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 news professional makes common errors in predictions?

2. In what year did the Italian scientist make this discovery?

3. What is the name of the expert in this chapter?

4. This doctor was fond of which topic?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How would embracing scientific notation help people with large numbers?

3. How does Paulos compare misuse of language to the misuse of calculating probability?

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

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

6. How was the situation in the story handled? How did it involve probability?

7. What would be one of the easiest ways to reduce or eliminate errors?

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

9. What is the example used to separate numerates from innumerates?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine Paulos' example of the weather forecaster and the common mistake made when predicting rain. Why is it incorrect? What would the correct answer be? What principle would you use to figure out the right answer? Is there any time when that type of innumerate thinking might be accurate? Give at least two examples of similar situations.

Essay Topic 2

Paulos talks about relating various mathematical functions and algorithms to every day life. Why? What is different about using math in the classroom as opposed to every day events? How could it benefit or hinder one's learning process? Give examples of the use of these functions in at least five scenarios.

Essay Topic 3

The example of two drug traffickers is used to illustrate one of Paulos' theories. What was it? Do you think the example was accurate? Was it informative? Which result was most likely to happen? Could the outcome have been predicted? How? If you were to predict the outcome without knowing the value of the product, what would you predict? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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