Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth

04/07/2007 12:46 pm
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This video has been sweeping the internet and all across the land people are getting up in arms about it.

The video details how math curriculum is changing in regards to multiplication and division. People are furious.

The crux of their concern is 4 fold.

  1. The ways being taught aren't the ways we, or our parents, were taught.

  2. These new methods make math harder to do.

  3. It is vital to kids' future that they be fluent in multiplication and long division by hand.

  4. Calculators are sent by Satan to ruin society.


My feelings on the subject are as follows:

  1. I don't think this is necessarily a valid concern. We shouldn't continue to use the same teaching methods for the sole reason that it's the way it's always been done. Now, their concern is more along the lines of "How are parents going to help with homework?" than "we fear change," but this still seems silly. Any parent that couldn't wrap their head around one of these methods in 5 minutes to aid their kids isn't going to be much help to them anyway.

  2. Maybe it does look like it takes longer. First of all she takes overly simplified examples, perhaps the "new" methods are streamlined on larger problems.
    Secondly, she draws them out longer than they need to be. There's no reason to do half of the "sub steps" she does. Besides, how long they are on paper, however, is irrelevant. I'll get into that in a bit.

  3. Is it? I took a crap load of math classes in college. I have a job where I invent and implement algorithms for solving problems given to me. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of times I've done multiplication by hand, since it was a school requirement, was under 30 or forty times. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of times I've done pencil and paper long division was in the teens.

  4. Ok I exaggerate their stance on this point, but this one has always irked me. I've had to listen to this for years. Be it on the internet, from people like this, or from customers at some of my "joe jobs:"

    emoticon: None of you kids can do math without your calculator anymore! In my day we did it all in our heads! RAAAAAAA! Calculators!!! emoticon

    I'm really getting sick of it. It's true that 40 years ago they probably did a lot of math the long way. You know what though? There's a reason us "whipper snappers" are doing math as high school sophomores that you would have had to go to college as a math major to see 40 years ago. You know what it is? We don't have to piss away time on the most basic portions of the problem! Of course in a Utopian society we would be able to throw any math problem at a person and they could reply without hesitation. It's just not feasible to do so. Calculators are readily available, and that fact allows people to shift the focus off of that portion of the problem and onto the bigger picture.

    I remember cursive being beaten into my head as a kid. "You need to learn this to get into college." "No professor will accept anything in print." Do you know how many times I've used cursive in my adult and collegiate life in an assignment, report, or work matter? 0. Zero. Not one time. Should I have demanded my professors accept my cursive? After all, a good portion of my education was wrapped up in teaching me this "new language." Paper and pencil, and in turn cursive, as a mode of communicating in "official" fashion were replaced by something better. You can shift the focus off of penmanship (and for that matter, spelling) and focus on what you are actually trying to say. It's not without it's concerns, but technology that allows us to take our eyes off the nitty gritty details, and look at the big picture, is a good thing.


I think the most tragic thing in all of this is that they are failing to see that what is taking place is exactly what they are arguing should be happening. If you teach kids multiplying in the traditional "brute force" method, then they will almost always turn to a calculator over a pencil because they are bound by a very specific set of rules. The time it takes to find a pencil, a clean sheet of paper, and execute those rules exceeds the amount of time to find a calculator in most cases.

The lattice looks odd, but it's also looks pretty efficient. The partial products method is so similar to the "old" method it's hardly even worth arguing about.

If they learn to do math through the "clustering" method, on the other hand, you know what happens? They learn that math can be REASONED through. It looks like silly extra steps on paper sure. That really isn't the point. Learning that often times problems can be solved by figuring out smaller, easier, subproblems, rather than recalling and executing a rigorous set of rules for solving the larger original, is an excellent lesson to teach kids.

Besides that, if they get good enough at the clustering method, in the end they wont need to reach for a pencil or a calculator at all.
matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
04/07/2007 @ 01:32:09 PM
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I think we should make a rule where 15 minute video clips are outlawed.
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
04/07/2007 @ 09:25:50 PM
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I'm take the easy route and say that a mixture of both "worlds" she describes would be ideal. Point by point on Jeremy's points:

1. I totally agree with Jeremy. If parents really can't figure this out, that's all the more reason that these methods should be taught now so these kids will be smart enough to help their kids.

