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 percentage of rain is referenced?

2. The mathematician is from what country?

3. Who is the first doctor mentioned?

4. Who was a giant in psychiatry?

5. Where is the stadium located?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Paulos argue about the existence of coincidences?

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

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

4. Which famous doctor does Paulos introduce first? What is the doctor's opinion?

5. The author believes that people are often obsessed by what topics?

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

7. Examine the first story told by Paulos in this chapter.

8. Discuss the first of the most famous examples of coincidence.

9. What is the example used by Paulos to demonstrate the connections between people?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

List at least three incorrect examples of grammar and three incorrect examples of math. Compare and contrast the problems. Which is more severe? Which is most likely to be noticed? Before reading this book would you have noticed either or both? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast causation and correlation as seen by Paulos. Give examples of correct and incorrect uses. What are the most common errors? How can the errors be corrected and the misuse resolved?

Essay Topic 3

Paulos tells a story of a man who is afraid of a bomb being aboard his airplane. Recount the story and the motive behind the man's actions. Does it make sense to you? According to Paulos' explanation, was it a logical or irrational move? What are the probabilities that the man was right? What are the odds that the bomb would go off in the man's briefcase? What might you have done in a similar situation?

(see the answer keys)

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