Monday, April 22, 2013

Five Things You Won't Learn in Math Class

How to Tell A Person's Gender at A Glance
This is a real word problem I had to solve:
Jordan walks to school. What is the probability Jordan is male? Write the conditional probability equations and then find the probability.
If you solve it, you get a percentage. Fortunately, I happen to sit next to a Jordan Baumgart in math, and he was able to provide me with a more solid answer.
So one day Satan decided, "Let's put the alphabet in math." They called it algebra. I've now done math with exclamation points and a negative i. 
Admit it. If I asked you to find Soh Cah Toa, you'd think it was a city in Asia. 
Useful Life Skills
All you non-architect adults out there, can you tell me how the Pythagorean theorem can be used to solve conics? I've known twelve year olds-not prodigies, just normal seventh graders-who help their parents with college math. 
How to Slay A Dragon
And here's another problem:
You are about to attack a dragon in a role playing game. You will throw two dice, one numbered one to eight and the other with the letters A and F. What is the probability that you will roll the values six and A?
The answer is 1/48. But this problem leaves out a lot of information. Does rolling 6A enable us to survive the dragon, or merely attack it? And it fails to take into account the strength of the dragon's hide, whether or not it has a breath weapon, and the type of broadsword we're using. I do not feel math class is adequately preparing us to fight dragons.
That's the 47th kid we've lost this month! 
They say math is preparing us for the future. If the world is overrun by dragons, there shall be no future. 

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