Photo from SJX of the PuristS
Elementary mathematics (as taught in our Excel Math curriculum) may sometimes lead you into grand complication calculations. (the more common description is higher-order thinking skills). This kind of problem-solving requires us to analyze the situation, learn some new facts that we've never known before, and combine multiple techniques or skills.
Here's an example:
I'm having a pint of bitter in the UK. The glass seems larger than a pint glass in the USA. The price seems reasonable, but I'm not sure how it translate to the cost of a pint back home. How can I compare them? I want to know the equivalent cost per unit of beverage.
A fair amount of time elapsed before I solved this grandly-complicated issue. Here are the calculations:
UNITS OF VOLUME
A pint glass in the UK and a pint glass in the USA - are they the same volume? Research tells me that a pint glass is:
- 20 fluid ounces (570 mL) in the UK [ a UK ounce = 28.41 ml ]
- 16 fluid ounces (473 mL) in the USA [ a US ounce = 29.57 ml ]
- How many UK pints to a liter? 1000 ÷ 570 ml = V so V = 1.75
- How many US pints to a liter? 1000 ÷ 473 ml = V so V = 2.11
A pint glass cost £2.50 in the UK. How much is that in US dollars?
- the exchange rate today is 1.67 US dollars to 1 pound sterling
- therefore 1.67 x £2.50 = $4.17 US dollars for a UK pint
COST PER UNIT
How much is the price, in US dollars, per liter of bitters?
- UK $4.17 x 1.75 = $7.30
- US $5.00 x 2.11 = $10.55
It's cheaper in England. This is a very complicated problem to solve, but only simple math computation skills were needed - I used multiplication, division, ratios, volume, price per unit and foreign exchange.
This is indeed a Grand Complication Math Problem.
In doing this research I noticed that my local place proudly offers bitters in a 20 oz. glass.
To which I reply, US or UK ounces?