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Even Older Man Yells at Whippersnappers

On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 2:41 PM, Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 4:33 AM, Larry Martell <larry.martell at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 1:38 PM, ROGER GRAYDON CHRISTMAN <dvl at psu.edu> wrote:
>>>  I recall giving a quiz to my college students sometime back around
>>> the late nineties which had a little bit of arithmetic involved in the answer.
>>> It's been too long ago to still have the exact details, but I remember
>>> a couple solutions that would be of the form:
>>> 5 + 10 + 1*2
>>> And then the student would write he was unable to actually
>>> compute that without a calculator.   And yes, I deliberately
>>> designed the questions to have such easy numbers to work with.
>> It was my birthday the other day. People at worked asked how old I
>> was. I replied:
>> ((3**2)+math.sqrt(400))*2
>> Quite a few people somehow came up with 47. And these are technical people.
> *headscratch* Multiple people got 47? I'm struggling to figure that
> out. If they interpret the first part as multiplication (3*2 => 6),
> that would get 26*2 => 52; if they don't understand the square
> rooting, they'd probably just give up; if they ignore the parentheses,
> that could give 9 + 20*2 => 49; but I can't come up with 47.

They could not explain it either.