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Letters to the Editor

Miscalculations

March 29, 2012

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To the editor:

People say we need to improve math education in our schools.  I would suggest we start with journalism majors. The Journal-World has published some pretty egregious mathematical errors lately.

In the article about the Pi Day celebration, you defined pi as the ratio of the circumference of a circle. Period. Any ratio requires two numbers, so you should have said pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter.

You (or maybe it was a reader) said that recently Venus and Jupiter were parallel to each other. Points can’t be parallel, only lines or planes can be. You could have said the planets formed a line parallel to the horizon, or simply that they appeared near each other.

The old water tower to be used as a baseball museum in Muscotah was said to have a circumference of 22 feet. Circumference is the distance around the water tower, and if it’s 22 feet, the diameter would be about 7 feet. That’s pretty small for a museum.  Judging from the picture, I’d guess that the water tower has a diameter of 22 feet.

Maybe you should hire a KU math or science major as an intern to review your articles for mathematical and scientific correctness. It’s embarrassing to see such errors in a university town.

Comments

BrianR 2 years ago

Well, Tony, there are three kinds of people, those who understand math and those who don't.

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