## Bill and Bob entered "3 + 2 * 4" into their calculators.

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maggiemagnet
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### Bill and Bob entered "3 + 2 * 4" into their calculators.

Bill and Bob entered the expression "3 + 2 * 4" into their calculators. Bill got "20" for the answer, while Bob got "11".

The instructor concluded that Bob had a scientific calculator, but that Bill had a simpler model. How did the instructor know this? (Hint: What did Bob's calculator do differently from Bill's?)

I've punched this into my son's calculator and into the calculator that's on my cell phone, and they do give the two different answers. But the displays look a lot alike, and I'm pushing the same buttons in the same order. What am I missing?

Thank you!

Martingale
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### Re: Bill and Bob entered "3 + 2 * 4" into their calculators.

Bill and Bob entered the expression "3 + 2 * 4" into their calculators. Bill got "20" for the answer, while Bob got "11".

The instructor concluded that Bob had a scientific calculator, but that Bill had a simpler model. How did the instructor know this? (Hint: What did Bob's calculator do differently from Bill's?)

I've punched this into my son's calculator and into the calculator that's on my cell phone, and they do give the two different answers. But the displays look a lot alike, and I'm pushing the same buttons in the same order. What am I missing?

Thank you!

the answer of 20 will only come from old calculators/or crappy calculators

then you put in 3+2 the calculator adds them right then and then when you hit *4 the calculator is actually computing

(3+2)*4=5*4=20

maggiemagnet
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So this is an order-of-operations thing, with the el-cheapo not being able to "understand" it? (That makes sense, but I'd appreciate confirmation or, if I'm off-track, redirection.)

Thank you.

Martingale
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

### Re:

So this is an order-of-operations thing, with the el-cheapo not being able to "understand" it? (That makes sense, but I'd appreciate confirmation or, if I'm off-track, redirection.)

Thank you.
you are correct. The 'bad' calc is not considering order of operations. It computes things as they are entered with little to no regard to the operations being performed.

maggiemagnet
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### Re: Bill and Bob entered "3 + 2 * 4" into their calculators.

Thank you very much!