10 Mar Maths Is Interesting! Here is the proof:
I came across this interesting story while browsing the internet and thought it would be good to share – for those of you who haven’t heard of it already!
This story is about a young German boy, solving a maths problem at school, quite a few years ago!!
Here’s the story …
The boy’s name is Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777 – 1855). One day his maths teacher presented a challenging mathematical problem to his class.
The maths problem is to add up all the numbers starting from 1 and ending with 100.
Every student picked up a piece of paper and started to add up the numbers one after another from number 1 onwards.
Within a short space of time, while his fellow students were still struggling, Carl went forward to the teacher and submitted his answer.
That action surprised not only his teacher but the whole class, and his answer was correct!
How did he do that so fast?
Well, he came up with a different way of analysing the problem. Instead of the normal way of adding the numbers 1+2+3 etc, Carl looked at the problem from a different angle.
What he did was to split the range of numbers from 1 to 100 into two equal halves, 1 to 50 and 51 to 100. He noticed that if he flipped the last half to start from 100, and then adding it the two ranges, he will get something stunning.
He discovered that by adding the first pair, 1 + 100, he got an answer of 101. For the second pair, 2 + 99, he again got the same answer 101.
This answer of 101 was still valid for the rest of each number pair addition. And since there were 50 pairs of numbers, the final total is 101 x 50 which gave him an answer of 5050.
The way he perceived and analyzed the mathematical problem surprised everyone.
From this story, you can see that maths is a very interesting subject that tests the human mind. With different approaches, maths solving can achieve a new dimension completely different from convention. This shows that maths can be fun and exciting if we choose it to be!