Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Approximation & Estimation: Vital Skills

Today's New York Times has an interesting article on the importance of estimation in society (and thus the importance of it in our classroom and mathematics standards). In The Biggest of Puzzles Brought Down to Size, Natalie Angier writes:
Importantly, you are not looking for an exact figure but rather a ballpark approximation, something that would be within an order of magnitude, or a factor of 10, of the correct answer. If you got the answer 900, for example, and the real answer is 200, you’re good; if you got 9,000, or 20, you go back and try to find where you went astray.

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