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algebra test
Posted by: x-uri
Date: February 26, 2006 03:53PM
You Passed 8th Grade Math



Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

[www.blogthings.com]

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If it were up to me, I'd make this part of the registration process for discussion forums. Not that i'd exclude anybody -- I'd just code it so that the score showed up in your sig.

And yes, I am an academic elitist intellectual snob who thinks the opinions of people who don't understand math should count for less than the opinions of those who do.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 26, 2006 04:11PM
A+! Why didn't I do this well in 8th grade? Oh, yeah. I made it through 9th.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2006 04:13PM by Refurbvirgin.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Pops
Date: February 26, 2006 04:33PM
With no scientific research to support it, I've always believed that paper and pencil manipulations of simple algebra like this HAD to develop and strengthen general intelligence.

Up until about 1990, I'm pretty sure most of the fifth grade math class I taught could have gotten 7 or 8 correct.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2006 04:34PM by Pops.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: February 26, 2006 04:52PM
Excuse me, but even algebra includes some symbols that most of us don't use on a regular basis. So what does that prove?

Then I guess we should also include a harmony,theory and ear trainging exam before we let anyone buy anything from the itunes music store.



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Re: algebra test
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: February 26, 2006 05:09PM
A+

I think we covered this stuff in 5th grade, not 8th. Are educational standards so lax now?
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: macaroo
Date: February 26, 2006 06:32PM
8/10 minus 50years.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Effin Haole
Date: February 26, 2006 08:13PM
Yep, just what I thought, same as 8th grade, 7/10

Got geometry fine, ripped through fractions/decimals, calculus so so, but effin algebra pisses me off.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: hal
Date: February 26, 2006 08:55PM
I took 4 years of calculus and have forgotten every single bit of it, but thank god i can still get 100% on an 8th grade math test.

re calculators... when I started HS, calculators were not allowed, buy the time I finished, all students were required to bring their own.

People use calculations like in this test in daily life all the time. You just don't realize it...
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 26, 2006 09:25PM
10/10 -- hooray! On to the 9th grade for me!

(hal: I know what you mean about calculus. Kinda sucks, after having put so much effort into it, not remembering a bit of it, no?)



It is what it is.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: February 26, 2006 09:30PM
hal Wrote:

>
> People use calculations like in this test in daily
> life all the time. You just don't realize it...
>

exactly hal -

I was a terrible student in math. My eyes would glaze over looking at the formulas
and no one could explain to me what the real life application would be.

Now fast forward a few years and I am a working photographer and can easily
do geometry, logarithms and other applicable math in my head, on the fly
with paying clients standing around chattering and the pressure doing the job
while playing beat the clock, and not give it a second thought.

Write it all down on paper and my eyes glaze over again.

I think part of it may be in teachers expectations that everyones brain processes
information in exactly the same way.

Oh well - I guess I can't pass the forum poster IQ test but what the heck.
I'm still making a living so I guess I won't worry about it. :-)








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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 26, 2006 09:33PM
hal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> People use calculations like in this test in daily
> life all the time.

How true. It was just yesterday I was asked if someone was two years older than three times someone else's age how old they are. Happens all the time.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: hal
Date: February 26, 2006 09:44PM
RV... you go to buy some squash. your recipe calls for 3.5 lbs. But the squash comes in 15 lb bags for $12. He's a nice guy, he'll sell you 3.5lbs at the 15 lb bag price. How much should you offer him to be fair?

this is the same kind of problem. sometimes knowing how to solve such problems and to do so on the fly is damned important. surely yo can imagine more important senarios...
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 26, 2006 10:06PM
When I cook squash, I cook a squash, or however much I want to eat of one.

If I'm buying squash directly from someone, he's most likely at a Farmer's Market, and if he doesn't have a calculator to add up purchases for customers so he can give me a per pound price I can compare to Slaveway's then he's smart enough to know not to try to make a living growing squash and selling it on the sidewalk. If he asked for more than the supermarket I'd go there, or offer him the same price, to be "fair." He better have a per pound price posted or only deal with large families if he expects to sell 15# of squash to one customer.

I shop at markets where the cost per ounce is posted on the shelf tags, but I used to carry a calculator for that. Now the only time I use a calculator away from the office is to figure sales tax for a bid.

What is this "recipe" you speak of? Squash is squash. Do you make squash cake?

And no, I can't imagine more important scenarios. That's your job. You made the claim.
:-)
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: hal
Date: February 26, 2006 11:11PM
I knew you'd focus on the word squash and ignore everything else.

and it's funny that gman is anti math too. The ONLY time in my life that I wanted to apply calculus to a real life problem, I couldn't remember how to do it. ANy math nerds here?

How do you caclulate where frets on a fretboard must be spaced based on the length of the neck? I had a bass with missplaced frets and I couldn't solve the problem...
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 26, 2006 11:37PM
hal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I knew you'd focus on the word squash and ignore
> everything else.

