Giant Reporting Blues

Here’s a quickie, courtesy of Mr. Big.

SEN, a sports radio station, has an article up today, on the performance of lower ranked teams in the AFL semi-finals. The article first notes that, over the last ten years, the results aren’t all that bad:

Over the last 10 years, the lower ranked team holds a[n] 8-12 win-loss record which does give both the Giants and Blues somewhat of a fighting chance.

But, recent news is not so good: Continue reading “Giant Reporting Blues”

Kicking Around the Birthday Paradox

Ed Barbeau, who is possibly a little exhausted from the doomsaying on this blog, has pointed out to us a recent BBC article on the birthday paradox. By mathematician Kit Yates, the article is framed around matching soccer players’ birthdays at the recent Women’s World Cup. There’s nothing grandly original about Yates’s article but it’s very nicely done, and it may form the basis of a good classroom discussion and/or assignment.

Regular doomsday programming will continue tomorrow. Continue reading “Kicking Around the Birthday Paradox”

New Cur 13: A Probable Grand Slam

A project upon which we spent a lot of time was listing all the “awful” lines in the new mathematics Curriculum. Readers have not paid much attention, but that’s understandable, and readers were not really the point. Compiling the list has given us a clearer sense of the absurd nature of the Curriculum, the list has been and will be the basis for more specific posts, and the list is there ready for the future: next year, when the Curriculum kicks in and people start to realise just how bad it is, we’ll be ready with the “We told you so”. Continue reading “New Cur 13: A Probable Grand Slam”

The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Probability Lines

We made it. We have read ACARA’s entire idiotic mathematics curriculum, and we’ve completed the Complete Awfullest Works. Meaning, soon, we’ll be on to Stage Two. But first, following on from Number and Algebra and Measurement and Space and Statistics, we have the post for the awfullest Probability lines.

The Probability stream is, of course, awful, but the awfulness is notably different in character from that of the Statistics. Whereas the statistics is a homogeneous gruel of “data”, with the only mathematical substance being the tiny, tasteless raisins of “median” and its kin, the probability stream has just enough substance to be consistently, solidly stupid.

Note that the Probability stream only begins in Year 3 since, unlike Algebra, the kids need to know a little before considering such concepts.

Continue reading “The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Probability Lines”

The Joy of Gambling

A couple weeks ago, the Federal Government announced new regulations for gambling advertising: no longer will people be encouraged to “Gamble responsibly”; now they will be informed that “Chances are you are about to lose”. They will be encouraged to reflect on “What’s gambling really costing you?” and to “Imagine what you could be buying instead”, and so on. Which will fix everything. Continue reading “The Joy of Gambling”

WitCH 88: Unwarranted Confidence

One more from the 2022 Specialist Mathematics Exam 2. Belatedly, we’ve decided this one deserves its own post. It’s probably more of a PoSWW. But, for those weirdos who like to think about this stuff, there are probably also aspects to discuss.

Continue reading “WitCH 88: Unwarranted Confidence”

WitCH 87: Cannery Row

(The title is very clever, but you have to think about it.)*

This one is the last part of the last question of 2022 Specialist Mathematics Exam 2 (not online). It sparked a lot of discussion on the exam post, but seems worth its own WitCH. The question is clearly a mess, but what was intended, and how to think about the mess is not so clear, at least to us. (We showed the question to a professor of statistics, whose first reaction was “Ow!” We’ve applied the smelling salts, and we should be in possession of the professor’s second reaction soon.)

For clarification, we are (kinda sorta) told in the question stem that the masses of the empty cans are normally distributed, but we are told nothing else relevant, other than what’s given below.

Go for it (again).

*) Proving that the title is not really that clever.

Continue reading “WitCH 87: Cannery Row”