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Topic: [ap-stat] Something Disconcerting
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jul 31, 2012 8:56 PM

 Caroline Novark Posts: 28 From: Dulles High School, Sugar Land TX Registered: 9/1/10
Re: [ap-stat] Something Disconcerting
Posted: Jul 31, 2012 8:56 PM

The cricket formula may be the one relating chirps to temperature. There was a mc problem about it at one point I think.

On Jul 31, 2012, at 4:12 PM, "Eugene Gallagher" <Eugene.Gallagher@umb.edu> wrote:

> I was doing a google scholar search to answer a question, "Did Newton use a slide rule?" He did. He used a Gunter's line for logarithms and he developed a method using Gunter's scales to provide the 1st few digits of a polynomial that he used as an initial guess for the method now known as the Newton-Raphson method.
> A google search under Newton and Gunter's scales and came up with this 75-yr old defense of teaching algebra to 9th graders. This couldThe algebra book for 9th graders was written by C. Newton Stokes and included a description of Gunter's scale. I'll just include 4 paragraphs of H Benz's review, which includes a defense of teaching algebra. Note the list of topics from 75 years ago that students in 9th and 10th grade would be taught. I'm not sure what the cricket problem is, but the chessboard problem is probably, " If a chessboard were to have wheat placed upon each square such that one grain were placed on the first square, two on the second, four on the third and so on, doubling the number of grains on each subsequent square, how many grains of wheat would be on the chessboard at the finish?" Benz 75 years ago emphasized the importance of algebra to calculating amortization, depreciation, and compound interest. Humanities students need a course in algebra just to figure out the interest rates that will dominate many of their lives.
> ----
> Benz, H. A. 1937. A reason for studying algebra. The School Review 45: 73-74. A review of C. Newton Stokes and Vera Sanford, First Course in Algebra, 440 pp, \$1.28; and Second Course in Algebra 388 pp, \$1.28. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1936.
>
> It is interesting to note that, after all these years of emphasis on the desirability of a redistribution of the material of mathematics in Grades VII, VIII, and IX, it is still worth the time of an author and the investment of a publisher to issue a textbook for Grade IX which takes no cognizance whatever of this movement. This observation in no way constitutes a reflection upon the textbook under review but rather on the practices of those schools whose curriculums justify the publication of the book.
>
> The authors of this series of textbooks in algebra have made several important contributions to the improvement of instructional material in this time honored subject. Their material offered for the study of graphs is undoubtedly the most comprehensive, from the standpoint of variety, and the most interesting, from the standpoint of practical applications, of that found in any algebra textbook in print. Furthermore, the material occurs early enough in the course to catch the pupil before he begins to bog down in an attitude of skepticism and questioning concerning the values of algebra. This experience with graphs should do much to help the pupil over some of the unavoidable drill on mechanics which he must have if he is really to master even the simpler techniques.
> ...
>
> The second book shows a high correlation with science. Many important and interesting applications of algebra are brought into the course. The chapter headings do not adequately indicate the wealth of interesting material found in the body of the book. In addition, certain topics entirely within the range of ability of high-school pupils, but not usually found in textbooks in ?advanced algebra,? are included, presumably for the purpose of increasing the practical value of the subject and whetting interest in further study. As examples of these topics the following may be mentioned: the slope of a line, the cricket formula, extraneous roots, the parabola and its uses, properties of an ellipse, interpolation, the chessboard problem, decreasing geometric progressions, geometric progressions in biology, Gunter's scale, the slide rule, Pascal's triangle, mathematical induction, the normal-distribution curve, the compound-interest law, depreciation, amortization, insurance as an investment, the number e, and graphs of exponential functions.
>
> Algebra teachers have for some time found themselves on the defensive when discussing the values of the subject with reluctant pupils, skeptical principals, and critical school patrons. These textbooks will do much to render unnecessary an answer to the question, ?Of what use is algebra?? The books themselves answer the question.
>
> H. E. BENZ
> Ohio University, Athens Ohio
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Bee [mailto:davidbee2003@att.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:48 PM
> To: AP Statistics
> Subject: re:[ap-stat] Something Disconcerting
>
> Chase M and Others:
>
> For those following this thread, here's the letters on this matter The Times chose to publish in today's paper:
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>
> In a nutshell, I think Chase had it quite well by writing "I find it troubling that the matter needs defending."
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> -- David Bee
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