Galef on the Smartass Curve

Julia Galef, writing at the Measure of Doubt blog, in Math education: you’re doing it wrong, tells a story about her friend J:

On the entrance exam for his honors math class, several of the problems asked you to fill in the next number in the sequence, such as: 2, 4, 8, 16, _?_. Obviously, whoever wrote the exam wanted you to complete that sequence with “32,” because the pattern they’re thinking of is powers of 2. For n = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, the formula 2n = 2, 4, 8, 16, 32. But J didn’t write “32.” He wrote “π.”

Hilarity ensues. As a former smartass math geek, I enjoyed the story.

One Response to “Galef on the Smartass Curve”

  1. Anithil Says:

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