.


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  13. #7

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    It's the wrong question. If they each paid 9 and the assistant pocketed 2, then it's 27-2, not 27+2. There is no extra pound.

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  15. #8

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    The better question is why didn't the idiot pocket the whole 5? They thought is was 30 and only the salesman and the manager knew the real price.

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  17. #9

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    Bah you're not meant to ruin it by working it out for everyone else. It's particulary worded that way to throw people off. lol
    Jex.


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  19. #10

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    It took me a while to figure that one out. Nice question! I think I have have read something similar in a book called "The Man who Counted" but since it was about the early days of maths it was about arabs, and since it was about arabs the missing "pound" was a camel.

    Cing's post was lost on me as I don't know who Arthur Andersen is, don't speak Spanish, and was not alive during the 50's, 60's or 70's.
    Wintermute

    Play EVE online. It's like being an accounting addict in space.

    www.MakePovertyHistory.com

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  21. #11

    CingularDuality's Avatar

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    Re: Math through the years... (Where's Skylark?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermute
    Cing's post was lost on me as I don't know who Arthur Andersen is, don't speak Spanish, and was not alive during the 50's, 60's or 70's.
    Arthur Anderson was Enron's (you know what that is?) accounting firm. You got the point of the spanish problem: in a few years Spanish will be the dominant language in the United States if our illegal immigration problem continues to be ignored by our government. And you don't have to have lived in those past decades to see the trend there...

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