In an experiment conducted by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh, after releasing a simple math equation via social media, research suggests that eighty-five percent of users cannot correctly answer the mathematical equation, (2 x 2 + 2 – 2 x 2 – 2), without using a calculator, internet search engine, or asking a friend.
Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Geraldine Williamson, led the mathematical social experiment, and says she was shocked that the general consensus of Americans could not answer the simple math problem.
“It is quite alarming, I must say. More than fifty-percent of people could not answer it correctly whether they used a calculator or not,” Williamson said in a published interview with education journalist Paul Frazier in the Pittsburgh Gazette. “It only says one thing about schools in the United States – they are not getting the job done. If there is really that many mathematically challenged people running around, then our economy is doomed to failure.”
Even more alarming, and to the ultimate dismay of Williamson, as the research on the social reaction of the math equation began, several of her students began to argue over their conflicting answers. “I was appalled,” Williamson said. “Out of seventy-five students, more than twenty of them came up with the wrong answer and proceeded to argue that they were correct. It was terrifying! I feared I would have an aneurysm.”
The correct answer, while obvious to some, was not given by Dr. Williamson, as she said she feared simply ‘providing the answer’ would create more ignorance and stupidity among the already ‘math dull.’
“I encourage people to simply work it out for themselves,” said Williamson. “My god, it’s just math, it’s not rocket science.”
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