Friday, March 13, 2015

New Math

I just read in the newspaper that a bride in India cancelled her wedding  with the groom because he was not able to answer a simple math question.  Apparently, she asked him what is 15 plus 6.  Looks like he answered 17.

I think the bride acted hastily.  The groom would have received an A for this answer in USA.

I wrote this following post in August 2013.  I wanted to re-publish this.

Please look at this clip from You Tube.  Amanda August, a curriculum coordinator in Chicago, tells a class that getting the right answer in math does not matter as long as kids can explain the reasoning they used to get that wrong answer.




She says the answer for 3 x 4 is 12.  But if a kid comes with an answer of 11 and can explain and tell how he/she arrived at that answer, it is acceptable.

When I saw this video, I could not believe my eyes.  Where this country is going?
These are the future engineers and scientists who will be building our planes, submarines, and nuclear bombs?

I go to Safeway (a grocery store).  I pay for my groceries.  The counter girl gives me change.  It should be $8 but she gives me $7 only.  Here is your change Sir.  But this is the wrong amount. This is how I arrived $7.  Gives me a logical explanation.  It is still wrong, stupid.

Hope these teachers accept this "new math" for calculating their pension at the time of their retirement.

So, it is ok to kill someone as long as your can explain logically how you did it and why you did it.

This is a real story.  A colleague at my office told me that India is located very close to USA.  I asked him if he really knows where India is.  His reply: Indiana is in USA and therefore India must be closer to USA.  He gave the right explanation alright.

No wonder all the American jobs are outsourced to India and other countries.

PS:  I have read comments on this news from various Indian newspapers.  Most of the comments support the bride. Me too, to some extent.  What if the groom had asked this question and the bride gave the wrong answer and the groom called off the wedding, what will be comments from the public be? Supportive of the groom? Me think not.  What do you say?

42 comments:

  1. hahah! most Indian kids are good in maths, thank heavens for that!

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  2. Ohh! It is understood if that is said by a kid. But, adults???

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  3. The girl could have given a different reason for rejecting, and this would not have become so big! Sometimes, in India, what one says is more important than what one thinks!!

    Destination Infinity

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  4. Just read this story on yahoo.com. He has claimed he is educated while he is not. A clear case of cheating.

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  5. There are three things here. First, the problem in marrying is not lack of maths knowledge. Arranged marriage or not, both parties need to be truthful. It is just that in this case, the issue was not something normal like untold drug abuse, some lingering relationship or credit problems.

    Secondly, when the teacher or whoever tells the kids to explain their maths, it is to ensure that they do maths better. If I have 2 apples and you have 3 apples, and we get them together, we have 5 apples. If I say the answer is 8, I should actually explain it by counting on my fingers and proving it. You get the idea. It is just like rubber duck debugging in software.

    Third, you are very right in observing that a man rejecting a woman for similar reasons will not get as much support. It is right that females in our society do not get their fair share, but we do sometimes tend to overcompensate for it.

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  6. The boy might have become nervous! I can't believe about the boy's answer. They girl is smart though! We, Indians are always good in Maths...intelligent people. Giving equal importance to the 'better half' is the question mark here!

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  7. I think its juvenile to break a marriage like this because marriages are made with mathematical questions..I would support neither bride nor groom, both are childish in such cases..

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  8. I am OK with bride having broken the marriage due to a reason she thought was fit.
    But,video here is vey interesting.

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  9. Interesting point. I am pretty weak in maths, and I used to have an uncle who used to bug me with questions related to maths, I used to feel very awkward and ashamed that i could never answer even his so called simple questions.
    I am sure my husband would have had a reason to reject me, if only he had known how weak i was and still I am in maths.

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  10. @ SG one of my former maths teacher from school moved to the US after her retirement. She teaches maths on a part time basis and is appalled at the way maths is taught at middle school in the US

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  11. No wonder Zero came from India! This was hilarious - both the bride and the bridegroom.

    Stretching logic to arrive at the wrong answer - that's a new high (or low) in the misuse of ignorance.

