April 15 is National High Five Day

April 15, 2010 at 12:01 am 1 comment

The third Thursday of April is National High Five Day. In 2010, that’s today! Normally, I ignore made up holidays like this, but there are (at least) two great math problems that involve high fives. So if acknowledging a silly fabrication means I get to share some math, then I’m all for it.

Here are the problems I know related to high fives:

There are five players on a basketball team. When the star player hit the winning free throw at the end of regulation, she and each of her teammates gave each other a high five. How many high fives occurred?

You could also ask this question in the opposite direction (though it’s really the same question):

My friends and I were watching a Penn State football game. When Penn State kicked the winning field, my friends and I gave each other high fives. Each friend gave exactly one high five to every other friend. A total of 36 high fives occurred. How many friends were watching the game with me?

But, in my opinion, here is the best variation of this problem:

My wife and I play on a softball team with four other couples. After I hit the game-winning home run at a recent game, a lot of high fives occurred among the players on our team. But not everyone got a high five from everyone else, no one got a high five from his or her spouse, and — obviously — no one high fived himself. Later, I asked each of my teammates how many high fives they received, and everyone gave me a different response. How many high fives did my wife get?

Now, don’t you agree that those questions make celebrating National High Five Day a reasonable thing to do?

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March Math-ness Tax Day

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jim Rubillo  |  May 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I always ponder–

    Did Roman legionnaires give each other a “High V” after defeating an enemy?

    Reply

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The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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