Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category

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Fear and Loathing in Grade 3 Math Class

October 29, 2015

Mathspig 5 + 5
Hellooo My Little Luvvies,

So you are in Grade 3. You are asked to do this: Use the repeated multiplication strategy to solve: 5 x 3. Here’s your answer:

……………………………………………………………………..Math homework

……………………………………………………………………..

Firstly, give the kid a cigar. According to The Telegraph, UK the kid is only in Grade 3 and can read: repeated multiplication strategy without their head exploding. Secondly, this kid understands the question.        

5 x 3 = 5 + 5 + 5  except, according to the teacher, this answer is wrong. 

The answer should be:        

3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3

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Maths  think

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According to The Telegraph : The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in the US defended how the paper was marked, saying it gives students a better understanding of the problems they are solving.

Of course, the NCTM is suggesting:

5 x 3 = 5 times 3 = 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3

5 x X = 5 times X = X + X + X + X + X

But what about:

X x 3 = ? 

X x 3 = X times 3 = 3 times X = X + X + X

Mathematicians have to think like this! They must be nibble. Mathematicians must think for themselves.

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CCSS MATH  THINK

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Too many kids hate maths due to FEAR or BOREDOM. How much would you hate maths if you got correct answers marked WRONG?

And how much would you FEAR the next maths test?

……………………………………………………………………..

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics are Idiots

……………………………………………………………………..

Needless to say, I’m with Bart. Math teachers should not mark right answers wrong for any reason. More reasons why kids hate maths here:  BEWARE OF MATHS FUNDAMENTALISTS

I’m MATHSPIG. I LOVE MATHS.

Cheerio for now

Mathspig

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Oh It’s Hard to be Humble When You’re as Famous as Me!

May 4, 2012

So you wanna be FAMOUS  and fabulous and uber-cool too.

Maybe you wanna be the Chris Rock of maths. Being famous is soooooo cool.

…………….……You get attitude!!!

……………………You Get cool sunglasses!!!

….You get a chauffeur that’s not your mum!

But what are the chances? What is the probability that a kid at your school will become famous one day? Cate Blanchet went to Mathpigs kids’ school. But in Australia we don’t make a fuss. They haven’t put a picture of her on the wall or anything.

So mathspigs let’s work out the probability of you becoming a STAR, BABY!

Here is an interesting statistic from Psychology Today.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

The first question is how do you measure fame? Do you have to be on TV to be famous? Do you have to be a Hollywood star? Should you be a wax dummy in Madame Tussaud’s? Not as a job. I mean because you are so fabulously famous.

Perhaps, you could use Tom Weller’s humorous Rictus scale (a parody of the Richter Scale) for earthquake intensity using media coverage as a guide to fame. Just replace the persons name for the word ‘scene’.

I’m thinking around ‘5’ looks like FAME, but you decide. Now count how many ex-students from your school (and any current ones) who have become famous in the last 20 years and do the maths.

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Rictus

Scale #

Richter Scale

Equivalent

Media Coverage

1 0-3 Small articles in local papers
2 3-5 Lead story on local news; mentioned on network news
3 5-6.5 Lead story on network news; photos in nation newspapers; governor visits scene
4 6.5-7.5 Network correspondents sent to scene; president/PM visits area; commemorative T-shirts appear
5 7.5 up Covers of weekly news magazines; network specials; “instant books” appear

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Every Day is Pi Day

April 8, 2011

Wowwwwwwwwww!!!!!!

π   π   π

Mathspig is very excited to note that Pi has been in the news this week.

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Firstly, in an article titled Pimp My Memory New Scientist, 2nd April, cited Chao Lu’s feat of remembering π to 67,890 places in November 2005.

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It took Chao (pictured below) 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite the 67,000plus places!!!!!!!!

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π

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If Mathspig was listening I dare say she would have fallen asleep and slammed her snout into the table top at 200kph at about the 300th decimal place.

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But I can’t help wondering what would happen if some one said, Aussie style ‘Nah, mate! You missed one. That 61, 235 place was a 3!!!!!’

π

This is more a feat of memory than maths.

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Wowwwwww !!!!^2!!!!


Then The New Yorker, 4th April 2011, reported on Pi Day activities in the Facing History School (pictured ), Hell’s Kitchen, NY. (Below random students)


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Maths teachers held a pi-memorisation day on Pi Day (3/14 in USA, which unfortunately in Australia is written 14/3) offering a new iPod Touch as a prize.

π

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There was also a pi pie-eating contest and a pi “jeopardy” game.  The Maths teachers all wore Pi Day teachers with names printed on the back such as Karina “The Algorithm” Garcia.

