To Accumulate a Rate — Integrate!

Teaching High School Mathematics

I’m 1/6th Irish

If Toby’s 4 grandparents are Irish, Irish, African, and Japanese Toby would be 1/2 Irish, 1/4 African, and 1/4 Japanese.

On my 12 question semester final for my class called Advanced Mathematical Reasoning and Problem Solving I asked the following question.

If your parents are full German and Irish, then you are 1/2 German and 1/2 Irish. Can you be 1/6 of something. If yes explain how and if not convince me it’s not possible.

The majority of the students said that it was not possible with a relatively reasonable explanation of why it was impossible. A few students however wrote some solutions that had me laughing out loud (lol)

I will add the responses here later… My wordpress app on my phone is glitching out.

A couple students gave some variation of this:

If one of your grandparents are 2/3 of something, then one of your parents will be 1/3 of something, and then you would be half of that or 1/6 of something.

This is all fine and dandy if they really have a grandparent that is 2/3 of something. They never stopped to consider how one of their grandparents could actually be 2/3 Irish.

The student that got me chuckling said this:

If your friend was 1/4 Irish and you wee a little less Irish than him, you would be a 1/6 Irish. They had me at how Irish their friend was. I was starting wonder how the amount of Irish a friend was could possibly impact their Irishness, but they went a different route.

I found this interesting related article about having 3 parents.

She has 3 Parents


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This entry was posted on January 29, 2016 by in probability and tagged , , .
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