Unicycle math problem appears in school textbook

This is an actual page from Brad’s sixth grade math book. We were extremely surprised when he turned the page while doing his homework.


math problem.jpg


Man, I wouldn’t mind doing that homework for an assignment. That would be recess! :slight_smile:

nice. They should have a more repersentative image, though, like “John needs to hop 15 1/2” to clear an obstical. how much does john need to improve his hop height if he currently can hop only 10 inches? If he can improve his hop height at a rate of one half-inch per week, how long will it take him to be able to clear the obstacle?


The guys seat is too low. He’s going to kill his knees. It’s up to you to warn him.

You know what they say about great minds…

The low seat is the first thing Mary mentioned as well.

They need to update that old text to the Coker era:

  1. Unicycles. Members of a unicycle club are taking a two hour trip. The trip is a total of 16 ¼ miles. If they travel 6 ½ miles before having to take a break because they’re getting numb, how fast will they have travel on the second leg to complete the ride on time?

(This is actually a trick question as Cokiers never finish a ride “on time”)

Here’s a version of the photo that’s easier to read. I just ran it through a sharpen filter and lowered the saturation.

math problem 2.jpg

Whoop, sounds like my knees are going to die of the shear forces I’m tapping at em’ with my low seat height on the trials uni.

That right?

Wow! Thanks, John. For some reason, our scanner doesn’t work with our new computer so I had to take a digital picture of the book. Your remixed photo looks great. How did you do it? What software did you use? I might be interested in such awesome, raw power.


those adjustments are standard in the ‘Microsoft Office Picture Manager’
i have no doubt that John used some far more select than that, but those functions are generally available in most Image Viewing packages
knowing what to do with them is a completely different story

I think it’s really nice that they mentions the actuall distance riding, and says it’s a 2day trip.

Much better than if they would have gone
“Jackie the clown rides her unicycle on stage…”

This is such an obscure thing to find in a textbook, I’ve got a call in to the publisher to inquire about it; How did they come up with the idea for a unicycle club in a math problem? Do they know who the boy is in the picture? The publisher is right down the road from us in Geneva, IL, about a 45 minute drive.


p.s. My mother wants to know if Brad is studying Base 1. :slight_smile:

I second that. I’m thrilled that they’ve avoided the stereotypes. Wonder if the auther rides?

I just used IrfanView to do the quick color correction and image sharpening. IrfanView is a freeware image viewer that also includes some basic image editing tools. Many other basic photo editing software tools also can do the same thing.

To really do it right you can load it in to a tool like Photoshop Elements or Paint Shop Pro or some other more advanced photo editing tool. These programs have better tools to adjust color balance.

One problem is with the color balance of the photo. It looks like it was taken using indoor light (maybe an incandescent light bulb). Indoor light messes up the color balance in the photo and you need to adjust the white balance in the camera to get the whites to be white again in the photo with the given light. A tripod will also help keep the photo sharp and in focus.


“John needs to hop 15 1/2” to clear an obstacle. All he has is a cottered Schwinn with a 28-spoke wheel. How many practice hops will it take before he is riding a taco?"

Okay, that one’s a little harder, math-wise.

How about this:
“John and his friends at Harvey Mudd College have set off on a two day unicycle trip on 20” Schwinns with 9" seat posts. Wearing bluejeans. How many jars of Bag Balm and other healants will they need at the end of their 16.25 mile trip?"

This is fun.

My guess is that the photo came from some stock photo collection and made a nice illustration on the page. The basic story problem was edited to change the vehicles to unicycles. But it would be cool to hear if it’s something more personal.

John is making a 5’ drop to flat on his uni, he weights 170 lbs, and has 150 mm long crankarms, how big is the torque the hub exposed to? All weight is on the pedals when landing.

John is riding his 10’ giraffe, he can’t see the 5yearold boy lying in the middle of the street, he falls forward, since he hhas SPD pedals, he can’t get of.
a) How many stitches will there be in Johns face?
b) How big will the lawsuite from the 5year old be?

That’s almost as hard as the first problem I put up. John is made of flesh & blood, so he doesn’t land the same way a 170 lb piece of concrete would. :sunglasses:

Didn’t i mention John is made of concrete!?! :thinking: