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View Poll Results: So, who can solve the question?
Yes, I can solve it, call me Einstein 12 70.59%
No, I can't solve it, but I'm more of a big picture person anyway 5 29.41%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 05.06.2015, 16:20
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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Would be interested how any forum member's 16 year olds cope with this question. The English GCSE 16 year olds seem to be in melt down because it wasn't like past paper questions.

God forbid you're made to apply your knowledge in unfamiliar situations!
It took my 15 year a couple of minutes to come up with the answer but they have been doing a lot of algebra this term.
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  #22  
Old 05.06.2015, 16:27
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

I remember during my GCSE equivalent exam in Scotland they expected you to know how to convert metric to imperial which was clearly a mistake as it wasn't in the syllabus!

But it's marked on a curve so adjusted for difficult years. Kids just have twatter to moan more these days
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  #23  
Old 05.06.2015, 16:38
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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Emily Clarke added: 'My mum works for an accountancy company and it took 4 accountants 2hrs to answer the sweets Q. They have maths degrees.'
That's actually understandable. They're beancounters, not sweetcounters
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  #24  
Old 05.06.2015, 16:41
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

I couldn't solve it straight away but got bored quickly. I'm sure I would have got there if I concentrated a bit longer
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  #25  
Old 05.06.2015, 16:43
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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That's actually understandable. They're beancounters, not sweetcounters
except for the cross-functional jelly-bean counters! Remember those?
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  #26  
Old 05.06.2015, 16:46
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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  #27  
Old 05.06.2015, 17:15
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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The biggest problem I see with this question is that it doesn't explain what n is, but expects you to know the standard terminology. I hate that sort of thing, always did.
I are an illiterate idiot, it would seem.
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  #28  
Old 05.06.2015, 17:36
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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'There are n sweets in a bag'

Maybe they needed to say "where n is a positive integer".


But then they'd need to define the word "integer" in non-sexist, non-ageist terms, in multiple languages... right, Phil?
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  #29  
Old 05.06.2015, 17:39
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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That's actually understandable. They're beancounters, not sweetcounters
In any case, how many accountants have degrees in mathematics? Approximately none, I'd wager.
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  #30  
Old 05.06.2015, 17:55
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

It's a shame that the person who set out the solution in the Daily Fail article couldn't get it right! The intent was there but the expression was lacking (corrections in red)---missing parentheses make all the difference!

"The chance of getting two orange sweets in a row is the first probability multiplied by the second one: 6/n x 5/(n–1)

The question tells us that the chance of Hannah getting two orange sweets is 1/3.

So: 6/n x 5/(n–1) = 1/3

Now rearrange this equation.

(6x5)/n(n-1) = 30/(n² – n) = 1/3 = 90/(n² – n) = 1 This is nonsense, since 30/x clearly can not equal 90/x. The last equality should be written on a new line."

Last edited by 22 yards; 08.06.2015 at 01:31. Reason: Typo
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  #31  
Old 05.06.2015, 18:33
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

If someone would only correct the spelling of Einstein in the options above.
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  #32  
Old 05.06.2015, 19:03
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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If someone would only correct the spelling of Einstein in the options above.
Done
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  #33  
Old 05.06.2015, 19:25
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

OK. But Asian children are a bit brighter, and here is a similar exam paper puzzle from there. I could solve it, but the exam would have been long over before I could deliver the answer:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/a...hat-went-viral
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  #34  
Old 05.06.2015, 20:27
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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OK. But Asian children are a bit brighter, and here is a similar exam paper puzzle from there. I could solve it, but the exam would have been long over before I could deliver the answer:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/a...hat-went-viral
Personally I would disagree with "brighter". I just think it's a difference in the way that they're taught. The eduction system in England these days is, IMO, so faffy and concentrated on the soft subjects that there's no way that kids will learn the skills to cope with these logic problems, which often require little thought other than the knowledge to setup suitable matracies to eliminate that which is not.

From what I understand Asians are schooled way more intensively on hard subjects - hence the better performance with these type of questions.

By the way that question would have had me stumped as well.
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  #35  
Old 05.06.2015, 21:13
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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Personally I would disagree with "brighter". I just think it's a difference in the way that they're taught. The eduction system in England these days is, IMO, so faffy and concentrated on the soft subjects that there's no way that kids will learn the skills to cope with these logic problems, which often require little thought other than the knowledge to setup suitable matracies to eliminate that which is not.

From what I understand Asians are schooled way more intensively on hard subjects - hence the better performance with these type of questions.

By the way that question would have had me stumped as well.
As far as I know from my Korean friend it's not only what they learn in school, it's also the impressive amount of home works and after-school workshops/classes that most of them attend. It's a very competitive system.
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  #36  
Old 05.06.2015, 21:23
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

In other words it's a completely different, and more advantageous, education culture.

Kids coming out of the UK education system are lucky if they can read and write these days. OK that's probably an exaggeration, but I think all of you old and wizened Brits here know where I'm coming from.
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  #37  
Old 05.06.2015, 22:54
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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Asian children are a bit brighter
Rubbish.

BTW, all three of my grandchildren are part Asian, as are two of my step-children.

Tom
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  #38  
Old 05.06.2015, 23:30
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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Rubbish.

BTW, all three of my grandchildren are part Asian, as are two of my step-children.

Tom
Ah. Yes. But that depends, of course, what the other part is. It could have a severely diluting effect.
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  #39  
Old 05.06.2015, 23:33
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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  #40  
Old 06.06.2015, 08:38
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Re: A mathematical Friday Thread

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In other words it's a completely different, and more advantageous, education culture.

Kids coming out of the UK education system are lucky if they can read and write these days. OK that's probably an exaggeration, but I think all of you old and wizened Brits here know where I'm coming from.
In other words, yes. But I wouldn't say it's characteristic for all of the Asian countries, only for a few selected ones - Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and some other regions in China. (maybe more but defo not all of them)

Last edited by greenmount; 06.06.2015 at 08:49.
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