Comments: TAKS 10th grade math problem

It is of some peripheral interest to revisit that TAKS question under the interpretation that the given radii are measured quantities, subject to measurement error. Now, a correct treatment of the problem would say that we have two indirect measurements of the perimeter: 26.51cm and 28.17cm. We average and round, and arrive at a perimeter of 27.3cm with estimated error (+/-)1.2cm. The alternative treatment used in the TEA answer (based on Pythagoras's theorem) involves subtraction of two nearby measured numbers, resulting in a large error bar. No one with any training in data handling in the physical sciences would use that approach.

Posted by Bas Braams at August 8, 2003 04:44 AM