Math Exams with Only One Question

15 thoughts on “Math Exams with Only One Question”

1. I just wish I could start learning math all over again. I had such a phobia. Now I pretend I understand it. But I don’t. I still think it’s quite cool. That’s why I love this blog. Makes sense, finally.

2. so many cool ideas packed in here!

3. MUST. TRY. THEM. ALL.

4. You can systematically generate ALL the fractions between 5/8 and 5/7 by a modified version of the Stern-Brocot mediant procedure. The first number we generate is (5+5)/(8+7) = 10/15 which reduces to 2/3. Then we compute the mediant of 5/8 and 2/3, namely 7/11, and the mediant of 2/3 and 5/7, namely 7/10. And so on. It turns out that every rational number between 5/8 and 5/7 eventually turns up. This is a special case of a conjecture of mine that was proved by Dhroova Aiylam: https://arxiv.org/abs/1301.6807

1. Pestilence says:

There’s an easier path when you consider there will be a time limit. Work the test, not the problem.

Assuming the teacher won’t accept un-reduced fractions, we need a big prime. I happen to remember 1,000,003 is a prime.
5/8 = 0.625
5/7 =~ 0.714286

You have an hour for the test. Start writing:
650,000 / 1,000,003
650,001 / 1,000,003

How many can you write in an hour? I feel like I could easily write 600 in an hour if my hand doesn’t cramp up, and even that seems leisurely when you start production lining writing them down the page(s). And remember, you are highly likely to get an extra point for each unique one. If you’re worried someone might happen to remember the same large prime, start the numerator at 662,917 and go from there.

I woulda killed on this test.

5. Doug M says:

Calculus — take your cool mountain range from your aglebra exam 3 years ago. Find a function that smooths off the peaks and valleys (continuous and differentiable)…

I think I atually had that one — find a polynomial that goes through this set of points and has derivative = ??? at some other set of points.

6. Never had this happen in math, but I did have a history teacher who used, “Write everything you can remember about world history.”

1. Doug M says:

It the beginning the world was created. This has generally been considered a “bad move”, and has been followed by many centuries of conflict and strife.

1. Karen J says:

so long and thanks for all the fish.

2. David says:

First the earth cooled. Then the dinosaurs came. They got to big and fat and then they died and turned into oil. And then the Arabs came, and they all bought Mercedes Benzes. Then Prince Charles started wearing all lady Di’s clothing. He took her best dress out of the closet and put it on. I couldn’t believe it.

7. These are soo good! ๐ Stating quizzes this way is probably the best idea on how to promote maths among students ๐

Special thanks for Scattergories ๐