2. I didn't really get the impression that they were making the point that the new ways were harder. I think it was more that they are not the most commonly accepted methods and that if you were to master every different way the traditional ways would almost always be fastest if done by hand on paper. Which are both true points I think. More on this later.

3. I'm going to disagree with Jeremy here. Not that I find myself doing math on paper since I'm in front of a computer 14 hours a day, but if I had to I could and more importantly I understand the concepts behind multiplication and division. More on this later.

4. See the 2 sentences above.

Here's what I know about the different methods. I'm pretty sure I actually taught the lattice method at some point, probably not as THE way to do multiplication, but I know I've seen it before. Secondly, since like maybe high school or so I more or less learned a combination of the clustering/partial products on my own and that's how I always do problems in my head. It's easier to do in your head becuase you don't have to worry about carrying over.

I think the biggest thing is to teach concepts and fundamental understanding. Every method works, so once you learn one it shouldn't be that hard to learn another if you understand the concepts. It's very similar to learning how to write computer code. You can take a class on Java and learn all about Java, or you can take a class on software development that might happen to use Java but the focus of the class is on the basic concepts. Obviously choice 1 might be good enough if you only ever want to code in Java, but while choice 2 might not make you as good of a Java programmer at first it will make it a lot easier to learn other languages.

So back to the point, pick one method to start with, teach the fundamentals, and then maybe spend like a week each on the other methods. You don't need to master all the of them (or really any of them), but showing the different ways might be best because different students will "click" with different methods. Which is fine because they all give the same answer.

And I'm also in the middle on calculators. I think it's good that those books have some content on calculators because by the end of 5th grade you should know how to use one (at the latest in this world of technology). But you should also be able to do 4 * 6 in your head. I don't think you want to teach the basics of multiplication with a calculator, but once you know the basics and at least have been exposed to doing problems by hand then let them use a calculator.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
04/07/2007 @ 10:57:55 PM
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I was never advocating skipping multiplication all together, or anything like that, just because you can use a calculator. Kids should still do the "times tables" (ie know how to do 1-12 X 1-12) without hesitation.

Time should also be spent on pen and paper multiplication. It's useful and should be taught. I never meant to imply that I've not needed to know how to multiply, just that the number of times I've lined the numbers up on top of each other and added the results together as my process for doing so are few.

I just don't like the condescending tone the woman got when she mentioned that the book points out any "hard" multiplication is going to be done on a calculator anyway. It seems like these books are just being on the level with kids, rather than being naive about what is going to take place in their future.

Your programmer analogy is spot on.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 04/08/2007 10:39:44 pm
jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
04/08/2007 @ 03:31:15 AM
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If it's one thing every website needs more of, it's math talk. Now I will ramble on about my experiences and thoughts for way too long.

I've always been quite good at math and actually enjoy it most of the time, at least enough to have minored in it in college. I don't bring this up to puff myself up and say that I have the best perspective. Actually, it's just so you know where my perspective is coming from. In some ways, you could argue, being naturally good at math disqualifies you from taking an expert stance on math education. It's almost like asking me to come up with the best way to teach a french speaker how to speak english. Learning the english language is really a different task for each of us. It's not the greatest analogy, really, but maybe you get my point. And knowing the background of most of the regulars here, I think many of us fall in that same boat to some extent. But maybe not, who cares. Could I be more longwinded?
Yes, I love math.

Because I worked in a job where I had to help 4th graders do math homework, I actually got to (had to) learn some "new math" about a year ago from the teachers who teach it.

I must admit, whenever I would hear talk of new ways to teach math over the years, I would kind of scoff at the idea, half seriously, half not I think. Probably because I felt the way I learned it was plenty good and because generally a lot of new ways of doing things in schools strikes me as just making things wussier, but that's mostly a different subject.

Anyway, in "training" for my job we learned what the video called the partial products method and partial quotients method. (So, I'll comment mostly about just those and probably call them the new method even though there are lots of other new ways.) I actually liked the methods. Basically, the only difference in the "new" multiplication from the old one is that the new way gives you a better immediate understanding of how those numbers add up to make the answer. In the old method we learned in school, you carry the one or whatever number and add it and add the numbers at the bottom, but you probably don't immediately know why you did it other than because it's the way to do it. With the new way, I think it's probably at least a bit more clear why it works out like that. I think this was brought up in previous comments but, they are almost the same method anyway. The way I see it, the partial products method is kind of just expanding the shortcut of carrying a number into a way you can understand why the number goes there. The lady says it's easier to make mistakes doing the new way, but I think that's just a familiarity thing. And the old way might be quicker, but the partial products method can lead right into that method anyway once you understand it and so why not give a bit more understanding of WHY the numbers work like they do before they learn a slightly quicker way to do it.

