Department of Mathematics
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York 11451
How would you go about solving the addition problems below?
23264478 and 29933232
In deciding what to do you might want to know if an exact answer was required or an estimate. These five problems, all of a single genre, show the complexities that face mathematics teachers and future mathematics teachers. When should one add in one's head? When should one use a "paper and pencil" algorithm? Which paper and pencil algorithm should one use? When should one use a calculator? When should one use a computer algebra package? What insights about about place notation does one need to answer questions of this type? In what grade should one address the issues implicit in the problems above?