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At first blush, I laughed this math problem off as elementary. But then I took a closer look and realized that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was. It required a developed knowledge of athematic and the order of operations that we all learned when we were children in school. The simple math problem reads as follows 6 ÷ 2(1+2) = ??? Can you solve the math problem that looks super easy?
While you probably solved problems like this back in grade school, we bet you forgot an important part of the method.
Order of operations rules the day. And you probably learned the order of operations with the phrase “Please excuse my dear aunt sally.” This phrase was an easy way to remember the acronym for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. But there was been a vital update to the PEMDAS rule and you need to learn it before you embarrass yourself with a wrong answer.
The video below explains the math problem in depth. You’ll learn exactly how to solve it.
And how do you know if you should watch the video or not? Did you get “1” as your answer? Then you’re wrong and need a refresher on your math skills. You should definitely watch the video. But you’re not alone. The majority of ADULTS think “1” is the correct answer to this “simple” math problem.
The video was uploaded to YouTube by MindYourDecisions.
Here is the video description: “What is 6÷2(1+2) = ? This problem went viral and generated millions of comments on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and social media sites. I explain how to get the correct answer by using the modern interpretation of the order of operations. I also explain how you would get a different answer under historical usage of the division symbol.”
Even after the explanation, the public is still confused. Here are a number of comments posted to the video that are popular:
“I always learned that you should always multiply the parentheses first.”
“I’m in the middle of high school right now and I remember my teacher telling me that the parenthesis multiplication is done first. That’s my teacher telling me now 2017 not 50+ years ago like the video suggests.”
“I disagree with his answer because of the distributive properties of math. According to the distributive law a(b+c) = ab+bc so accordingly the second part of the equation 2(1+2) would equal (2+4) which equals 6 thus giving us 6/6=1. I am open to suggestions. but, isn’t the answer you are suggesting breaking distributive properties.”
“Ok that means EVERY Algebra text in the world is wrong? Fine. This guy MUST be right because he posted on youtube.”
Despite the video’s confidence in its answer, academics have come forward to refute it as false.
“I have a doctorate in Math from the university of southern California, does anyone else have a doctorate. The answer is 1.”
What do you think about this math problem? What answer did you think was correct?
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