quasi wrote: > On 10 Apr 2007 07:46:34 -0700, "Pubkeybreaker" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > wrote:
> > Exactly. So in the real world, when you have to make a decision, and > you can't ask a question on the spot to clarify the precise meaning of > the question, it's reasonable to make the most natural choices for the > unstated assumptions.
Most natural for whom?? For some people the most natural assumption *is* that when one computes rates of return, it is the rate of return on an income *stream* and thus assumes that all monies received are re- invested. The solution to a problem should NOT depend on the level of domain expertise of the problem solver.
>To some extent, that could be viewed as part of > what is being tested for -- the common sense to keep the > interpretation simple.
I disagree. With this interpretation questions are no longer just about solving a mathematical problem, but also about *guessing* what the poser of the question intended. This can be a cultural/psychological matter that has nothing to do with mathematics.
Mathematical questions should be posed in a clear concise manner that does *not* require interprtation of intent.
It would have been easy in the original question to state: "simple annual interest". Failure to do so is a reflection of the lack of competence of the one who wrote the problem.