Math as delivered by the hapless student

A former student, perhaps sensing a need for a counterweight to my essay on why math is good for you, sent me these answers to math problems for students for whom motivation probably isn’t enough (though they don’t lack creativity.) Enjoy.Find X


Nightmare equation

Math Elephant

Sin x


Eternity as eight


Expand the equation

Proton vs. Batman 


19 thoughts on “Math as delivered by the hapless student

  1. Herbert

    Full marks to those kids!
    The article linked from this page is an absolute pile of rubbish propaganda. Gimme a break with all this “OMG Mathz is teh bestest!!!1!!11!twelve”
    If don’t see how beautiful maths is then no matter how hard you try you won’t like it and won’t get any of those supposed advantages mentioned in the article. There are people that simply should not stubbornly keep on studying since it’s a waste of time and money. And you don’t need to excel in maths to understand what is going on in the world around you!!! If you excel in the arts, chances are that you are well equipped to understand everything else as well… you see, not everyone is the same, and a maths teacher should know this before writing a shitty article like that… He’ll end up hurting more people that the ones that will benefit from taking maths.

  2. Herbert

    Oh and I’ve forgot one thing :)… One of the reasons why you should choose maths has been written by a mathematician working for an insurance company!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Anyone with a minimum understanding of probability theory will tell you that taking an insurance is like playing the lottery… chances are stacked so highly against you that it is not convenient at all, nor to play the lottery, nor to pay an insurance. Of course the payoff is nice… but even playing at the casino promise nice payoffs…I am not endorsing not taking an insurance (probably the only ‘good’ insurance is the car’s one), but I want to point out how false and misleading that article is by highlighting the fact that an ‘insurer’ (== casino owner) tells you that if you take maths you will understand the world… Actually, thinking about it, it teaches you that if you take maths you will be able to con all the other people that don’t understand maths much, much better! WAY TO GO!
    1) Learn Maths
    2) Develop some method to steal money from old ladies
    3) Profit!!!

  3. Espen

    Well said, Sir, your eloquence and logical argumentation betrays an obvious mastery of the Arts. As for insurance, I am sure you don’t need it.

  4. Arkon

    So you are telling me that the arts are better to have then maths? What are you on cause I want some.
    Maths is going to be my future because it is the way ahead and it is needed for everything around us. Cars need maths, Computers need maths, your house needs maths. Everything needs it so don’t try passing it off as useless and unneeded.

  5. Steve

    While there are some similarities between insurance policies and lotteries, there are also some marked differences.
    Insurance agencies make money by collecting small sums from many people, and only having to pay large sums to a small minority. I, as the person buying the insurance, am paying for peace of mind.
    In the case of car, home, and medical insurance, I lose several hundred dollars a year to buy these policies. This loss, however, protects me from a potential loss of hundreds of *thousands* of dollars in the case of an accident. A loss I cannot afford.
    There is no “nice payoff” with insurance, as there is in casinos. Instead there is full protection from financial events that would otherwise cripple you (e.g. having to sell your house to pay medical bills).
    From someone with a PhD in Physics, and an above average understanding of probability theory.

  6. Andy Rateliff

    it has been 40 years since I studied physics and math. But that was pretty funny stuff. ( should I “e x p a n d” my comments?)
    Insurance, though, is pretty simple – you pay someone else to take the risk you cannot, or choose not, to take.

  7. Mark

    Insurance is like gambling-
    You are betting something will happen to you
    and the agent is betting you will be safe.

  8. (name removed by blog owner)

    I liked the one with the elephant drawn in middle!! Sure this kid does have creativity. Put him/her in the Arts Degree instead of Math or Physics. πŸ™‚

  9. jethrow

    “If you excel in the arts, chances are that you are well equipped to understand everything else as well”
    Can you say starving artist????

  10. Billy Scott

    Maths is used everywhere, everyday, but the world would be a very boring place if it was not for the arts.
    Why must we distinguish between maths and the arts? To draw a supposedly beautiful face there are many ratios that have got to be correct, spacing of eyes, size of mouth, etc. Just investigate the golden ratio to see that there is no difference between maths and art it is just how each person looks at them.
    By the way LAWL is NOT one word, it’s a bastardisation of 3, spelt incorrectly.

  11. Nord

    While the human brain is so complex there are several aspects to see the ‘art’ and ‘mathematics’ the first point of view is an open minded thinking the other is an analytical way, but usually while we thinking we cannot split them, it just happens in its own way.
    Kids don’t have those “brakes” like adults, but also don’t have so much experiences as well, they just live life via expressions and trying to navigate into the life thats why kids have an intuitive way for the art (creativity) and maths (analitical thinking) and I think its the most important thing whois teaching them and how patiently, in a sympatic atmosphere they could be a good artist or a well known technician, the choice is always up to them.

  12. Lim Ee Hai

    Those answers given are a manifest of the human brain and thoughts. The answers are not wrong! In fact they are creative. Why are they nt accepted as answers is because maths has set some rules that is not learned by them (yet). Maths is a form of mental discipline, to follow some guideline sothat those doing maths have a common understanding to their symbols, equations and others.

  13. Lava

    This is hilarious! I bet the maths teachers marking these had a little bit of a chuckle.
    Math’s is so important but it is certainly not for everyone, at least these kids show a bit of personality and spunk…

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