You stated that algebraic expressions were used commonly in our daily lives (paraphrasing) and I questioned 'how." The example you gave was of a theoretical situation which I attempted to show was unlikely. If you truly believe your original statement then provide a valid situation, since you think it should be so easy for me to do so.

> and it's funny that gman is anti math too.

I'm not anti-math, nor is G'man I suspect. Speaking only for myself I don't use algebra on a daily basis as you claim, and apparently neither does he. Rather than prove your assertion with examples you demean those who disagree as "anti-math." Had my teachers given me practical applications of how I'd use math I might have progressed past trig', but at that point it became all too theoretical to me. Many here admit that calculus was a waste for them, so why do colleges require it?

>The
> ONLY time in my life that I wanted to apply
> calculus to a real life problem, I couldn't
> remember how to do it. ANy math nerds here?
>
> How do you caclulate where frets on a fretboard
> must be spaced based on the length of the neck? I
> had a bass with missplaced frets and I couldn't
> solve the problem...

Now there's a problem a lot of people face every week. I'd probably measure the neck, go to a music store and ask if I could take measurements off a comparably sized instrument. Most likely I'd take a piece of adding machine tape and a pencil lead, place the paper over the frets and do a rubbing. That would be the easiest way to transfer the marks.


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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: February 27, 2006 01:57AM
> How do you caclulate where frets on a fretboard
> must be spaced based on the length of the neck? I
> had a bass with missplaced frets and I couldn't
> solve the problem...

Bring the bass to roger sadowsky.



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Re: algebra test
Posted by: RgrF
Date: February 27, 2006 04:38AM
Guitarman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Excuse me, but even algebra includes some symbols
> that most of us don't use on a regular basis. So
> what does that prove?
>
> Then I guess we should also include a
> harmony,theory and ear trainging exam before we
> let anyone buy anything from the itunes music
> store.
>
Another argument for staying past 10th grade.

I would posit that language skills are more important than math skills for most.






"Who's more foolish - the fool or the fool that follows him?" - Obi Wan Kenobi
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: February 27, 2006 05:00AM
It's too late now, but I'd bet if you had invoked "no child left behind" Refurbvirgin would have argued the other way. smiling smiley
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: x-uri
Date: February 27, 2006 10:03AM
hal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How do you caclulate where frets on a fretboard
> must be spaced based on the length of the neck? I
> had a bass with missplaced frets and I couldn't
> solve the problem...

Shouldn't require calculus, but it certainly requires specialized knowledge about instrument construction. You can find the basics laid out in any freshmen physics text. In practice, the production of musical instruments is as much art as engineering. There are all kinds of "rules of thumb" that have to do with the peculiarities of a particular instrument, the materials of construction, and the fact that the notes we find most pleasing are just slightly different from the precise mathematical ratios described in Helmholtz' investigation of overtones.

A guitar string's pitch, when plucked, depends on the fundamental vibrational mode of standing waves on the string. The fundamental has a wavelength twice the length of the string.

The frequency of vibration is inversely proportional to the wavelength and directly proportional to the speed of propagation on the string (which is, itself proportional to the square root of the tension in the spring and inversely proportional to the square root of the linear mass density of the string -- tighter strings vibrate faster, denser strings vibrate more slowly)

When you put your finger behind a fret, you shorten the string and shorten the fundamental wavelength.

There are twelve notes to the octave, which represents a doubling of the frequency. So, if the instrument is designed to play the equal tempered scale, the ratio of successive frequencies is the twelfth root of 2 (1.059).

I am not sure how you'd figure it as a fraction of the length of the neck, but the first fret should be placed 0.944 (1/1.059) of the total distance from the bridge to the nut. The second fret should be 0.892 of the total distance. The third fret at 0.842 of the length and so on, and so on -- dividing the previous distance by 1.059 each time.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2006 10:14AM by x-uri.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 02:26PM
MacMagus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's too late now, but I'd bet if you had invoked
> "no child left behind" Refurbvirgin would have
> argued the other way.

He made a statement that I asked him to illustrate. He fabricated a situation none of us has EVER encountered, I'd wager, and offered that as proof of his statement. I logically refuted his hypothesis. Wha'chew got agin logic, Willis?

If I make a statement here and can't back it up (as in my "wars were fought by primitive societies until the first person died" faux pas) I take my lumps. He got his. No biggy.

We move on.


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Re: algebra test
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: February 27, 2006 03:02PM
> He made a statement that I asked him to illustrate. He
> fabricated a situation none of us has EVER encountered...

I agree that it was a poor illustration. I disagree with your position that algebra is not useful on a daily basis. I suspect that you use it very often without thinking about it.

Algebraic notation is simply the substitution of numbers with letters or other symbols representing unknown quantities. But algebraic notation isn't necessary for the symbolic reasoning that we call algebra.

Here's a better example: You're playing a CD on your computer. It's up to track 7. You realize that you hate the track that's playing, but you recall that track 11 is quite nice. When you calculate that you have to advance 4 tracks to get to the good one, you've used algebra (7+x=11).

