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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fun and hard little math puzzle

In sixth grade, we were given a homework assignment:

Create equations equal to every number from 1 to 50 using nothing but 4.

1 = 4/4

2 = 4/(4 plus 4)

3 = (4 plus 4 plus 4)/4

Not that bad, until you get to some of the weird ones, like 37. It took me about 28 hours to get all but seven of them, and then my family worked on it for another five or six hours. We still didn't get all of them.

Turns out nobody did. The teacher didn't even check the homework before assigning it. Since it was virtually impossible, she determined that it would be unfair to grade it. For those of us who actually tried, good job! For me, who got all but two... well, also good job. What do you want, extra credit or something?

I stopped doing homework for about four years.

flagamuffin  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·

If you were allowed to render 1 as 4/4, then...

kleinbl00  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·

There was a limit as to how many 4s you could use....

a ha. found it.

flagamuffin  ·  1144 days ago  ·  link  ·

That sort of annoying puzzle is simultaneously what I wish my math classes had been and what I am glad they weren't.

kleinbl00  ·  1144 days ago  ·  link  ·

I learned binary in 4th grade, octal in 5th and hex in 7th. As a result, I kick ass at concepts of higher math and suck ass at arithmetic. Which is exactly the opposite of what's useful in engineering.

francopoli  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·

37= (4x4)+(4x4)+4+(4/4)

kleinbl00  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·

Must not have been 37. There were a few that just sucked.

francopoli  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·

I can see that. 4! is 4x3x2x1 which is 24, and 4/4 is one, so there is 25. That took me about 5 mins of thinking on the best way to get that one done.

kleinbl00  ·  1145 days ago  ·  link  ·

Now imagine you're eleven.

mike  ·  1142 days ago  ·  link  ·

Ha! Yeah, that sucks that the teacher just blew it off. Could have been a great discussion in the class about what structures lead to solutions, and a chance to celebrate the creativity and perseverance of students such as yourself. Lazy teacher.