The History of Teaching Math
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Teaching Math in 1950:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?
Teaching Math in 1960:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
Teaching Math in 1970:
A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The
cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make
100 dots representing the elements of the set "M". The set "C", the
cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M". Represent
the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the following question:
What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?
Teaching Math in 1980:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number
20.
Teaching Math in 1990:
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What
do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class
participation after answering the question? How did the forest birds
and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no
wrong answers.
Teaching Math in 1996:
By laying off 402 of its loggers, a company improves its stock price
from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make
by exercising his stock options at $80. Assume capital gains are no
longer taxed, because this encourages investment.
Teaching Math in 1997:
A company outsources all of its loggers. They save on benefits and
when demand for their product is down the logging work force can
easily be cut back. The average logger employed by the company earned
$50,000, had 3 weeks vacation, received a nice retirement plan and
medical insurance. The contracted logger charges $50 an hour. Was
outsourcing a good move?
Teaching Math in 1997b:
A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to its Indonesian
subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its US workers (the
higher-paid half). It clear-cuts 95% of the forest, leaving the rest
for the spotted owl, and lays off all its remaining US workers. It
tells the workers that the spotted owl is responsible for the absence
of fellable trees and lobbies Congress for exemption from the
Endangered Species Act. Congress instead exempts the company from
all federal regulation. What is the return on investment of the
lobbying costs?