Got it?
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 03:22PM
MacMagus Wrote:
>When you
> calculate that you have to advance 4 tracks to get
> to the good one, you've used algebra (7+x=11).
>
> Got it?

No, that's simple subtraction. 11-7=4

Try again.

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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Greg the dogsitter
Date: February 27, 2006 04:29PM
I want to monopolize this forum.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: hal
Date: February 27, 2006 04:32PM
you moron...

I gave you a template - you could have changed any aspect of the equation to fit something more suited to your life, but you lack imagination.

Magnus gave you a perfect example of 'doing algebra without knowing it' and you still don't know it.

the problem is:

Solve x: 7+x=11... How to do this?

subtract 7 from both sides of the equation and you get x=4.

that's algebra

some decent work there uri, but you came up with an aproximation - not a sol'n. It was just a thought experiment that I'll never solve...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2006 04:50PM by hal.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: February 27, 2006 05:07PM
> No, that's simple subtraction. 11-7=4

Simple subtraction IS algebra.

11-7=?

Until you get the result, you have to insert a symbol for an unknown somewhere in the equation.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 05:19PM
MacMagus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > No, that's simple subtraction. 11-7=4
>
> Simple subtraction IS algebra.
>
> 11-7=?
>
> Until you get the result, you have to insert a
> symbol for an unknown somewhere in the equation.

Most of us learned subtraction long before we got to algebra. This began when I challenged hal's assertion that we use algebra in our daily lives. I asked how and he gave me an illogical, unrealistic scenario which I refuted. He is unable to provide any further examples to support his hypothesis so he resorts to name calling.

Brilliant.


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Re: algebra test
Posted by: hal
Date: February 27, 2006 05:21PM
you used subtraction to solve an algebra problem

nitwit..

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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 05:23PM
Two syllable insults don't cut it in this neighborhood, bub.
Try again.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: February 27, 2006 05:25PM
> Most of us learned subtraction long before we got to algebra.

But you learned subtraction USING algebra. They just didn't tell you that the question mark was a form of algebraic notation.


> This began when I challenged hal's assertion that we use
> algebra in our daily lives.

Have you begun to understand that he was correct?


> I asked how and he gave me an illogical, unrealistic scenario

This is true, but so what? Are you going to dispute the examples that I have cited?


> He is unable to provide any further examples to support
> his hypothesis so he resorts to name calling.

I agree that he shouldn't have called you a moron and owes you an apology for that. You're not dumb, just obstreperous.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 05:32PM
MacMagus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Have you begun to understand that he was correct?

What hal asserted was "People use calculations like in this test in daily life all the time."

The calculations referred to are definitely more complex than 11-7=4, hence he was incorrect.

> I agree that he shouldn't have called you a moron
> and owes you an apology for that. You're not dumb,
> just obstreperous.

No, I'm not.

:-)


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Re: algebra test
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: February 27, 2006 05:34PM
I'll leave the next post for Greg.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Greg the dogsitter
Date: February 27, 2006 05:37PM
I'm busy.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 05:38PM
Why?
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: x-uri
Date: February 27, 2006 06:20PM
learning algebra or -- more to the point -- symbolic logic has applications beyond simple computation.

the manipulations that lead up to doing the computation are the important part.

if you cannot do algebra, if you cannot manipulate the variables before populating them and executing the computation, you are at a disadvantage.

the manipulation of the symbols, according to rigorously applied rules, is an amazingly versatile tool.

for example, i hired a contractor to pour concrete for a retaining wall. every calculation he performed was by rote. he had tables, or memorized conversion factors, that allowed him to estimate the amount of rebar needed, or how many yards of concrete we'd need to pump to fill the trench and the forms, etc.

using a little algebra, i was able to do the calculations much more quickly, and with greater precision.

i was able to learn everything i needed to know about pouring concrete in an afternoon. once we got the first wall poured, i didn't need him again. i certainly didn't need the estimation "skills" he'd developed from years of pouring concrete.

but even more than that, learning algebra sharpens the abstract reasoning skills.

as G'man suggests; like an understanding of music, it is something you don't know you are missing until you have it, and have to deal with (or depend upon) people who do not.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2006 06:21PM by x-uri.
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 27, 2006 06:43PM
That's the kind of practical application I wanted to see. Not buying squash from someone who only sells it by the 15# bag so that I can be "fair" to him. How often does anyone do that?
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 28, 2006 12:05AM
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!


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Re: algebra test
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 28, 2006 12:19AM
in retrospect, bfd wishes his last Modern Algebra class had been that easy ;^)

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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Michael
Date: February 28, 2006 06:55AM
Back to the question of how smart we is...

I gotta admit, I changed 1 before I submitted (5.5 squared)--always check your answers before you turn in your exam!


You Passed 8th Grade Math



Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

[www.blogthings.com]
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Re: algebra test
Posted by: Carm
Date: March 01, 2006 08:45PM
Weeeee, I passed 100%

I agree . I know what you mean about calculus. Kinda sucks, after having put so much effort into it, not remembering a bit of it, no?

Carm
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