8 thoughts on “Dollars and Cents

  1. Yeah… What amazes me is that he’s talked to at least 4 people in the company and all of them made the same mistake. Yowsa… gotta wonder what is taught in the school system down there.

  2. I’m guessing its the same thing that’s taught in the school system here… this sounds disturbiningly like conversations that I’ve had with some of my students this fall….

  3. Interesting. I remember having unit conversions also hammered into us in first year engineering, though I had definitely done them in high school (if not in elementary school, in the case of money). And, yeah, I remember some people having a hard time with it. It’s probably sort of like riding a bike or learning to speak: once you learn how, you never forget nor can you imagine not knowing how. For conversion between the prefixes of units (e.g. cent of a dollar to a full dollar), we probably just naturally do the 100x conversion in our heads from practice… and have a hard time figuring out how someone doesn’t get it.

    I guess I’m rambling, but my brain is fried from studying for an exam tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to see how this all turns out for the caller. If you are interested, his blog is here: http://verizonmath.blogspot.com

  4. Ooh – I spoke too soon! It looks like the guy has had his account credited for the amount of data usage that he was billed for and given a new quote of “.002 dollars per KB.” However, he has now posted a notice that other people have experienced the same issue from Verizon. It will be interesting indeed to see how this all finishes up.

  5. This is too funny. Someone posted a Wikipedia article on “Verizonmath.” It looks like new word has been created!

    Verizonmath is defined as:
    “The mathematical process by which one ‘sees’ the answer one wishes to see.

    In verizonmath, the traditional adherence to the use of dimensional analysis has been abolished. Math is therefore simplified, as you may simply choose the unit in which an answer should be expressed.”


  6. Hmm, “verizonmath” would have some definite applications in the area of high school physics. Here the unit conversion problem is between m/s and km/hr. Students don’t understand how writing the units in *all* parts of the question will help them get the correct answer in the end… fortunately, I’m done hammering this into high school heads for another 4 months!

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