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Number sequence

Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
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Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Here's a quick memorial to my father who passed away this week. He taught college calc and stats for over 30 years and dearly loved teaching and students. He started out freshman classes by asking them to complete this number sequence:
4 6 2 9 0 ? ?


A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
My sincerest condolences.
Man I keep staring at those numbers and nothing is coming to me. Hmmm... it must be time for more caffeine.
Vinod John
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 162
Originally posted by Stan James:
Here's a quick memorial to my father who passed away this week. He taught college calc and stats for over 30 years and dearly loved teaching and students. He started out freshman classes by asking them to complete this number sequence:
4 6 2 9 0 ? ?

My guess is 12 -2
chi Lin
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Joined: Aug 24, 2001
Posts: 348
I agree with Vinod,
the odd number form a sequence with difference -2
4 6 2 9 0 ? ?
even number form a seqeunce with difference +3
4 6 2 9 0 ? ?
so first ? would be 12, second ? be would be -2.

Originally posted by Vinod John:

My guess is 12 -2


not so smart guy still curious to learn new stuff every now and then
Stan James
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Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Sorry, it was a gag question. The series fills out as 4 6 2 9 0 6 0. It is his phone number. I took freshman calc from him and I didn't get it either!
[ August 21, 2003: Message edited by: Stan James ]
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Sorry, it was a gag question.
In the context of a statistics class though, an excellent question, leading as it does to the dangers of trying to draw conclusions from too few data points.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Stan James
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Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Couple other good classroom memories ... He had an overhead projector and ThermoFax copier when they were cutting edge. If somebody did really good (or bad) homework or classroom work, he could make an overhead and share it in a matter of seconds. Ok, that was back when he had a 6-foot slide rule on the wall, too. He thoroughly "got" computers when they came along, but technology was never a replacement for chalk and a BLACK SLATE blackboard.
He also had a rubber gorilla suspended by an elastic string from a 15 foot ceiling (built in 1897). If somebody said something clever (or dumb) he'd give it a pull and it would bounce wildly up and down. Gotta do something to keep college kids awake!
Jan Liask
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 31, 2003
Posts: 6
well.. i thought it was a cool quiz you shouldn't have revealed it so quickly people would have struggled like mad men. but there aren't any proven answer of course..
I stared like a mad man too. all i came up with is this (Which doesn't make all that much sense):
original numbers --> 4 6 2 9 0 x x
difference(d=down,u=up) 2u 4d 7u 9d ? ?
difference of difference: 2 3 2 3? 2?
i know... doesn't make much sense... but that's all i came up with. 3 and 1:/
Of course the other answer was better


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subject: Number sequence