Permutations

December 28, 2010 at 7:22 am 1 comment

Tonight at dinner, my wife told Alex that he had to eat his carrots. “How many?” he asked. There were three on his plate. “Two,” she responded. (For what it’s worth, I deplore these dinnertime negotiations. I put three carrots on his plate — I expect him to eat three carrots. If I only wanted him to eat two, I would have given him only two. On the other hand, my kids are 3½ and they actually ask for broccoli, edamame, carrots, kale, and a host of other veggies, so I can’t really complain.)

Alex then turned to his brother and asked, “Which two should I eat, Eli?” He picked up Carrot A and Carrot B and asked, “These two?”; he then returned Carrot B to his plate and picked up Carrot C and asked, “These two?”; and, finally he picked up Carrot B and Carrot C and asked, “Or these two?”

I was pretty psyched about Alex’s “proof without words” that 3C2 = 3.

Of course, we all know how cool permutations are, since all of our inboxes have been filled by the text of a letter written by Graham Rawlinson to New Scientist in 1999. You know the one, which purported “that randomizing letters in the middle of words had little or no effect on the ability of skilled readers to understand the text.”

For iancstne, you utadnnersd this snenctee celalry eevn tughoh the ltetres of msot wodrs are out of oedrr.

It is inaccurate to say that there is “no effect,” however. A follow-up study showed that college students experienced a 12% decrease in overall reading speed when confronted with sentences containing transposed letters. Quite a few of the other statements in the email that we received — for instance, that there was a study done at Cambridge (there wasn’t) — were also inaccurate. Even the email itself is misleading, ostensibly written to enhance the desired effect and further prove its point; in truth, almost half of the words contain only two or three letters and are spelled correctly.

But don’t blame Graham Rawlinson for all of that. That’s just the way things work in cyberspace.

Okay, enough already. How ’bout some math?

How many permutations exist for the word PERMUTATIONS?

And last but not least, some permutation jokes…

Combinatorists do it in every possible permutation, but they do it discretely.

What do you get if you add Daytona Beach, Pismo Beach, Palm Beach, and South Beach in various permutations?
Sums of beaches.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Square Deal On To The Next…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Veky  |  December 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    239500800.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


About MJ4MF

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.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

Past Posts

December 2010
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to the MJ4MF blog and receive new posts via email.

Join 246 other followers

Visitor Locations

free counters

%d bloggers like this: