Saturday, March 16, 2013

The long way

My manager and I were recently in the Boston area to do some research and finish out a trial from which we recorded over 2,000 numbers.  We finished early and made it to the airport with 3 hours to kill before our flight, so I decided to start averaging the numbers to see how the results turned out. 

I always keep my TI-30x calculator handy while traveling so I started crunching the numbers.  I was able to get a third of them calculated before the flight and even made a hand-drawn graph to show my manager the results.  I did have my laptop with me, but it would have taken me longer to try and input all the numbers without a number pad. 

We then boarded the plane and while everyone was finding their seats and the flight attendants were showing everyone what to do in case of an emergency I pulled out my calculator to keep going.  But then came the announcement of turning off all electronic devices.  I was not sure if my calculator was included, but it is an electronic device and I didn’t want to be THAT person on the plane.

I still really wanted to keep averaging, so I decided to start doing it with my pencil and paper.  The adding was easy enough, but then came the long division.  I tried to think how many years it had been since I had to do long division and then I realized it had been decades!  Oh boy, this might take a while. 

But actually it was quite easy and I remembered what I was doing fairly quickly.  It was just like riding a bicycle.  Once the electronic devices were allowed to be turned back on I did pull out my calculator and check my math.  I would say that I was about 75% correct.  I erased my math after each set, so I wasn’t sure if the wrong ones were off because of the adding or division.

I guess I’m all set for when Jake brings home his math homework in a few years.  Jamie and I were both able to pick up math very easily, so I really hope Jake will too. 

1 comment:

carolea said...

Would have been interesting if you posted pictures of the hand-written math problems and see who could find the mistakes - by hand too!