It’s not uncommon for riddles to pop up on the web that spread like viral wildfire. The latest brainteaser sweeping the web is this math equation created by a man named Randall Jonas.
Over 1.1 million people have been stumped by the math mystery he poses, which you can read below. Ready to give it a shot? 1 + 4 = 5 ,2 + 5 = 12 ,3 + 6 = 21 , 8 + 11 = ? Confusing, right? Don’t feel too bad if this problem has you completely lost; according to Randall, only “one in a thousand” will be able to solve it, and the million-plus Internet users who have tried will agree with you that it’s a true head-scratcher.
To spare you a major headache, The Telegraph broke down the solution in a handy little chart. Those smart enough to come up with any answer at all suggested 40 or 96, and it turns out that either one is correct depending on how you approach the problem.
To get the answer 40, the solution is to add the total of the first line to the numbers on the next line like this: 1 + 4 = 5 5 + 2 + 5 = 12 12 + 3 + 6 = 21 21 + 8 + 11 = 40. For the final solution of 96, the process is a bit more complex and requires you to multiply the first number in each line by the second number, then add the product to the first number.
Your solution would come out like this: 1 + (1 x 4) = 5 2 + ( 2 x 5) = 12 3 + (3 x 6) = 21 8 + (8 x 11) = 96 It’s an interesting problem that makes us wonder just how smart Randall Jonas must be to have come up with it in the first place.
Although most of us may not be able to find the answer on our own, it’s certainly a fun puzzle that’s great to pass around the office and send to your family and friends.
Math is the study of quantity, space, shape, and change. It is an integral part of nearly every discipline, from science to economics, and has driven the development of western civilization as we know it. The Ancient Greeks were among the first to formalize mathematics into axioms and postulates, but they also developed a more geometrical approach than was seen in other civilizations which came after them. For example, they believed that everything had a form, so there must be an underlying mathematical structure to the universe. It is not known who first discovered the Pythagorean theorem, but it is named after Pythagoras of Samos because he took this idea and created his own cult around it. He was said to have sacrificed an ox when he heard of the theorem for the first time, because he was so excited that he could prove something about the natural world.
Mathematics has been used to solve some of the most important problems in history. The Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb, was based on mathematical models of nuclear fission. John Nash’s work on game theory was used to create models for how economic systems work. And, of course, mathematics is the foundation for most of the sciences.
Despite its importance, mathematics can be difficult for some students to learn. This is partly because it is a cumulative subject – new concepts are built on top of old ones, so if you don’t understand a concept, it can be difficult to figure out the rest of the material. It is also a highly conceptual subject, which means that students need to be able to think abstractly in order to do well.
But don’t worry – even if you don’t like math, there are ways to make it more interesting. For example, try relating it to the real world. Show how math can be used to solve problems in everyday life, or find cool applications of mathematical concepts. You could also try working on projects with other students, or playing math games.
No matter what you do, don’t give up on math. It is an important subject that can be used in a variety of disciplines, and it can be fun too!