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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 2003

Learning by Numbers

notice there is no deadline explicitly set on the Homework! in the November 2002 issue of the Bulletin in which it was asked which was the better deal depending on whether a discount was computed before or after taxes were added, etc., etc. So taking a page out of my undergraduates' thinking, I can still submit something for credit.

I recently bought a router to share a single high-speed Internet access line in my home. I had a choice of two with identical features, one at $100 and the other, a brand name at $150 with a $50 mail-in rebate. I happily went with the brand name, until on my way home I realized I had been had by the store clerk who had not done his math or had in fact been told to promote these two sales as identical.

So despite my late submission and the fact that I have not done the problem actually assigned, I have learned a valuable lesson in life that I think warrants full marks - perhaps even a bonus - since I really understand it and I am sure if I had to, I could work out exactly how much the difference was between the two options.

Cheers and welcome to the new world of engineering teaching!

Ralph Harris
Mining, Metals & Materials Engineering, McGill University