## Archive for the ‘Math & Quant Skills’ Category

November 28, 2017

Yesterday, we posted a question posed to me by my soon-to-be 9 year old granddaughter … and challenged you to give it a try:

Determine the numerical values for a roasted turkey, a slice of pie and a cob of corn.

Here’s the answer … if you haven’t already done the problem, do it before peeking:

### Are you smarter than a 3rd grader?

November 27, 2017

A Thanksgiving Day puzzle from my granddaughter.

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What does your family do for fun at Thanksgiving?

Nowadays, mine tries to stump me with math problems.

This year, my soon-to-be 9 year old granddaughter brought over a set of puzzles that she’d been working on at school (3rd grade).

Give one a try:

Determine the numerical values for a roasted turkey, a slice of pie and a cob of corn.

We all like to whine that American students are slipping behind other countries in math and science … which begs a basic question:

Are you at least as smart as a third grader?

I’ll post the answer tomorrow …

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Thanks to AMH for feeding the lead.
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#HomaFiles

### More distressing news on the math front …

September 19, 2017

Last week, we praised algebra, logic and Latin as basic learning skills.

In praise of math, logic, and Latin … say, what?

Yesterday, we reported that U.S. high schoolers math scores are continuing to drop … and that the U.S. now ranks #40 among developed countries.

Ouch: U.S. math scores continue to drop

Now there’s discouraging news out of California: Algebra is under siege.

In 2009, the California Community Colleges system began requiring demonstrated math competency at the level “typically known as Intermediate Algebra … or another mathematics course at the same level, with the same rigor.”

What was the result, and what do educators plan to do about it?

### Ouch: U.S. math scores continue to drop

September 18, 2017

U.S. now trails 39 countries …

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The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) recently released its 2015 survey results for math “literacy” … and, the results aren’t pretty.

The average for 15-year-old U.S. students slipped to 470 on the PISA scale … down about 3.5% from 2009 … ranking the U.S. #40 among developed nations (see list at end of this post) … 20 points lower than the average of the 35 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

The scores differential versus the OECD countries is roughly equal for the average, 25th percentile and 90th percentile … refuting claims that “our” best are head-to-head competitive with the the rest of the world’s best.

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Digging a bit deeper into the numbers ….

### Tell me again why Duncan was good, but charter-advocate DeVos is bad …

February 8, 2017

Math scores dropped since 2009 … U.S. now trails 39 countries.

Strikes me that Duncan is an easy act for DeVos to follow as Education Secretary..

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The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) recently released its 2015 survey results for math “literacy” … and, the results aren’t pretty.

The average for 15-year-old U.S. students slipped to 470 on the PISA scale … down about 3.5% from 2009 … ranking the U.S. #40 among developed nations (see list at end of this post) … 20 points lower than the average of the 35 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

The scores differential versus the OECD countries is roughly equal for the average, 25th percentile and 90th percentile … refuting claims that “our” best are head-to-head competitive with the the rest of the world’s best.

==========

Digging a bit deeper into the numbers ….

### Maybe we’re just not that smart …

January 13, 2017

Yesterday, we reported that the U.S. is, on average, #40 in the world in mathematics.

Usual punditry is that schools are bad … blame it on the teachers.

But, I wondered: is it a bad production process (the schools) … or could it be the raw material going into the process (i.e. innate brain power).

So, the question of the day: how does the U.S. rank on IQ versus other countries?

### Ouch: U.S. math scores continue to drop

January 12, 2017

U.S. now trails 39 countries …

=========

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) recently released its 2015 survey results for math “literacy” … and, the results aren’t pretty.

The average for 15-year-old U.S. students slipped to 470 on the PISA scale … down about 3.5% from 2009 … ranking the U.S. #40 among developed nations (see list at end of this post) … 20 points lower than the average of the 35 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

The scores differential versus the OECD countries is roughly equal for the average, 25th percentile and 90th percentile … refuting claims that “our” best are head-to-head competitive with the the rest of the world’s best.

==========

Digging a bit deeper into the numbers ….

