This Week’s Installment
What mathematical skill is the textbook trying to teach with this image?
Pseudocontext Saturday #11
- Calculating angles of rotation (57%, 249 Votes)
- Graphing rational functions (28%, 121 Votes)
- Proving trigonometric identities (15%, 67 Votes)
Total Voters: 437
(If you’re reading via email or RSS, you’ll need to click through to vote. Also, you’ll need to check that link tomorrow for the answer.)
Team Me: 6
Team Commenters: 4
Every Saturday, I post an image from a math textbook. It’s an image that implicitly or explicitly claims that “this is how we use math in the world!”
I post the image without its mathematical connection and offer three possibilities for that connection. One of them is the textbook’s. Two of them are decoys. You guess which connection is real.
After 24 hours, I update the post with the answer. If a plurality of the commenters picks the textbookâ€™s connection, one point goes to Team Commenters. If a plurality picks one of my decoys, one point goes to Team Me. If you submit a mathematical question in the comments about the image that isn’t pseudocontext, collect a personal point.
(See the rationale for this exercise.)
Later the text goes on to ask students to construct and graph the formula for the average cost of producing the Mega-Grandma, which turns out to be a rational function given the constraints.
But the text might have been better served by asking students to solve for generic widgets, or tennis balls, or something a little less gonzo-bananas than the Mega-Grandma exoskeleton, which is all I’m going to remember from this unit in the textbook.
BTW. Thanks to Jasper LaFortune for the submission.