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## Hello Goodbye

You may not know it, but the Amazing Race is big in Canada. It is so big, in fact, that they are planning on running a Canadian version. I’ve already started training and I am currently accepting applications from people who would like to join me on the winning team. But I digress…

Last week’s season finale (season 21, I think) included a challenge that asked contestants to put banners containing the words “hello” and “goodbye” beneath country flags, in that order, and in the language from that country. The contestants struggled and the challenge took over 2 hours, but one contestant tackled it systematically by trying all possible combinations. It was made for a math classroom. In the WNCP, this fits Permutations and Combinations from Pre-Calculus 12 (Math 30-1) in Alberta. It also fits Math 30-2 in Alberta. Here it is, in 3 Acts.

Act I

Play the video by clicking the photograph of one of the contestants working on the challenge.

With any kind of luck, the students will wonder how many combinations of the “hello” and “goodbye” banners are possible. They will require more information.

Act II

This video is longer than the Act I video, and by watching it closely, they should be able to determine that they are working with 9 country flags, and 20 banners with words on them. There are 2 extra banners.

Act III

I don’t have a video with the answer. It is fun playing with this problem, though. Initially, there are 1,216,451,004,088,320,000 combinations (20 x 19 x 18 x…x 3). By getting France and Spain correct immediately, the contestants reduced that number by a factor of 116 280, and now only have 10,461,394,944,000 possible combinations to try. If they had truly had to guess them all, they’d still be at it.

Enjoy. Fix my math.

## Two Trains

In my school days, I remember (and not fondly) problems like:

 A train leaves Toronto for Montreal at the same time as another train leaves Montreal for Toronto. The cities are 500km apart. The trains pass each other 2h later. The train from Montreal is traveling 50km/h faster than the one from Toronto. At what distance away from Toronto do the trains pass each other?

I’m no whiz with a video camera or script writing. I’m not much of an actor (which you’ll see if you bother to watch the video below). But I think this is a more compelling way of presenting the same problem.

Act I

Act II

http://vimeo.com/51113026

Act III

Sequels

I need some help here. Any ideas? Is it worth bothering?

• John was driving slower because he thought Darlene would drive farther to the meeting point. His plan is to drive 110 km/h all the way back, thinking that this would save him time overall. Would he have been better off driving 110 km/h the whole way?
• What if Darlene left an hour later?

Production Notes: My wife says that there’s no way I’d be that calm if I had to drive her purse back towards home.

I’ve been getting a kick out of the first season of this show.

Act I

Just to pique their interest, play this clip.  Ask them what they wonder about. Hopefully they talk about the number of possible codes.

Act II

Scene 1

Play this clip. Let them work.

Scene 2

Play this clip. Let them work.

Act III

I have no video that reveals an answer here. Let them share their solutions with each other. Then let the watch the clip below so they can at least find out if Fusco manages to get the file.

I may have learned a new trick. It’s possible that this link will take you to a zip file (10.2 MB) that will allow you to download all 4 videos. It’s possible that it won’t. Let me know, either way.

## Nursing – University of Alberta

In an earlier post, I discussed post-secondary acceptance of Math 30-2 in Alberta. One of the disappointing things at the time was that the University of Alberta was not going to accept Math 30-2 for Nursing.

I am happy to report that yesterday I received an email indicating that they have decided to accept Math 30-2 for entry into Nursing at the University of Alberta. I am confident that we will continue to see more and more acceptance from post-secondary institutions for this middle stream. I hope it will become a viable option for many of our students.

I will update this post with links from the University of Alberta and the ALIS website, once they have been updated to reflect this information.

## University Acceptance of Math 30-2

There are some misconceptions circulating in Alberta about how much acceptance universities will give to our new Math 30-2 course.  This post is an attempt to clear up those misconceptions.

It is true that the University of Alberta will not accept 30-2 for Nursing.  This is the only place where we should be disappointed. It is my understanding that their concern is that Nursing is in the Faculty of Science, and Math 30-1 is required for the Faculty of Science, even though those in Nursing do not need to take Calculus.  Their concern is that a student could switch out of Nursing to another program in the Faculty of Science, and not be prepared for the Calculus required there.

The bottom line is that there is much broader acceptance for 30-2 than we ever had for Math 30 Applied. The University of Calgary has not only said that they will take Math 30-2 for nursing, but they have added the stipulation that they “prefer” it to Math 30-1.  For the most updated information on what the Universities are accepting, you can go to this site. This site is continually updated as more institutions and faculties make decisions about what they will accept.

If you clicked on the link above, you probably noticed that nothing on that site mentions the Faculty of Education yet. Since that Alis site didn’t mention Education, I spent some time this morning on the University of Alberta website.  Here is what I discovered.

It looks like Math 30-2 will be fine for Elementary Education and Secondary Education degrees that do not have math or science majors or minors.

Mathematics 30-2 may be used for admission to the Faculty of Education. However, only one of Mathematics 30-1 or Mathematics 30-2 will be used for admission purposes.

Secondary Education, English Language Arts Major

Mathematics 30-2 may be used for admission to the Faculty of Education. However, only one of Mathematics 30-1 or Mathematics 30-2 will be used for admission purposes.”

For a minor in Mathematics/Science, students must present Pure Mathematics 30 or Mathematics 30-1 and a 30-level science course. Pure Mathematics 30 or Mathematics 30-1 and a 30-level science course do not have to be included in the five 30-level courses used for admission, but are required for the Mathematics/Science minor courses for which Pure Mathematics 30 or Mathematics 30-1 and a 30-level science course are prerequisites.

Secondary Education, Math Major

For a major in Mathematics, students must present Pure Mathematics 30 or Mathematics 30-1 and a 30-level science course. Pure Mathematics 30 or Mathematics 30-1 and a 30-level science course do not have to be included in the five 30-level courses used for admission, but are required for the Mathematics/Science minor courses for which Pure Mathematics 30 or Mathematics 30-1 and a 30-level science course are prerequisites.

I think the message for our students is as we hoped.  If their post secondary program requires Calculus, they need to take Math 30-1. If their post secondary program doesn’t require Calculus, they should take Math 30-2.