Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

John Allen Paulos
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What item in the stadium is used as an example?

2. This doctor was fond of which topic?

3. What is one of the most common mistakes in math?

4. What news professional makes common errors in predictions?

5. What about coincidence makes it the most noticeable among events?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who was the mathematician responsible for discovering one of the most important discoveries?

2. Who is the second famous doctor introduced by Paulos? Which topic was this doctor fascinated by?

3. Why do people tend to be fascinated by coincidences?

4. How is that encounter explained?

5. What amusing example does Paulos use to illustrate the misunderstanding of numbers?

6. What is the coincidence surrounding Christopher Columbus?

7. What do doctors often do that is mathematically incorrect?

8. Where does the author believe most people fit in?

9. The first example Paulos uses about percentages relates to weather forecasters. What is the mistake?

10. What is Paulos' suggestion for making math more understandable to the general public?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Freud and Jung are important people in Chapter 2. Compare and contrast the two famous doctors, their professional lives, careers, and legacies.

Essay Topic 2

Paulos takes issue with the lack of proper focus on the skill of estimation. Examine Paulos' reasoning about the importance of estimation. In your eyes, is estimating an important skill? Explain. What can be gained by making estimations? How do you know when your sample group is large enough? Is it determined by the activity or question or are all sample groups the same size? What are the most common mistakes made when estimating? Can you prove the answer arrived upon is correct or incorrect? How? Create at least five examples of estimation as they might be found in every day situations.

Essay Topic 3

Paulos uses several famous doctors and scientists to prove his points regarding probabilities and coincidences. Explain Paulos' comments and reasoning. Which topics are addressed? What is the difference between probability, coincidence, irony, and synchronicity? Explain each and compare and contrast.

(see the answer keys)

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