As for the division, mostly the same thoughts apply, but with a slight difference. The partial product thing comes off a bit "guess and check-y" at first so that was a slight turn off to me. However, that method is actually probably the closest to how I would do a problem like that in my head and it works quite well. Like with the multiplication, it's (or at least it has the potential to be) good at teaching why you do something other than just because the teacher said so. (I actually tried to write out in words how this could work out but it came out really confusing every time. Basically though, I think the process actually shows a number like 6 "going into" 133 over and over again, rather than 6 going into 13 twice, writing a two then subtracting from that, dropping a number down, etc.) You're kind of doing the same thing each way (using smaller parts, subtracting) but in the new way you're not losing sight of the bigger problem as much. It's really like splitting hairs almost, even though it might seem like it's a huge overhaul. Like with the multiplying, the "old" way we learned is somewhat of a natural extension that the kid can learn eventually or right away to make things quicker. Hopefully, he or she would realize why the quicker way works because of the way they saw the "newer" method use the numbers. That's really what I want out of math education. I want the student to be able to grasp HOW the numbers "interact" with each other, if you will, and WHY it works, while also being able to compute answers in a "rote" manner, since that will come in handy. If you understand how numbers "work" you can practically develop your own ways of computing things, even if they are just slight variations of what the textbooks say.
Anyway, switching back from my philosophy to the division method, one good argument for the partial quotients method that one teacher explained was that basically, the student could use that method even if they barely knew any sort of division techniques. For instance, you could theoretically just say 6 times 1 equals six and continually subtract six from the 133 until you can't anymore and then add up all the "ones" you used in the 6 times one. That may not sound like an endorsement of the method, but, the point is, that you would expect the student to learn from that and get a better idea of what types of "chunks" can be worked with and that experience or process might add to the understanding of what's really going on anyway. Now, using the old method, we all probably have done some analogous process of wondering how much one number could go into another and maybe we guessed too small or too big or something, but I think this newer method lends itself to that process much more easily and clearly. Plus, it's more forgiving, if that makes sense. I think I heard someone say that. Basically meaning, you don't have to go "closest to, without going over." You can say 5 goes into 41 seven times and then deal with the remaining 6 by saying 5 goes into it once, then adding the one and 7 to get 8 remainder 1. In the old way, if you pick 7, write it down then subtract the 35 and end up with 6 remaining, you back track and erase then redo it.

One last thought. The lattice method is terrible. It's a fine little "trick" but it's a step in the wrong direction as far as I'm concerned. It's making it less transparent so it comes off more like magic that you just do by repeating the right steps rather than something that has a visible reasoning behind it. In other words, it gets the problem done, but hardly deepens your understanding of math.

I have only scratched the surface. But that's enough for now. Next up, calculators and other topics.
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Jon perfected this 10 times, last at 04/08/2007 4:51:43 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
04/08/2007 @ 12:20:07 PM
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I agree the lattice method is bizarre, at best. It gets the job done efficiently, but as you said makes math appear even more as a "magic trick" to be recalled than the "old way".

Breaking up the problem into smaller problems also has the advantage that often you can break it into things you already know the answer to or have just solved.

26 X 31 becomes even easier if you just solved / know the answer to 21x31.

With the old way there's nothing to "build off" you just remember the rules and execute every problem from scratch.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/08/2007 @ 08:35:15 PM
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nerds
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matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
04/08/2007 @ 10:10:30 PM
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Indeed
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Matt edited this at 04/08/2007 10:10:38 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/09/2007 @ 08:39:07 AM
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Matt, it looks like the nerd-patrol went all 0-nut on our witty social commentary.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
04/09/2007 @ 09:09:37 AM
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I gave them 1 nut, which I think was a bit too generous given their contribution to the thread. emoticon
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flower .jpgPackOne - Yeah, and you don't stop, 'caus its 1-8-7 on a ...
03/26/2008 @ 10:49:04 PM
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Okay, so we are having a theory discussion on Packer receiver Greg Jennings. We have determined he can walk on water, so now I think I can figure an approximate 40 yard dash time. This is what I came up with...

