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"Average" Temperature (Math Chat)

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Author:Frank Morgan, MAA Online
Description: Answering the challenge: The National Weather Service approximates the daily average temperature by the average of the daily high and low temperatures. Why is this such a good approximation? Mathematically, the approximation is good because Earth's warming and cooling behave similarly, as pointed out by John M. Sullivan. The approximation would be worse if the Earth warmed up linearly and cooled off exponentially, like a pot of tea. New Challenge: On ABC TV's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," to maximize your expected winnings how sure should you be of your answer to the $500,000 question to answer?

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Temperature, Probability, Meteorology

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