Month: May 2020

Eratosthenes Measures the Earth

Last time we looked at a couple questions about proving the earth is round, which led into questions about how Eratosthenes measured the earth (though that in itself did not prove the earth is not flat). Let’s look at two questions about that project itself. Eratosthenes for third graders The first is from 1995, and …

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Impossible? Try anyway!

(An archive question of the week) Here’s a little problem with some big lessons for problem solving. Not enough equations? This question is from Kenanga in 2017, not long before the Ask Dr. Math service stopped taking questions: Insufficient Information In Question Given A + B + C = 1 B + C + D …

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Bayes and Virus Testing

News about testing for viruses has reminded me of a couple problems that I linked to some time ago, but never dealt with directly. The question is, given data such as the result of a (fallible) blood or swab test, how sure can we be of the results? The answer is sometimes surprising. False positives …

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