### Math Trix: The case of the gifted stock-picker…

January 29, 2016

I’ve been reading a book called How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

The author recounts a classic stock advisor scam that goes like this …

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One day, you receive an unsolicited newsletter from an investment advisor, containing a tip that a certain stock is due for a big rise.

A week passes, and just as the Investment advisor predicted, the stock goes up.

The next week, you get a new edition of the newsletter, and this time, the tip is about a stock whose price the adviser thinks is going to fall.

And indeed, the stock craters.

That’s good, but it gets even better …

### A bad week for standardized testing … and bad results from standardized tests.

October 30, 2015

This week, for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.

The results weren’t pretty: “Results from national math and reading tests show slipping or stagnant scores for the nation’s schoolkids.”

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And, it’s even worse than it sounds.

Let’s cut to the chase …

### Math Trix: The case of the gifted stock-picker…

September 30, 2015

I’ve been reading a book called How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

The author recounts a classic stock advisor scam that goes like this …

======

One day, you receive an unsolicited newsletter from an investment advisor, containing a tip that a certain stock is due for a big rise.

A week passes, and just as the Investment advisor predicted, the stock goes up.

The next week, you get a new edition of the newsletter, and this time, the tip is about a stock whose price the adviser thinks is going to fall.

And indeed, the stock craters.

That’s good, but it gets even better …

### Math Trix: The case of the gifted stock-picker…

April 20, 2015

I’ve been reading a book called How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

The author recounts a classic stock advisor scam that goes like this …

======

One day, you receive an unsolicited newsletter from an investment advisor, containing a tip that a certain stock is due for a big rise.

A week passes, and just as the Investment advisor predicted, the stock goes up.

The next week, you get a new edition of the newsletter, and this time, the tip is about a stock whose price the adviser thinks is going to fall.

And indeed, the stock craters.

That’s good, but it gets even better …

### Math Trix: The case of the gifted stock-picker…

August 21, 2014

I’ve been reading a book called How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

The author recounts a classic stock advisor scam that goes like this …

======

One day, you receive an unsolicited newsletter from an investment advisor, containing a tip that a certain stock is due for a big rise.

A week passes, and just as the Investment advisor predicted, the stock goes up.

The next week, you get a new edition of the newsletter, and this time, the tip is about a stock whose price the adviser thinks is going to fall.

And indeed, the stock craters.

That’s good, but it gets even better …

### Nums: How to win at Monopoly …

June 22, 2013

Everybody knows that Blackjack is a game of probabilities and that card-counting can get you kicked out of casinos – because it helps slightly with the odds.

Did you know that math and statistics can also improve your odds in Monopoly?

Business Insider posted a fun (and thorough) pitch re: how to win in Monopoly … a great practical (?) application of math and statistics.

Here are a couple of takeaways and a link to the entire pitch … worth browsing, even if you’re not a Monopoly aficionado.

### Want a mortgage? … Then quick, what’s 300 divided by 2 ?

June 18, 2010

Punch line: If you can’t add & subtract, then you probably can’t do a budget … and will eventually end up in financial hot water.

* * * * *

Excerpted from NY Times: Study Says Math Deficiencies Increase Foreclosure Risk. June 9, 2010

If you can’t divide 300 by 2, should you qualify for a loan?

That is one of the questions raised by a new study led by a Columbia business professor who found that borrowers with poor math skills were three times more likely than others to go into foreclosure.

Survey respondents were asked five questions, with the first requiring borrowers to divide 300 by 2, and the second to calculate 10 percent of 1,000.

About 16 percent of the respondents answered at least one of the first two questions incorrectly. The results were consistent among all levels of education and income.

Over all, 21 percent of the respondents whose math abilities placed them in the bottom quarter of the survey experienced foreclosure, versus 7 percent of those in the top quarter.

Mr. Meier said the study had at least two implications for mortgage lenders.

One alternative would be working to help borrowers improve their financial literacy before they took out the loan.

Another alternative might be to add math tests to the process and screen the math-challenged away.

“People say they’re doctors, so they don’t really need math … So what? We see doctors who took out loans they didn’t understand, and who are in foreclosure now.”

“Many of them don’t understand how to do a budget — which is basic math, I guess,” she said.