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FINAL EXAM HILARITY


scsu1975
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I just gave my last final exam, and this was the last question on that exam:

 

A film historian is designing a display which will contain pictures of famous movie stars.  She cannot fit all the images below in her display, so she decides to pick two actors and two actresses from this collection. In how many ways can she make her selections?

 

Untitled_zpseef3d017.png

 

For extra credit, I told my students I would give them one point for each actor and actress they could identify. Here are some of the results. 

 

One student got Joan Crawford correct.

Two students got Ronald Reagan (maybe they are political science majors)

One student thought Errol Flynn was Vincent Price.

One student thought Greer Garson was Meryl Streep.

One student identified Ronald Reagan as “Peter …”

One student identified Olivia de Havilland as Audrey Hepburn

Other students just wrote names at random on their papers (I did not correct their spelling):

                Sofia Loren

                The woman that plays Dorothy

                Lucille Ball

                Grace Kelly

                Ricky from I Love Lucy

                Humphrey Bogart

                Clark Gable

                Doris Day

                James Fonda (that’s right, James Fonda)

                Fred Estir

                Levern

                Marlon Brando

                Liz Taylor

                Carey Grant

And one student correctly identified everyone. But I am suspicious, because when the girl sitting next to this guy handed in her paper, she wrote this on the back page:  “BTW, the guy next to me is totally on his phone googling answers …”

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LOL

 

Yep, it's rather sad, isn't it, Rich. Doesn't surprise me at all however, and I'll tell ya why...

 

My given name is "Dwight"...yep, just like "Eisenhower". And, THAT is how I occasionally present this to people when first introduced to them and as an aid in helping them remember it.

 

However, and probably not surprising to you, I've come to realize that this seldom works anymore with people who appear to be under 30 years of age, as more times than not lately and after saying this to these "kids", they look at me with a blank expression on their winkle-free little kissers, because apparently they have NO idea who the hell the Supreme Allied Commander of WWII and the 34th President of these United States happened to be.

 

(...and that's when I'll occasionally use my Gabby Hayes crusty old man impression of 'em and say, "So what DO they teach you kids in school today anyway, HUH?! Evidently it ain't History!") 

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Hey "Dwight", one of my favorite ball players from years ago was Dwight Evans of the Red Sox.  Most everyone called him "Dewey" though.  How many of them youngsters even know who was in the war and on what side?

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Hey "Dwight", one of my favorite ball players from years ago was Dwight Evans of the Red Sox.  Most everyone called him "Dewey" though.  How many of them youngsters even know who was in the war and on what side?

 

Yep, Mr.R. My future wife and I were once visiting some real Sox fans/friends of ours in "Beantown"(and yeah, I know the locals hate that nickname...it's kinda like sayin' "Frisco" to those denizens by the bay in CA) back when Evans was playing and we all attended a game at Fenway.

 

I'll never forget how after Evans made a great running catch out there in right field, the entire crowd cheered and started chanting, "Dew-EEE, Dew-EEE, Dew-EEE!"

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Now if our roles were reversed, some of us would be in the same (sinking) boat.. NO GOOGLING!

 

 

Yep, always an excellent counterpoint to make here Kid, as admittedly I can only name three of these young stars right offhand...the anemic  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart(she who always looks as if she's just smelled something offensive), AND va-va-voom the zaftig Scarlet Johansson.

 

(...however, at least in the case which I presented earlier here anyway, please allow me to remind you that NONE of these young fresh-faced stars have ever been OR are ever likely to become A FIVE STAR GENERAL AND A PRESIDENT OF THESE UNITED STATES, and thus a person of whom ANY American of age 10 through 90 SHOULD know about!) 

 

LOL

 

;)

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Where is Professor Wagstaff  when we need him?  

 

Whadddaya MEAN, Mr.R?! Why, the ol' Professor is still around and STILL professing a point of view of which I most heartily agree, because no matter what YOU say, "I'm AGAINST it"!!! ;)

 

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Now if our roles were reversed, some of us would be in the same (sinking) boat.. NO GOOGLING!

2ntwe1i.jpg

And now Ladies and Gentlemen, from the company who gave you the Stepford Wives, allow us to present our latest creations. Sure to please both sexes...Except for Scarlet Johansson

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Now if our roles were reversed, some of us would be in the same (sinking) boat.. NO GOOGLING!

2ntwe1i.jpg

I think you have a couple of them in there twice--Kristen Stewart and the guy who plays Thor? WHich may say something about the uniqueness (or lack thereof) today's stars...

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A couple of years ago, I participated in one of the programmng challenges and as part of my research, I posted a bunch of pictures of classic actors, rather like the one that began this thread and asked all my FB people (who ranged in age from my children's teen friends to people in their 70's) and was not terribly surprised that only a few could identify more than the most obvious (Monroe, Davis, Shirley Temple, Hepburn (A & K)). Sadly people don;t "get" old movies, even older people for whom these movie stars should have been household names. Since I tend to be kind of "evangelical" in my classic movie fervor, anyone who spends a decent amount of time with me will probably have seen at least a few old movies, so those people did rather better than the general population ;) .

 

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I just gave my last final exam, and this was the last question on that exam:

 

Professor,

 

Are you saying that the "correct" answer to the exam question was to name all the movie actors correctly? Or did the exam have a mathematical answer? If so, what was the answer?

 

Fred

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Professor,

 

Are you saying that the "correct" answer to the exam question was to name all the movie actors correctly? Or did the exam have a mathematical answer? If so, what was the answer?

 

Fred

The question was to find the number of ways of selecting two actresses and two actors. The answer is 60.

The extra credit problem was to name the stars.

