Saturday, July 2, 2016

Have you developed the ability to work both independently (individually) and collaboratively (group work) on mathematical problems? State an example of each.

No.  But one time in probability & statistics at tarleton, I had to do group work.  We had to do something about the monty hall problem.  The other people didn't believe me.  I retrieved a copy of The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, which is the book I learned it from, and I showed them the diagram, and then we set up an experiment and it came out just the way the diagram predicted.  Individually?  Um, I took the SAT and the ACT.  I've taken tests in most of my math classes.  Obvs I've solved stupid math problems independently.  5+5=10.  There's an example.  I just did it.  Ugh.  I built a shelf once.  That involved math.  I did it alone.  I mean, I did the math alone.  Someone else cut the boards.

1 comment:

  1. One time in a Probability & Statistics class at Tarleton State University, my group was assigned to work on the Monty Hall problem. I knew that the contestant was twice as likely to win the car by switching, but my group members didn't believe me. I retrieved a copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, which is the book I learned it from, and I showed them the diagram, and then we set up an experiment and it came out just the way the diagram predicted. In this case there was one correct answer and we found it and agreed on it using logic and math and experiment.

    This is contrasted to when I was in a service fraternity. In that situation, the problems were usually how to accomplish a given service project. There is not only one correct way to do those kinds of things, so we solved it by majority rule or by one person being appointed the chair of the project, in which case even if you thought you knew a better solution, you had to go along with what the chair or group decided just so the project would get completed in some way. Thus the nature of group work depends on the type of project.



    Once when I was 5 years old, my dad jokingly asked, "If one and a half chickens lay one and a half eggs in one and a half days, then how many eggs will nine chickens lay in nine days?". I said, "Does that mean one chicken lays one egg in one day?" But then I realized that wasn't exactly right, so I got some paper and wrote everything down and I solved it in a few minutes and then told my dad the answer (54 eggs). Laughing with amazement, he said that was the right answer, and I was happy to have my work confirmed, but it's the math that proves it, not my dad saying it was right.

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