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Are you smarter than a 5th grader question

  1. Jul 8, 2007 #1
    The question was how many angles in a scalene triangle have the same number of degrees. They accepted her answer of zero, but I would think that the only reasonable correct answer to that question would be one.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2007 #2
    If only people spoke in C, or maybe C++ ;)
  4. Jul 8, 2007 #3


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    Of course 1 is the same as 1, or a = a, which is the Reflexive Property of Equality. However, I don't believe the meant that.

    A scalene triangle is a triangle that has three unequal sides (i.e. three unequal angles, i.e. none the same as either of the other two), as opposed to an isosceles triangle is a triangle with (at least) two equal sides, or an equilateral triangle with three equal sides.
  5. Jul 8, 2007 #4
    I have not heard that word before, or at least its been so long I forgot it.

  6. Jul 9, 2007 #5


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    Of course, in C++, a 'word' can mean only one thing. English is a different story:

    If you're asking how many angles have the same number of degrees, then you're using the 3rd definition, which compares two or more objects. One isn't an option.

    In the context of the sentence, 'same' is the same as 'equal' even though it's not the same word. Usage of 'same' is the same as it ever was.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  7. Jul 9, 2007 #6
    i guess i m not smarter than the 5th grader!!! i didnt get what u guyz just said
  8. Jul 9, 2007 #7
    My opinion is that the question itself is ill-posed, should be rejected as ugly by a sensical person, and reformulated before any answer can be provided :tongue2:
  9. Jul 9, 2007 #8
    BobG is saying that in order to call an object the 'same', you need at least 2 objects. Saying that 1 object is the same is meaningless, the same as what? Whats hard to get about that?
  10. Jul 9, 2007 #9
    What's the difference between a duck?

    One of it's legs are the same.

    I hope that answers your question. :tongue:

    That's not my joke by the way, I take no responsibility whatsoever for really bad jokes, even if they are used to point out why the OP is being silly.
  11. Jul 9, 2007 #10

  12. Jul 9, 2007 #11
    Well if 1 isn't an option, then neither is zero.
  13. Jul 9, 2007 #12


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    Yeah, I don't remember it either. Here is the definition from the Wolfram website


    And I agree with the opinion that if you have three things, and are asked how many of them are equal, the only valid answers are 0, 2, 3.
  14. Jul 9, 2007 #13


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    In general, things are considered to be equal to themselves.
  15. Jul 9, 2007 #14
    It puzzles me that you don't remember "scalene" but that you do remember "equilateral" for instance, because in my classes, most of the exercises would deal with scalene triangles to begin with. Whenever you want to avoid your student to fall into particular cases, you need to specify not to consider them.

    For instance, take the infamous nine-point circle of Euler. If you construct it with a special triangle, you will not see the beauty of the construction.
  16. Jul 9, 2007 #15
    It's a question of comparative congruency ie in comparison to another two angles.

    You can't highlight the similarities to something of itself and the differences, unless you're making absurd jokes. :smile:
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  17. Jul 9, 2007 #16
    Or "Why I prefer math and science to English".
  18. Jul 9, 2007 #17


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    It could be the same as it always was. It's unchanging in other words, but then the right answer would be 3.

    Or, if they showed a scalene triangle with an obtuse angle, the right answer could be 2. Two of the angles belong to the same category - acute triangles.

    Using 'same' is a poor choice of words for a geometry question. Almost any answer could be right depending on how you interpreted 'same'. (Well, 4 would probably be a really bad answer - that would take a lot of creativity to justify. Pi probably wouldn't be an appropriate answer, either. In fact, the probability of a 'right' answer is pretty close to 0.)
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