August 24, 2017
Jelly Beans

Mathematics professors at Detroit Mercy challenge students with problems often not found in your average college mathematics textbook.

Dr. Dawn Archey, professor of mathematics and computer science, continually challenges her students with unique problems.  One such problem is, “How many slices of Kraft American cheese would it take to wallpaper a room?”

“The goal is not to get the ‘exact right answer’ but rather to determine the magnitude of the answer,” said Archey.  “This gives a sense for how big the quantity is and uses the skills of number estimation and unit conversion which show up in many courses.”

The Order of Magnitude Estimation Challenge was developed by Archey’s colleague, Dr. Jeffery Boats, and utilized as part of the mathematics curriculum for incoming freshmen in the ReBUILDetroit program.

Read more about the Order of Magnitude Estimation Challenge in Archey’s blog post.