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Some of those who hold that view also think that there is just one correct way to get that answer. A far smaller group, to be sure, but still a worryingly large number.
Still, my focus here is on the first false belief.
Having earned my living as a mathematician for over 40 years, I can assure you that the belief is false. In addition to my university research, I have done mathematical work for the U. Intelligence Community, the U.
Army, private defense contractors, and a number of for-profit companies. In not one of those projects was I paid to find "the right answer.
So what is the origin of those false beliefs? It's hardly a mystery. People form that misconception because of their experience at school. In school mathematics, students are only exposed to problems that a are well defined, b have a unique correct answer, and c whose answer can be obtained with a few lines of calculation.
But the only career in which a high school graduate can expect to continue to work on such problems is academic research in pure mathematics—and even then and again speaking from many years of personal experiencecleanly specified problems that have obtainable "right answers" are not as common as you might think.
Since the vast majority of students who go through school math classes do not end up as university research mathematicians, whereas many do find themselves in careers that require some mathematical ability, it's reasonable to ask why their entire school mathematics education focuses exclusively on one tiny fraction of all possible mathematics problems.
The answer can be found by looking at the history of mathematics. Starting with the invention of numbers around 10, years ago, people developed mathematical methods to solve problems they faced in the world: While some of that mathematics was required only by specialists e.
As a consequence, mathematicians wrote books from which ordinary people could learn how to calculate. From the very earliest textbooks Babylonian tablets, Indian manuscripts, etc.
Ancient and medieval textbooks had many hundreds of such problems, so that a trader say could find a problem almost identical in form to the one he and back then use of mathematics was primarily a male activity actually wanted to solve in his business.
If he were lucky, all he would have to do is substitute his own numbers for those in the book's worked word problem. In other cases, the book might not provide an exact match, but by working through five or six problems that were close in form, the individual could learn how to solve his real problem.
For the majority of people, that was enough. Life simply did not require anything more. The problems they faced in their everyday activities for which mathematics was needed were simple and routine.
The mathematical word problems that today seem so unrealistic were by and large remarkably similar to the problems ordinary citizens faced every day.
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Precalculus Problems Website (The development of this website was supported by a UIIP grant from the Teaching Resources Center at the University of California, Davis.) Click on a topic below to go to problems on that topic: 1.
Please send any comments or corrections to [email protected] Math homework help. Hotmath explains math textbook homework problems with step-by-step math answers for algebra, geometry, and calculus.
Online tutoring available for math help. Finding Unknown Angles This section examines the role of unknown angle problems in the Primary Math and New Elementary Math textbooks for grades It includes a list of the geometric facts learned (Study the Textbook!) Give one-sentence answers to Ex-ercises , , and in this section.
2. (Study the Textbook! Aug 01, · Most Math Problems Do Not Have a Unique Right Answer (obtainable) "right answers" are not as common as you might think.
Devlin's Angle. Mathematician Keith Devlin is the Executive Director of the Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute Author: Devlin's Angle. How Can You Find the Answers for Math Makes Sense 6th Grade?
Purchase the Math Makes Sense Grade 6 Answer Key directly from Pearson School Canada's website. The Teacher's Edition and Student Text are also available for purchase. From Pearson School .