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  12. I felt the bride could have spoken to the groom and popped the question earlier, to save all the drama. But it's never late!

    The logical explanation sounds good (for coming up with an answer), but I'm not too sure if it is practical.

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  13. well talking from teh bride poit of view.. may be she cancelled cos she wanted someone who could match her intelligence. But wioth the other examples stated it is very clear that we cannot expect a logical reason for everything !!

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  14. I know a few people in USA who dont even have a passport :)

    Bikram's

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  15. Thanks for your comments Ankita. I know Indian kids are good in Math.

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  16. Thanks for your comments Sindhu. I understand what you are saying.

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  17. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. May be she found another groom.

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  18. Thanks for your comments Asha. Yes it is clear case of cheating. Does not happen in villages only - happens in educated families also.

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  19. Thanks for your comments Karunesh. Agree with you 100%.

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  20. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. You could be right.

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  21. Thanks for your comments Renu. The breakup may be due to different reason. Who knows!

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  22. Thanks for your comments Mr. Chowla. There are funny teachers in the US of A.

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  23. Thanks for your comments Rama. You husband is a lucky man for not rejecting you.

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  24. Thanks for your comments Meera. Depends upon where your former teacher is located. There is a government school in San Francisco. Lowell High School. It is very difficult to get admission there due to high standard.

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  25. Thanks for your comments Sweety. India's contribution is just Zero? HaHaHa. I am just kidding.

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  26. Thanks for your comments Ashwini. I agree with you. If someone shortchanged you and whatever logical reason they give will not be acceptable to us.

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  27. Thanks for your comments Sahithya. And, welcome to my blog. As you said, the bride may have found someone else.

    Sahithya, please visit here as often as possible. Thanks.

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  28. Thanks for your comments Bikram. You mean Indians?

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  29. Creativity in Maths!! And all these years we believed that Maths is all about logic and reasoning!
    Interesting post!!

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  30. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Yes, indeed creativity.

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  31. Not just America, Indians are doing great everywhere other than their country. And the ones here are also serving the outsiders .

    Like one of the comment above, if the guy cheated her giving wrong information about his education, there could have been no other best way to reject him

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  32. that's a strange argument for Maths... I seriously hope it's a one of scenario.

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  33. Lolz... I think the Bride did the right thing. Someone who dont know solution for simple maths can handle complex life? How will he handle finance? Remember important dates? And the list goes on!

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  34. Thanks for your comments MM. Indians are serving others? Or employed by others?

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  35. Thanks for your comments Rajlakshmi. Very strange indeed.

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  36. Thanks for your comments Satya. Not knowing math is not a disqualification. If he is rich enough, he could hire a "CPA" to do his math work. HaHaHa.

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  37. Are relationships and matrimony decided on the basis of one's knowledge of mathematics, or even general knowledge?

    A relationship is not as simple as that.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Pradeep. You are absolutely correct.

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  38. Such a groom's mind will not go for such a question. If at all he does it and if she gives the right answer he won't accept it for he is not sure about the answer.The world is turning topsy turvy. So things will go 'athukkum mele'. Unique topics.I liked it.

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  39. Although calling off a wedding giving this reason sounds a little lame to me, I think the logic part is really stupid. I am myself an average at math but accepting logic over fact is something I cant imagine. LHS should match RHS. Always! :)

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  40. To the P.S well since it is the basic thing to count and this question could be done on fingers like pre-primary students do and if the bride would have done the same thing the groom had a right to call off the marriage because probably he did not want a stupid mom for his kids.
    (Did you know that kid's intelligence comes from mom more than dad? I read a research about it a few days back while randomly searching through web. So yes, I support bride in her decision and if it were groom I would support him too.)

    Secondly do not understand this system of coming up with explanation to wrong answer which is acceptable. If this prevails there won't be any "Wrong" in this world and everything no matter how insane or heinous it is will be "acceptable" that is equivalent to logical.

    My Engineering goes down the drain if this is what is going to happen to math you know :P

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