the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon

Falling in love with this book. It is a very smart, original, and quite ‘math intensive’ story. There is a funny reference to Marilyn vos Savant’s answer to the following IQ question:

“You are on a game show on television. On this game show the idea is to win a car as a prize. The game show host shows you three doors. He says that there is a car behind one of the doors and there are goats behind the other two doors. He asks you to pick a door. You pick a door but the door is not opened. Then the game show host opens one of the doors you didn’t pick to show a goat (because he knows what is behind the doors). Then he says that you have one final chance to change your mind before the doors are opened and you get a car or a goat. So he asks you if you want to change your mind and pick the other unopened door instead. What should you do.

Marilyn said that you should always change and pick the final door because the changes are 2 in 3 that there will be a car behind that door….even when she explained very carefully why she was right….92% said that she was wrong and lots of these were from mathematicians and scientists. Here are some of the things that they said:

I’m very concerned with the general public’s lack of mathematical skills. Please help by confessing your error. – Robert Sachs, Ph.D., George Mason University

I am sure you will receive many letters from high school and college students. Perhaps you should keep a few addresses for help with future columns.- W. Robert Smith, Ph.D., Georgia State University


What do you think?


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