27 August 2005
Tropic of calculus
In the middle 1960s, Tom Lehrer put New Math in its place. Unfortunately, it didn't stay there. Jeff Quinton traces the evolution of a standard math problem, starting in 1965; after thirty years it was almost unrecognizable.
1965 A logger sells a load of wood for $100. His cost of production is $80. What is his profit?
1970 A logger sells a load of wood for $100. His cost of production is $80. What is his profit?
1975 A logger sells a load of wood for 100 units (make a set of 100 dots to represent this income.) His production is 80 units. The units of sell and cost interchangeable. Draw a subset with 80 dots respresenting cost. The difference between the set and subset is the profit.
1985 A logger sells a load of wood for $100. His cost of production is $80. His profit is $20. Underline $20.
1995 A logger makes his living cutting down beautiful trees. Discuss how the little birdies, animals and trees feel. Points given for discussion participation.
As Jeff notes, it's time for a 2005 version. This one came to me after a minute or so:
2005 A logger under contract to the Department of Defense sells a load of wood for $100,000. His cost of production is $600 for labor and equipment, $800 for taxes, and $7100 for environmental permits and certificates. How much profit will he have after Halliburton takes its cut?
Feel free to improve on this in Comments.Posted at 6:38 PM to Dyssynergy