For the sake of argument we will say Greg weighs 100kg. About 220 pounds or so. He has been beefing up.

Now, to run across the water not sinking more than 1 cm he must displace his own weight in water. So...

100kg of weight / 300 cm of footprint yeilds 333.333 footprints of 1 cm depth

Given a human stride of 1 meter means Jennings can walk on water at about 333.333 m/s or about 1,200 km/h.

So he can run the field endzone to endzone in approximately a half a second, making his 40 time approximately .21 or less.

Is this remotely close?
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - Non-Creator
03/27/2008 @ 05:16:11 PM
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^
Come one guys, I thought you would have this all dissected to pieces by now.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
03/27/2008 @ 05:36:27 PM
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oddmeow2.gif
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flower .jpgPackOne - Make my own decisions. That's my perogative.
03/27/2008 @ 05:38:55 PM
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Bashing with animated gif's. Nice. I'm just looking for clarification. Learning knows no colors.


southpark.gif
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PackOne screwed with this at 03/27/2008 5:43:33 pm
avatar2345.jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
06/01/2008 @ 07:26:16 AM
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This is mostly for Jon self proclaimed lover of Math, but feel free to solve. I need to know what this says ....

http://www.bandyhumor.com/Details.aspx?AlbumID=8&Page=0
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
06/01/2008 @ 10:08:03 AM
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Assuming the character after the e is i I'm pretty sure the check is for .002 cents.

ei*pi is -1

I'm pretty sure the limit of 1/2n is 1 (1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ... + 1/infinity)

It's been awhile, but I'm pretty sure that's right.
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flower .jpgPackOne - From your first cigarette to your last dyin' day.
06/01/2008 @ 06:23:18 PM
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As soon as I get confirmation from the MBL, that previous post will receive five nuts.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - What the F@#$ am I being arrested fo?
06/02/2008 @ 09:28:36 AM
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I'll give him 5 nuts because I feel bad that he's waiting on an MBL ruling.
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - The Harvard comma's #1 fan.
06/02/2008 @ 09:53:53 AM
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The self esteem movement takes another victim.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
06/02/2008 @ 12:39:29 PM
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Wouldn't it be .002 dollars?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
06/02/2008 @ 12:48:01 PM
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Yes, I suppose so, though I'm sure everyone knew what I meant.

The more I think about the more I wonder if the person didn't mean to write the check for $0 and they knew just enough that the limit part wouldn't QUITE be $1 so they threw in a "small" number to get it to "total" $0 missing the fact that that limit would eventually reach like .9999999999999999999999....

.002 just seems like an odd amount, even on an odd thing like this.
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 06/02/2008 12:53:03 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
06/02/2008 @ 04:54:52 PM
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I started to watch that video again to remember what all we were discussing. Then I stopped when she blew off one of the methods because she's messed up on one of the steps in the past. That's always a solid rational. I get confused by the theory of relativity, so it must be bunk.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
06/02/2008 @ 04:58:36 PM
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Ha, oh the irony.

Turns out the origin of this check was over the dollars vs cents thing.

http://www.verizonmath.com/

(And I was wrong and there's a reason for the .002)

Edit: I don't know how much of this call I can listen to, but it's pretty mind numbing how stupid they are. He can walk them through all the analogies in the world. They seem to understand, then it somehow breaks down when it gets back to their rate. It seems like he just gets forwarded to dumber and dumber people.
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Jeremy perfected this 3 times, last at 06/02/2008 5:50:01 pm
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
06/02/2008 @ 07:36:37 PM
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It'd be one thing if they were just totally jerks about it, but it's that much funnier/sadder that they are actually trying to understand him and they just can't comprehend.
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flower .jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
06/02/2008 @ 09:09:03 PM
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That is what I love about you nutcanners, not only did you solve the problem, you provided a audio clip in addition.

Nutcan, stuff that blows my mind.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
06/02/2008 @ 11:42:11 PM
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The best part about the audio clip was that you pretty much get just as exasperated as he does with the same "How many ways can he explain that?" thoughts. Or maybe the best part of the clip is that the last girl doesn't get it on such a fundamental level that every time he says the word dollars trying to make an analogy she butts in semi-snottily "you we're quoted .002 cents, not dollars."

Edit: Actually though I think he makes it much more confusing than it needs to be at times. Every time he gets into thousandths this and tenths that I think to myself "you're losing them George."

