## Re: Reasonable

1

wut

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:18 AM
2

Yesterday via Zoom, we had our office Christmas Party featuring a trivia contest in which I did embarrassingly badly. Today, I am presented with a high school math/logic problem to which I have no idea of the answer. This pisses me off.

I'm learning why people vote for Trump, is what I'm saying.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:24 AM
3

That is not a magic square ...

Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:37 AM
4

Belaboring the obvious, that is a puzzle, not a reasonable test of general mathematical ability, and the people in math education who believe otherwise should be run out of the profession on one or more rails.

Posted by: (gensym) | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:40 AM
5

I don't see the answer and also checked to see if it was a magic square.

Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:40 AM
6

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:56 AM
7

Moobies, hooray!

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:07 AM
8

7 is a good number. Some people might choose 5, but I think, aesthetically, 7 makes more sense.

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:08 AM
9

Is this like that 1 11 21 1211 111221 312211 shit where neb went and actually wrote an algorithm for it?
Anyway the answer is A. 4, reading right to left in each row, you multiply the fourth and third column, subtract the second and the result is the first:
5*5-8=17
4*5-7=13
3*6-12=6
?*4-6=10
But you could just as easily have guessed 4 since the last column is less that or equal to the other numbers in the row.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:09 AM
10

4? No. 4 doesn't look good there at all. You can't have two 4s next to each other.

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:09 AM
11

If you were meant to use math equations to figure out the answer it would have been labelled as such.

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:11 AM
12

Also if the rest of question 3 is What day is it today it's Friday. That's more of a language problem.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:14 AM
13

Couldn't you have given a hint, SP? E.g., something about how if you read Hebrew it would be easier.

So does everybody agree with 4? After seeing the answer, I am more willing to agree. I wonder what Polya, the author of How To Solve It, would say.

Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:16 AM
14

Is this like that 1 11 21 1211 111221 312211 shit where neb went and actually wrote an algorithm for it?

Excuse me, do you mean the 1 11 21 1211 111221 32211 shit?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:16 AM
15

Sorry I didn't know how to do spoiler font.
14- the last is 312211 isn't it? And my phone keeps trying to make me call that sequence as a phone number.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:19 AM
16

Oh ha, yes of course it is. I'm an idiot.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:29 AM
17

I'm having a day today where I say or do something and feel like an ass immediately afterwards!

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:29 AM
18

I'm on a search committee, and we just had our "relaxed zoom lunch" with a candidate, and I can't tell if I grilled them like is allowed here but not in polite society, or if I behaved like an ordinary human. I kept muting myself to force myself to take a beat before speaking. I don't know if it worked though.

AND NOW 312211!!

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:31 AM
19

I used a heuristic I learned back in high school. If nobody knows the answer, guess with confidence because nobody will think you're stupid if wrong and everyone will think you're smart if right.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:32 AM
20

6 was really a total guess?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:34 AM
21

I got it, but boy that took me a while! I think at least 5 minutes.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:34 AM
22

See. Everyone thinks I figured it out with great difficulty.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:35 AM
23

I guess the real challenge is whether you find a justification for all the answers. Since the square is relatively small seems like it should be possible.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:36 AM
24

They way I thought about it once I got it was "the sum of the first two numbers in each row is the product of the last two numbers in each row." Which I think is slightly more reasonable than the equivalent way that SP phrased it.

Putting the data in a grid but only caring about what happens in each row is just bad puzzle design. This should have been presented as four lists of 4 numbers, rather than as a 4-by-4 grid.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:37 AM
25

Mine is more reasonable if you read Hebrew. There, is that how you do a hint?

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:39 AM
26

"the sum of the first two numbers in each row is the product of the last two numbers in each row."

That's terrible.

I did HS math team, and I hated those sorts of questions at the time. That's not math, that's just random fiddling! (my reaction makes me think of the factoid that chess masters are better than novices at memorizing a chess board if the positions were a result of game play, but no better than novices at memorizing a board with the pieces in a random position. To me, that answer doesn't feel like something that you would arrive at through the math equivalent of game play).

Nice work solving it.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:44 AM
27

The context is particularly egregious. This is supposed to be a beginning and end of year test to measure improvement in students' logical reasoning ability over the course of a year.

In a GEOMETRY course.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:49 AM
28

They never got around to it at the beginning of this year, however, and it's just now being handed out.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:50 AM
29

My math ed friend tells me that there is an appropriate use for this kind of problem, but you would give the student lots of context. It's used for teaching functional processes, apparently and for students to try to detect two-step functions.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:51 AM
30

Putting the data in a grid but only caring about what happens in each row is just bad puzzle design. This should have been presented as four lists of 4 numbers, rather than as a 4-by-4 grid.

