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Topic: [math-learn] significant digits
Replies: 16   Last Post: Feb 28, 2002 7:49 PM

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Suzanne Alejandre

Posts: 113
Registered: 12/3/04
RE: [math-learn] significant digits
Posted: Feb 27, 2002 11:53 AM
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Hi Don,

>I believe this problem came from Math Horizon during the year 2000.

Well, actually I made up the problem just because I wanted to write a
problem with an Olympic theme and I thought it would be fun to have
kids think about how fast speed skaters and runners actually go! My
husband was a 1500 meter (and also mile) runner in college and it has
always amazed me how fast humans can move. After I wrote the initial
problem, Math Forum staff members met and talked about the problem
and it evolved to what we are now presenting as the current MidPoW.

Anyway, it sure would be a coincidence if Math Horizon wrote a
similar problem. Could you tell me how I might find out?


>It is interesting to see what different calculators produce.
>Determining each of these as a rational number in a/b form with a
>and b as whole numbers, you can show that a(6) = 1776 and a(7) =
>2000. Excel has an adequate number of significant digits so that
>a(6) and a(7) are these numbers.
>Consider the sequence:
>a(1) = 1776, a(2) = 2000, a(3) = [a(2) + 1]/a(1), and in general
>a(n) = [a(n-1) + 1]/a(n-2)
>Determine a(3), a(4), a(5), a(6) and a(7)
>Don R

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