Posts Tagged ‘Calculus’

Who wants to be a (social) millionaire?

March 14, 2009

What would attract you to do homework more?

A) An A+ on your report card;

B) Fear of parental scolding; or,

C) $1 Million USD cash.

I’m not going to lie… choice A is somewhat attractive… choice B will probably happen anyways… but I would have to go with C as my final answer.

I bring this up because I recently re-stumbled upon the Millennium Prize Problems – a set of 7 math problems put forth by the Clay Mathematics Institute in 2000.  The cool part is, $1 Million is awarded for each correct answer.

Back in grade 7, I attempted these questions (in 9 years, only 1 has been solved).  I remember thinking I was hot on the trail of an answer that no astro-physicist had thought of yet, already planning the house I would buy with the new riches.  If it weren’t for the $1 Million, I don’t think I would have tried so hard, knowing my mathematical limitations…

Do you think people would try harder if there were rewards granted for people finding solutions to social problems?  Like… $1 Million for each Millennium Development Goal resolved?  How about something smaller like helping Julio buy supplies so that he can make furniture and get his family out of debt?  That’s homework I’m sure many of us are trying to solve, and perhaps with financial rewards we can entice more people to join our movement in helping others.

Just my two cents.

Differentiating Homework

Differentiating Homework

– f(David + Wen) = Co-founder