This irritated me, too.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:53 AM
31

A good version of this question would be:

Insert operations and parentheses in the same way in each problem in order to make the equality work.
17 8 5 = 5
13 7 5 = 4

If you plug in the numbers 10 6 4 into your expression from the previous problem what answer do you get?

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 11:59 AM
32

This is the sort of nonsense that only works if the teacher shows students the trick. It is a behavioral test pretending to be a math problem.

Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 12:00 PM
33

I feel like I passed then because I treated it as a behavioral test.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 12:00 PM
34

I endorse 31. You could also ask "How many equations can you come up with using the numbers 17, 8, 5, and 5?" Get them to put the equality in different places, etc.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 12:13 PM
35

At least four.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 12:31 PM
36

This is how you get school rampage shooters. Well this and really lax gun control laws.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 1:17 PM
37

36 is me

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 1:18 PM
38

That's not math, that's just random fiddling!

Exactly. Things like this will result in people leaving school convinced that they hate math when what they actually hate are arbitrary "find the pattern" type puzzles.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 1:48 PM
39

I can recognize plaid but not which type.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 1:49 PM
40

This is the sort of puzzle Will Shortz would make if he liked numbers.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:11 PM
41

Continuing on 17 and 18, I just now made fun of Tom Waits too much to people who find him meaningful and now I feel bad.

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:12 PM
42

Why Tom Waits? People find him "meaningful"? (I just enjoy the sounds myself...)

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:22 PM
43

I think she insulted him in front of his kids.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:37 PM
44

Oh, I just got momentum riffing on his hobo-esque style. I honestly know almost nothing about him. I said he puts gravel in coffee when he's trying to be fancy, that he only has one fork and one pan, and he uses them as a mattress and pillow. That he hands out scraps of weathered leather to children in lieu of bandaids and they're confused but polite about it.

One of these things where I just kept going and in hindsight, my theme today seems to be "maybe just stop and pause first?"

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:49 PM
45

I also said that he writes all his songs on sandpaper.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:49 PM
46

The back or the front?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:52 PM
47

||

California had longstanding laws that were supposed to completely shield women from criminal penalties not only for abortion or but for any other personal conduct affecting their fetus's health, and the Central Valley justice system just started ignoring them and prosecuting women with drug problems.

|>

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:52 PM
48

I TRULY think you don't need to feel bad about that. Under any circumstances.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:53 PM
49

48 to heebie. Everyone always feels bad about California, even the ones who pretend they don't.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 2:54 PM
50

At least you didn't say he had "a voice like sand and glue."

Although maybe that was implied.

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 3:20 PM
51

Also I'm entering grades and I always feel like the biggest jerk when I'm entering grades.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 3:23 PM
52

49: I think it was also just the duration that I went on, with no one else chiming in, until I started to wonder.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 3:24 PM
53

52:. Most likely they had no idea what you were talking about. It sounds like it was hilarious to me. And I like Tom Waits.

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 3:28 PM
54

Reading back, it does seem awfully milquetoast. I guess I'm in a end-of-semester lurch and having trouble gauging everything.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 3:44 PM
55

i have to write year end evaluations and it's ruining my whole month. I had planned to do them over thanksgiving and I haven't and they're due tomorrow. I'll just stay up late tonight drinking and write them all.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 4:22 PM
56

I figured that whatever it was should work vertically and horizontally. I was stumped. Now that I see that the vertical is irrelevant, and that I have read the answer, it makes more sense.

Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 9:12 PM
57

The horizontal is irrelevant too. You had 25% odds with a blind guess. When trying to figure it out, you've got to think if the answer is based on the horizontal or the vertical or the diagonal or corners or whatever. The blind guess is more likely to be correct that trying to solve.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 9:16 PM
58

I have realized that if you use a lot of the same phrases in multiple evaluations no one else will know because no one sees anyone else's evaluations. I guess that should have been obvious but I kept using more and more convoluted wording to say similar things.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-20 10:00 PM
59

The horizontal is irrelevant too. You had 25% odds with a blind guess. When trying to figure it out, you've got to think if the answer is based on the horizontal or the vertical or the diagonal or corners or whatever. The blind guess is more likely to be correct that trying to solve.

Obviously it's D. 7 because it's the one in the bottom right.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-18-20 3:14 AM
60

Moby's shrewd methods reminded me of a bit in Welcome Back, Kotter where Vinnie Barbarino hears that there's going to be a true/false test and IIRC says
"Oh, great! I always know the answer on a true/false test."
"You, Vinnie?"
"Yeah! True true false."

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-18-20 3:41 AM
61

I confess, 60 was my doing.

Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 12-18-20 4:20 AM
62

As the kids used to say, "Up your nose with a rubber hose."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-20 6:42 AM
63

Those Covid tests are pretty rough.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-18-20 7:07 AM
64

The medical establishment hadn't yet recognized that Italians could feel pain.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-20 7:13 AM