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I think you have a couple of them in there twice--Kristen Stewart and the guy who plays Thor? WHich may say something about the uniqueness (or lack thereof) today's stars...

:)

In keeping with the general message, these duplicates would probably have been

misidentified as other actors.

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The question was to find the number of ways of selecting two actresses and two actors. The answer is 60.

 

Interesting, thanks!

 

Is there an equation that is used to arrive at the answer? Can you explain how you arrive at the answer?

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I fear for the future, I will admit. I'm only a teenager and I am scared thay classic films will cease to exist due to the indifference from the young. I hope I am wrong.

I agree with you.  Even if you take classic films out of the equation, the things that some kids these days (I won't lump all of them into the same category as there seem to be some enlightened younger individuals out there, like yourself Obrien) don't know is truly mind boggling.  Makes me wonder what the heck is going on in schools.  Obviously not learning.  I truly believe that text messaging, social networking and all other things of that ilk that kids are glued to these days has ruined them.  When I was in high school, cell phones were just starting to become more prominent and more readily available.  Prior to that, there were the awesome brick phones that only rich people had.  These were the days of the Nokia phone with the changeable faceplate!  I didn't have one; but these phones didn't prove to be a distraction, because they only made and received phone calls.  Kids these days (actually a lot of people in general) can't seem to go to the bathroom without needing to take their phone or take a "selfie" of them in the bathroom.  Either this generation has become more narcissistic than ever, or, have the lowest self esteems of all time.  I can't decide.  Either way, every single event in these people's lives are chronicled on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other social networking sites that I don't even know about.

 

This entry makes me sound like I've been around for awhile; but I am only about 12 years removed from high school.  I notice on this board that even my age (almost 30) is frequently cited as an age of people that don't know anything either.  I like to think that as a teenager that I was much smarter than some of the ones I encounter these days.  I'm happy to see that there are younger people that enjoy classic films or are even just knowledgeable about the world that came before them.  Someone mentioned that younger people don't know who Eisenhower was.  I am happy to report that I know who he was.    

 

Sorry if I sound like I'm rambling.  This is a topic I could just go on and on about.  I don't know what happened to this generation, but it's in trouble.  I just read an article about things that this year's high school freshman class (2018) has never experienced.  It was depressing.  To me at least. 

 

The saddest part, for me, of the whole extra credit assignment was someone identifying Errol Flynn as Vincent Price.  ::Sigh::

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 5x4/2  x 4x3/2 = 60

 

I’m sometimes better at conceptualizations than I am with math, and I

was wondering if you could tell me the concept that leads to your equation?

 

For example, why do you use the numbers 5 and 4 and then 4 and 3?

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Fred:

There are three concepts at play in this problem:  the counting principle, combinations, and factorials.

 

Let’s handle the counting principle first. That principle just says that if you have m ways of making one decision and n ways of making a second decision, then there are m x n ways of making both decisions.  A simple example is when you get dressed in the morning. Suppose you have 10 shirts and 8 pairs of pants. Then there are 10 x 8 = 80 different outfits you can wear (assuming fashion is not an issue).

 

Now, on to combinations. Combinations are just arrangements of objects, without regard to their order, and without repeating any of the objects. For instance, if I have a 52-card deck and create a 5-card hand, that hand is just a combination taken from those 52 cards, since the order of the cards in my hand is not important (and I’d better not have two of the same card, say two aces of spades, or this could be deadly).  Now if you wanted to find the number of such 5-card hands, there is a nice formula for doing that, which I will get to in a moment.

 

Factorials are just special kinds of products.  If n is any counting number (1, 2, 3, … etc), then n factorial is defined to be the product of the counting numbers from 1 to n. Thus, 5 factorial would be

1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 = 120, for instance.  n factorial is often written as n! (which is read “n factorial” and not “n wow”). Also, the product is usually written in descending order by convention, so we’d write

5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1

 

Now for the formula.  If I want to know how many combinations I can make of size r taken from a group of size n, I can find that number by computing  n!/[(r!)x(n – r)!].  Every graphing calculator (and most other calculators) can do this for you, if you look for a button or menu labeled as nCr. But we’ll do one by hand for an example. 

 

Suppose I want to compute 5C2.  I take 5!/[(2!)x(5-2)!], which I can also write as 5!/[(2!)x(3!)]. Now by expanding the numerator and denominator into their products, I get

(5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1)/[(2 x 1)x (3 x 2 x 1)].  Notice that both numerator and denominator have a common factor of 3 x 2 x 1, so I can simplify the fraction by dividing by this common factor, which leaves me with the expression (5 x 4)/(2 x 1), which is 10.  Similarly, I can show that 4C2, when simplified, will give me (4 x 3)/(2 x 1), which is 6.

 

So in the movie star problem, the idea was to compute the number of combinations of two actresses taken from a group of 5 (5C2) then the number of combinations of two actors taken from a group of four (4C2), and then apply the counting principle to get the final answer (10 x 6 = 60).

 

If you are curious, the number of possible 5-card hands from a standard deck of 52 is

52C5 = 2,598,960. I will leave that one as an exercise for you.

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You're  both welcome. I tried to cram a few days of teaching into a few paragraphs.

 

On a related note, I had one student who took the exam at a later date. She could not correctly identify any of the movie stars;  one guess she made was Dick Clark.

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scsu and Kid,

 

When I was in school, they always taught hitory from the beginning and going forward, and it was always dull to me.

 

Now I think schools should teach history of the last 20 years FIRST, and then gradually go backward, to see where we came from and how we got here. I think that would be more interesting, AND it would teach the kids what our parents, grandparents, and other ancestors went through before the world came around to us.

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