Professor: Fractions should be scrapped

Professor: Fractions should be scrapped

There are 78 comments on the www.usatoday.com story from Jan 24, 2008, titled Professor: Fractions should be scrapped. In it, www.usatoday.com reports that:

A few years ago, Dennis DeTurck, an award-winning professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, stood at an outdoor podium on campus and proclaimed, "Down with fractions!"

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.usatoday.com.

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“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#64 Jan 27, 2008
Sean1980 wrote:
<quoted text>Actually, they "borrowed" that method from Sumer. But you're right, it isn't very practical in today's education system. But for math aficionados, such exercises keep the mind sharp, and may even be considered fun.
Historians of mathematics tend to use the (un-historical) designation of 'Babylonians' for all the Mesopotamians cultures from the Sumerians to the Hittites. This is an uncharacteristically inaccurate way of talking about history, but it is conventional in the subject.

Since: Aug 07

Auburn Hills, MI

#65 Jan 27, 2008
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Historians of mathematics tend to use the (un-historical) designation of 'Babylonians' for all the Mesopotamians cultures from the Sumerians to the Hittites. This is an uncharacteristically inaccurate way of talking about history, but it is conventional in the subject.
It probably comes from the fact that the Babylonian sources were the first ones discovered by modern archaeologists. The Sumerian and Akkadian sources were discovered later. I can only hope that the original clay tablets still undiscovered have survived our current misadventure in the region. It would be a great loss to history if they were destroyed before they could be found.
The Old Coach

Austin, TX

#66 Jan 28, 2008
ann nonymouse wrote:
<quoted text>
My mommy made cornbread in a round pie tin. So I am confused. Round cornbread, square pie? What about 4/3 pie are cubed? I thought that was a ball!
Never cubed a pie before, Ann! Steak maybe for some chili, but always slice a pie!
X thirty E pm

United States

#67 Jan 28, 2008
jww wrote:
Both fractions and 'decimals' would be easier if we counted by twelves instead of tens. Dozens have been used since humans learned to count, and for good reason: 12 can be evenly divided by 2,3,4 and 6 (10 only by 2 and 5), and people have an intuitive grasp of halves, thirds and quarters.
We already use twelves when telling time and measuring circles and angles. All we need is to invent two new symbols for ten and eleven (such as X and E), then 10 would mean twelve, 11 thirteen and so on. Fractions and decimals would be on speaking terms, with 1/2 = 0.6, 1/3 = 0.4, 1/4 = 0.3, 2/3 = 0.8, 3/4 = 0.9, all exactly. Even the eights would only require two digits, as in 1/8 = 0.16. The relationship between fractions and 'dozenals' would be much more obvious and make computation and measurement that much easier.
But, like the World Calendar or even the metric system in the U.S., this makes entirely too much sense to ever be adopted by tradition-enslaved humanity. Maybe after another few million years of evolution...
Except that all clock faces would be obsolete: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, X, E, 10, 11 - and seven segment readouts can't display X. Apparently you only have this system half thought out..!
Ms Spelchek

United States

#68 Jan 28, 2008
scott wrote:
Trigonometry is the study of triangles and circles. The sine of an angle is expressed as opposite over (divided by) hypotenuse, how does one convert that to decimal form? The tangent of an angle is defined as the sine of an angle divided by the cosine of the angle and so it goes for the rest of the trig functions. These expressions are usually given and minipulated in terms without numerical definiton. If we as society do away with fractions would we also have to do away with trigonometry because 90%(9/10) of all equations are formed using fractions? This would be acceptable to me except in took 3/1 tries to complete college trig.
How many tries will it take you to properly spell manipulate.?
Ms Spelchek

United States

#69 Jan 28, 2008
rusty wrote:
I prefer to use decimals, but fractions are here to stay in my book.
I think they compliment each other.
Complement not compliment... Look it up, these are two different words with two different meanings.

Since: Aug 07

Auburn Hills, MI

#70 Jan 28, 2008
Ms Spelchek wrote:
<quoted text>Complement not compliment... Look it up, these are two different words with two different meanings.
That's why the spellchecker didn't catch the mistake. They're both valid words. Now stop being a spelling Nazi, the rest of us knew what the writers meant.:-P

Since: May 07

Indianapolis, IN

#71 Jan 28, 2008
Sean1980 wrote:
<quoted text>That's why the spellchecker didn't catch the mistake. They're both valid words. Now stop being a spelling Nazi, the rest of us knew what the writers meant.:-P
Ms. Spelchek can't hear you; she has her head up her ass.
truthist

United States

#72 Jan 28, 2008
Ms Spelchek:)

Love is more better than hate.

WLK

Since: Jul 07

Magalia, CA

#73 Jan 28, 2008
And when push comes to shove, I bet the professor got this job after one where his programmed reply was, "You want fries with that?"

Since: Aug 07

Location hidden

#74 Jan 29, 2008
We will still need people whp can work without calculators .
Ms Spelchek

United States

#76 Jan 29, 2008
Sean1980 wrote:
<quoted text>That's why the spellchecker didn't catch the mistake. They're both valid words. Now stop being a spelling Nazi, the rest of us knew what the writers meant.:-P
You're under arrest for interfering with a spelling Nazi.
Ms Spelchek

United States

#77 Jan 29, 2008
Matt from Akron wrote:
<quoted text>
Ms. Spelchek can't hear you; she has her head up her ass.
Looking for you tapeworm.

Since: May 07

Indianapolis, IN

#78 Jan 29, 2008
Ms Spelchek wrote:
<quoted text>Looking for you tapeworm.
How can MY tapeworm be up your...

Oh, never mind.

“We're all Bozos on this bus”

Since: Jan 07

South Bend, IN

#79 Jan 29, 2008
Half the people polled about this idea replied they were against it. The other 80% were in favor of it.
FL man

United States

#80 Jan 30, 2008
I would love to see this man as a construction foreman or head chef. lol. By the way hoe much gas is in your car.
Mee

United States

#81 Jan 31, 2008
Let's eliminate all math. Language, al
Vince

Dallas, TX

#82 Jun 6, 2013
Just help to make the world SMOKE FREE! Smoke-free is good for everyone and is everyone's LONG-STANDING RIGHT!

BAN ALL SMOKING, EVERYWHERE, NOW!

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