# humor

Judy Ann Brown (judyann@dimacs.rutgers.edu)
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 22:18:23 -0500

Hi everyone

The humor site of the night can be found at:
http://www.csun.edu/~hcmth014/comics.html

here is a sample of what you will find. It may sound familiar, but read through
to 1990 there is a new twist.

The Evolution of Math Teaching

1960s:
A peasant sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His costs amount to 4/5 of
his selling price. What is his profit?

1970s:
A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His costs amount to 4/5 of
his selling price, that is, \$8. What is his profit?

1970s (new math):
A farmer exchanges a set P of potatoes with set M of money. The
cardinality of the set M is equal to 10, and each element of M is worth \$1. Draw
ten big dots representing the elements of M. The set C of production costs is
composed of two big dots less than the set M. Represent C as a subset of M and
give the answer to the question:
What is the cardinality of the set of profits?

1980s:
A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His production costs are \$8,
and his profit is \$2. Underline the word "potatoes" and discuss with your
classmates.

1990s:
A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His or her production costs
are 0.80 of his or her revenue. On your calculator, graph revenue vs. costs. Run
the POTATO program to determine the profit. Discuss the result with students in
your group. Write a brief essay that analyzes this example in the real world of
economics.

(Anon: adapted from The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 101, No. 5, May 1994
(Reprinted by STan Kelly-Bootle in Unix Review, Oct 94)

Enjoy
Judy

________________________________________________________________________________
---------------------------------------------------------
visit the PCTM web site at: http://home.ptd.net/~pctm/main.html
visit the Puzzle of the Week (POW) page at:
http://dimacs.rutgers.edu:80/~judyann/POW/puzofwk.html
Judy Ann Brown
Pleasant Valley Middle School