Hi,

It is possible to get a " right answer" by doing " wrong math" ?

I mean, how can I explain to a person that it is not enough to have a " right answer" because it can be achieved by wrong procedures.

Comment

Maria Droujkova

**Answer** by Maria Droujkova , Make math your own, to make your own math
·
Jan 13, 2021 at 11:21 AM

Sometimes mistakes do cancel each other out. It's kind of amusing when that happens: wrong math, right answer, haha! The stuff of memes. Not only is that possible, but also...

Most people, most of the time, get their answers by doing NO MATH! Not wrong math, not right math, just - no math at all. Because we look up our answers, and trust other people or robots to do math for us.

Whether we care to do any math, right math, or wrong math (on purpose) depends on our goals.

Want to make an amusing meme? Make sure your answer is actually right, or it won't be funny. Then carefully make mistakes that cancel one another. That's hard, entertaining, and educational.

Want to tell truth from lies? Study how to check your math, and other people's math, for hidden mistakes. Books like "How to Lie with Statistics" or "Weapons of Math Destruction" can help.

Want to grow more self-reliant? Learn to DIY your math, make your own solutions, check them carefully with your math friends.

Want to know what the square root of 152399025 is? You can probably trust a calculator.

Oh, and different people like different methods. If we call students "wrong" only because their (mathematically correct) procedure surprised us? That's annoying and confusing. Instead, we can thank them for sharing their math. Then share our methods for the next problem.

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