Edit: Also, that "difference of opinion" comment she makes...that's just classic modern day America.
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Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 06/03/2008 12:17:48 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
06/02/2008 @ 11:43:29 PM
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Just to get it in there before Matt or Jon get here, I know this isn't an example of irony. "Oh the irony" is just fun to say.
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flower .jpgPackOne - Yeah, and you don't stop, 'caus its 1-8-7 on a ...
03/30/2010 @ 12:37:32 PM
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Jeremy suggested the nutcan math department for this.

My cumulative GPA is 3.634 through 102 of 124 credits. I need to figure out my final GPA in the following scenarios.

Scenario One:

4 Credits A

18 Credits A-

Scenario Two:

4 Credits A

9 Credits A-

6 Credits B+

3 Credits C

Scenario Three

4 Credits A

3 Credits B+

3 Credits B

9 Credits C

3 Credits D-

BONUS QUESTION: What is the worst I can do and still get a 3.500 or better?

Double Bonus: How good do I have to perform to hit 3.7 or better?

Assume 4 credits of A in all questions.
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PackOne messed with this 2 times, last at 03/30/2010 12:41:15 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
03/30/2010 @ 12:59:26 PM
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Using the values here: https://web.uwec.edu/gpacalc/estsemgpa.asp

Scenario One:
(3.634 * 102 + 4 * 4 + 18 * 3.67) / 124 = 3.65
Scenario Two:
(3.634 * 102 + 4 * 4 + 9 * 3.67 + 6 * 3.33 + 3*2) / 124 = 3.59
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
03/30/2010 @ 01:02:40 PM
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S3:

(3.634 * 102 + 4 * 4 + 3 * 3.67 + 3 * 3 + 9*2 + 3 * .67) / 124 = 3.44
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reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
03/30/2010 @ 01:02:48 PM
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Scenario 1: 3.651
Scenario 2: 3.594
Scenario 3: 3.441
Scenario 4: 2.63 on remaining 18 credits
Scenario 5: Straight A's

Assuming you are using 3.666 for an A- and 3.333 for a B+. We had AB's at Madison which were just 3.5.

Can you really get a D- in college?
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
03/30/2010 @ 01:10:38 PM
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Micah!!! I was looking forward to busting out my algebra to figure out the bonuses. Foiled.

Edit: Though I did take the time to show my work.
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Jeremy edited this at 03/30/2010 1:21:31 pm
flower .jpgPackOne - No matter how many MC's I eat up ... oh, it's never enough.
03/30/2010 @ 01:10:42 PM
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They use a firm 3.67 I think.

Straight A's probably won't happen, and even at low end of my best work assumed, it doesn't hardly move me up at all. (Scenario One)

Scenario two keeps me at Cum Laude, which is perceived grades with slackage incorporated.

Scenario three is unlikely. There is a class I am thinking of bailing on with a D- just out of principle. I wanted to know how badly that hurt me. The chance that I go 9 credits of C in the last semester would be highly unlikely, but again, if it didn't drop below a 3.5 I wanted to know. So, essentially I need to sort of do good to graduate with honors. I'm okay with that.

3.7 for whatever Laude is next is probably out it looks like.
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PackOne screwed with this at 03/30/2010 1:14:07 pm
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - They just want the damn ash of that field
03/30/2010 @ 01:13:15 PM
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(2x + 3)(3x + 7)

You wouldn't be FOILed by this problem, however.....
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
03/30/2010 @ 01:13:40 PM
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The real question is should UWEC be worried that someone is about to graduate with honors that doesn't know how to figure out their GPA. emoticon

Bazinga.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
03/30/2010 @ 01:14:52 PM
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Micah Wrote - Today @ 01:13:15 PM
(2x + 3)(3x + 7)

You wouldn't be FOILed by this problem, however.....


Insta-classic. If only there was a 6 nut option.
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
03/30/2010 @ 01:17:14 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:13:40 PM
The real question is should UWEC be worried that someone is about to graduate with honors that doesn't know how to figure out their GPA. emoticon

Bazinga.


