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Monday, October 14 • 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Purposefully Ambiguous Session Title

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We often talk about math as being absolute in that there is typically a “right answer” and “correct” method to solve problems. This is a characteristic of the subject that many people reference when explaining why they like math. However, one doesn’t have to look too far to find instances where that is NOT the case. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on social media regarding the “correct” answer to the following problem: 6÷2(2+1) = ___ (and similar problems). We argue various answers could be considered correct depending on the intent of the author and/or the context in which the computation originates. In this session, we will explore instances of mathematical ambiguity, what makes these seem ambiguous, how we can help our students make sense of them, and how we can, in some cases, work to make them less ambiguous. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples of mathematical ambiguity (found teaching or otherwise) to share and discuss with the group.
A good time will be had by some.

Speakers
avatar for Brian Townsend

Brian Townsend

Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa
avatar for Sam Eskelson

Sam Eskelson

Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa


Monday October 14, 2019 2:30pm - 3:15pm
1349