<< While teaching an applied math course at Texas Tech I put a question approximately like the following on an exam:
Assume that (don't remember the number I used) % of the population is HIV positive, and you engage in high-risk behavior (shaking hands, hugging, sitting next to in class, etc) with 12 randomly selected people. What is the probability that you will be exposed to HIV at least once?
Probably should have done a follow-up survey to determine how many people failed to detect the toungue-in-cheekness of the high risk behavior examples. >>
I apologize to everyone (you too Annie) for not dwelling on the mathematics here.
I'm glad the author of this problem realizes his examples were tongue in cheek. However, this shows an obvious lack of consideration and compassion for the huge number of people who ARE living with HIV and AIDS--and I'm certain there are many on the author's campus, and possibly some in his own classes.
You may feel everyone will know that this was tongue-in-cheek, but there are FAR too many people who still think that these are ways one can contract the virus. There is already enough AIDS-phobia and attacks on people with AIDS to perpetuate it in this manner.
If you want to write a problem such as this, PLEASE, either make sure you use REALISTIC examples, not sarcasm. Sarcasm is lost on many people, and in a case such as this can be far more damaging to your students than you realize.