Month: March 2018

Should Rare Events Surprise Us?

(Archive Question of the Week) We often receive questions saying something like, “My wife has the same┬ábirthday as my son-in-law, whose dog has the same name as my wife’s┬ábrother, … ,” and asking us to calculate how likely it is that this would happen. Sometimes it is simply impossible to answer (without, say, looking up …

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Rounding: Contextual Issues

Previously, I discussed how to round a number to the nearest whole number [or tenth, ten, etc.]. I focused there on what to do when you are simply told to do it — what “round to nearest” means, and how that determines whether you round a particular number up or down. I also pointed out …

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Minimizing an Angle

(New Question of the Week) An interesting trigonometry problem came through about a month ago, answered by Doctor Rick. It gives a nice example of how our process works at its best. It is also an interesting problem!