Well, it's Stout, and I'm in the English department. However, I probably could have done it, but you guys did it in like 4 seconds and apparently had a great time. So in the end I made the world a better place and saved a shit ton of time.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
03/30/2010 @ 01:18:22 PM
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Indeed.
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo' hand...spin it like a helicopter.
03/30/2010 @ 01:22:03 PM
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I do have more bonus questions. If we keep the D- in all scenarios. And the 4 credits of A, with the remaining 15 credits, what's a breakdown look like to fall at around a 3.52 to play it safe. Is that 15 credits of B? Less, more?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
03/30/2010 @ 01:31:17 PM
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(3.634 * 102 + 4 * 4 + 3 * .67 + 15 * x) / 124 = 3.52
(3.634 * 102 + 4 * 4 + 3 * .67 + 15 * x) = 436.48
370.668 + 16 + 2.01 + 15x = 436.48
15x = 47.802
x=3.18
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reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - Shaken not stirred gets you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth
03/30/2010 @ 01:34:00 PM
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What he said....it looks like 1 B and 4 B+ would give you a 3.529
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
03/30/2010 @ 01:36:06 PM
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Could make it with 2 Bs and 3 B+, with .195 grade points to spare
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
03/30/2010 @ 01:36:45 PM
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Assuming 3 credit increments:

9*3.33 + 6 * 3 / 15 = 3.198

I think you actually only need 3 B plusses, assuming the others are B's
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flower .jpgPackOne - There's music to play. Places to go. People to see.
03/30/2010 @ 01:49:11 PM
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It's like a nut fest in here today. Thanks.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
03/30/2010 @ 01:54:39 PM
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Of course all this is kind of meaningless because figuring out the "easiest" path isn't really a meaningful math problem.

It might be much harder to average the B+, B+, B+, B, B than it is to go B+, B+, B+, A, C, or A, A, B+, B-, C which are also good enough to make your cut assuming the 4 credit A and a 3 credit D-.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 03/30/2010 2:01:01 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
03/30/2010 @ 02:02:27 PM
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Also, if you don't mind me asking, what exactly does taking the D- "on principle" mean?
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
03/30/2010 @ 02:13:47 PM
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I think the curriculum and the presentation of the course do not meet my standards. I would rather waste the money and get a D- rather than a misguided and useless B. Also, in addition to the nutcan math department, I received this nifty tool.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26190/ALEX.xlsx
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
03/30/2010 @ 08:43:18 PM
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Also, while all this is good to know (especially on a what's assured, what's a pipe dream, front) playing the "what's the worst I can do" game is a dangerous thing. If one of your assumptions is wrong, or one of us made a simple math error, you'd be boned. And while cords are nice and can be mentioned on a resume, a 3.6 still beats a 3.5. The only time it might come into play is when everything is more concrete, and there's some big final project that's worth 25% of your grade in some meaningless art/rels elective, and you know all you need is a C in the class, and that you'll make it without investing 50 hours into it that could be spent elsewhere.
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matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
03/30/2010 @ 11:35:17 PM
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I'm blaming PackOne for this:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/obit/2010-03-30-stand-and-deliver-teacher_N.htm?csp=34
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flower .jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
03/31/2010 @ 01:39:52 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:43:18 PM
Also, while all this is good to know (especially on a what's assured, what's a pipe dream, front) playing the "what's the worst I can do" game is a dangerous thing. If one of your assumptions is wrong, or one of us made a simple math error, you'd be boned. And while cords are nice and can be mentioned on a resume, a 3.6 still beats a 3.5. The only time it might come into play is when everything is more concrete, and there's some big final project that's worth 25% of your grade in some meaningless art/rels elective, and you know all you need is a C in the class, and that you'll make it without investing 50 hours into it that could be spent elsewhere.


That is true. And I doubt Ill be playing the game. I may play the take-a-d-to-make-a-point game in one class though. I have gotten one C in my entire college career. It is comforting to know how bad I need to do to not get the cord. I also wanted to know if I could get two cords, it's nice to know its possible, but not realistic. I am almost assured of one, which probably costs enough extra as it is.
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
05/15/2010 @ 10:35:48 AM
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Okay, I am going to start working on this, but last time I great success at the nutcan math department. Here is what I need.


Player makes 445,000 a year.

