Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences Test | Final 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. Many people assume that cashiers can calculate ________.

2. What is Paulos' favorite pseudoscience?

3. Which is taught in elementary schools?

4. Teachers may not teach math because of:

5. What is not a common aid used to teach math?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was Freud's calculation incorrect? What was overlooked?

2. Why is the innumeracy in this case surprising to many?

3. What is the downfall of technology in regards to innumeracy?

4. How did Paulos overcome his early negative experiences in math?

5. How common is innumeracy? What is the opinion of the general population regarding the subject?

6. Discuss the story of the student, the professor, and UFOs.

7. What is the author's opinion of parapsychology as a pseudoscience?

8. How does Paulos relate this theory to Freud and the prediction of the great doctor's death?

9. If algorithms are taught in elementary school, why is it difficult for students to learn and use them?

10. What is the author's opinion of the most common example of innumeracy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the two theoretical results as discussed by Paulos. What are they? How can they be explained so that an innumerate could understand and apply the theories? Why are they important? How can the theories be proven? Provide at least five examples of each theory to illustrate your points.

Essay Topic 2

What is the common practice of teaching logic in elementary school? To what does Paulos compare the study of logic? Do you agree or disagree? How could logic be best employed in the classroom? How does it apply to every day life? How might one make the study of logic fun? How did you learn about logic?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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