π

 

The winner of the pi-memorisation was a sophomore (Year 10 in Australia), Jason Gil, who recalled 162 digits. Yey!!! Go Jason.

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π

Mathspig urges maths teachers to have a fun maths day. Other subjects have days and events!!! Give maths a big profile in your school. A Pi Day is good. And a pi-memorisation challenge can be lots of fun. Here are three ways to remember Pi.

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π

1.Phone No. Method

π

Some students at Facing History School, NY committed  the pi sequence to memory by putting the numbers in blocks of cellphone numbers.

3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971

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π

2. Song Method

The Pi sequence can be remembered using a Pi Song.  Here’s a song to recall the first 10 digits.

π


If numbers had a heaven

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Their God would surely be

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3.1415

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92653

π

It is sung to the Mickey Mouse Club Song.

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Here is a more entertaining song called Mathematical Pi Song by 4ACT, which proves that good mathematicians make crap singers.


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3. Piem Method

The third way to memorise the pi sequence is to write a PIEM … or Pi Poem.

π


It can be a crazy poem but each word has the number of letters of the digit to be remembered.

π


eg.

How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy chapters involving quantum mechanics.

π

Here’s a piem by Maths pig:

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Get a grip u maths pyschopath I’m afraid piday fun shidz students painfully.

π


All right, already. Some poetic license is allowed. Tricks such as rhymes and mnemonics like the piem will only help memory if they are witty and apt but you must know what you can get away with.

π

How to study for exams? According to studies reported in New Scientist the best way to learn for an exam is to constantly test your memory. Make it work hard. REcall. REcall. REcall.

π

I’m Mathspig. I didn’t say I would be a nice pig.

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10 Most Common Maths Errors in the Media

October 12, 2010

Some of the dumbest maths in the media involve maths bloopers. Here are some examples from the Failmath website.

 

The Most Common Maths Errors in the Media, however, come from presenters and/or journalists misunderstanding the maths, even the most basic concepts. 


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1. Hat Wearers Wear Hats

October 12, 2010

Statistics

The SELF SELECTING SAMPLE.

(Thanks Ivy for the No 1 rocket.)

Newspaper and magazine editors urge their readers to ‘click-on our website poll’ and then they publish the results in the next issue. The newspaper may learn about their readership. This is useful information for marketing but otherwise useless. It’s like asking hat wearers if they wear hats. Let me guess the answer? D’uh!

Included here are some results of two self-selecting surveys, which not only reveal the standard useless statistics but also some highly questionable numerical outcomes. In the Esquire Magazine Survey of Drinking (Sept 2010)  82% of their readers, who were willing to answer a survey about their drinking habits (Whereby, for some reason. 1 beer = 2 drinks), have a University Degree or higher (Or, maybe, 50% of them lie!!!!) and in the Health and Fitness (Oct 2010) magazine survey  – Guess what? – magically the numbers for all options add up to 100%. Neat! Didn’t anyone fit more than one category? (Assuming all readers of Health and Fitness mag who are bothered enough to answer a survey on fitness do some exercise.)

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2. My Mum Says Survey

October 12, 2010

Statistics

The SMALL SAMPLE error.

A survey is taken but the number of people surveyed is so small as to be irrelevant; not much better than simply asking your mum for her opinion and publishing the results.

Included here is a full-page Women’s Weekly (Oct 2010) ad for an Elizabeth Arden Anti-wrinkle Cream. Look at these wonderful statics. 92%… 85% …Wow! Look at the language. Gives eyes a ‘radiant and luminous look’ Sounds like the DEVIL!!!! Read the small print.

The survey was based on 30 participants and ‘results may vary’.

                            

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3. The Trouble with Double

October 12, 2010

Percentages

When the Numbers involved are so SMALL the % Stated is Meaningless.

Newspapers often state that a cancer rate has doubled or increased (See pic) by 28%. Those % changes can be meaningless. For instance, double nothing is still nothing. You need the actual numbers.

 

Here is a statistic taken from Men’s Health magazine (March 2010). According to the government funded Australian Institute of Health and Welfare the actual number of Australian males who presented with melanoma in 2005 was 6,044

or   0.549  in 1,000

or 1 in 2,000.

If these numbers increase by 28% the number of Australian men presenting with melanoma will be:

 

0.703 in 1,000

or  ~ 2 in 3,000.

These numbers are not so alarming. Then again would you take any notice of statistics of a magazine that suggests a ‘sonic boom’ from a golf club is causing deafness!!!!!