Here is his lifetime stat line. What did he make per dollar in each one, plus maybe additional interesting facts. Let's say I made 20,000 last year for reference in case you need it. Go math team go.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BlacWi20.htm
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PackOne edited this at 05/15/2010 10:38:27 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
05/15/2010 @ 11:52:22 AM
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Returner ($445,000 per year @ 4 years)
$37,872.34 per punt return
$3,456.30 per punt return yard
$59,333.34 per punt return TD
$26,969.70 per kick return
$1,277.82 per kick return yard

Defense ($445,000 per year @ 2 years)
$445,000 per start
$890,000 per pass deflection
$445,000 per force fumble
178,000 per fumble recovery
$890,000 per TD
$42380.95 per tackle

Interesting (depressing) fact: He's made as much in 4 years at $445k as you'd make in 89 @ $20K
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Jeremy screwed with this 4 times, last at 05/15/2010 11:59:42 am
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
05/15/2010 @ 02:57:43 PM
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Those are pretty much meaningless numbers though. He didn't really make/cost $3,456.30 per punt return yard unless that was the only thing he was paid to do. That's like saying I get paid my entire salary to release software changes, which is just one of my responsibilities. If you want to compare his salary to his on field production (which still isn't really fair) it'd more interesting and reasonable to assign some sort of weighting system to the different stats and then divide up the salary that way. But it'd be kind of a pain to do as well, and completely arbitrary to just pull weighting numbers out of the air (unless some stat nerds have created some sort of formula for this already?) so I'll pass on actually doing it.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
05/15/2010 @ 04:41:55 PM
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Yea, the only thing done this way that would make some sense is $ per play in his 2 years where he only returned kicks
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Jeremy perfected this at 05/15/2010 4:43:30 pm
avatar2345.jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
05/05/2011 @ 03:09:08 PM
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2011 Nutcan math team problem.

I built a raised bed garden. It is shaped like a T. It is 13' long by 4' wide by 12" deep. The "T" is 4'x4' by 12" deep. How much soil do I need to fill it about one inch from the top?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
05/05/2011 @ 03:44:55 PM
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Do you mean the "arms" of the T stick out another 4 feet? The base of the T is 9 feet then, or the base is 13 and the whole thing is 17? We might need a doodle to clarify, but basically just bust it into 2 rectangles (top and base) and do W x H x 11/12 (if W and H are in feet) to get cubic feet.

The dirt might compact, but that would give you a good idea on the least amount you'd need.

Edit: If you mean the top is 4 feet by 12 feet wide and a 4 foot wide base is 9 feet long it's: 4 x 9 x 11/12 + 12 x 4 * 11/12 = 33 + 44 = 77 cubic feet (which I beleive qualifies as 1 ass load)

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Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 05/05/2011 4:00:09 pm
avatar2345.jpgPackOne - Sit down your rockin' the boat.
05/05/2011 @ 04:08:04 PM
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No, I think the answer is 2.51 cubic yards. One side of T is 13' at the top. It has sides 4' long and is 1' deep. The base of the T is 4 x 4 x 1 deep. So 2.51 right?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
05/05/2011 @ 04:39:23 PM
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If I'm picturing what you mean (more like this tetris piece than a "T" http://gamerlimit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/tetris.png) So it's essentially 4 4x4x1's, give or take the wood/a few inches.

13 x 4 x 1 = 52 cubic feet = 1.92592593 cubic yards
4 x 4 x 1 = 16 cubic feet = 0.592592593 cubic yards

Which makes 2.52 cubic yards, yes.
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Jeremy perfected this at 05/05/2011 4:43:33 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
05/10/2011 @ 02:37:23 PM
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2.52 cubic yards is indeed a huge freaking amount of top soil. My dad has a Mazda b4000 pickup, and the bed on that thing can handle about 1 yard of top soil. so 2.5 yards is more than 2 pickup trucks full. Just FYI. I filled it with 1/2 a yard of soil this weekend, and it was a whole lot of dirt. I would guess about 10 - 15 wheelbarrow loads full.

Here's a calculator for figuring it out, if you don't trust your own math.

Edit: your math checks out.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 05/10/2011 2:39:49 pm
flower .jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
05/13/2011 @ 04:19:10 PM
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I got it, 2.51 is a lot. Did two loads with a Silverado. Idea if hauling dirt. We put a tarp underneath, scraped off a little from the top and then pulled the tarp with the dirt right into the garden. Less than 10 minute unload.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
05/13/2011 @ 05:05:40 PM
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Well, see you got 2.51. The math comes out 2.52 when rounded. That would have made a huge difference.
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
05/23/2011 @ 12:35:36 PM
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OK, Mathletes, now figure out how many beers per cubic... nevermind, have another one.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/23/2015 @ 12:16:13 AM
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Common core math is still a hot bed, this thread is a good read still.
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