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Differentiating Consumer Quantities

One thing I’d like to see more of in math education is an appreciation for practical consumer math.  For example, suppose your favorite cereal brand unceremoniously starts arriving in a smaller box.

Students should learn to be on the lookout for things like this.  They should develop a quantitative curiosity, exploring the various ways that quantity can be disguised.

And ultimately be able to put together a real quantitative analysis that helps them make good decisions.

This is math that everyone can use!

Click here to see more in Application.


  1. July 19, 2012 at 2:49 am

    How sneaky these manufacturers are. I agree, we should pay closer attention to this. #consumersunite

    I’d be interested in compiling a list of these. Thanks, Patrick! (Fancy pic of you at the White House, high five!)

  2. July 19, 2012 at 7:08 am

    As far as compiling a list, I’ve got several of them that I should organize better. And someone shared this on Twitter: it’s a feature from the Consumerist called The Grocery Shrink Ray: http://consumerist.com/tag/grocery-shrink-ray-2.

    And yes, pretty fancy going to the White House! It was a really interesting and exciting day.

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