[kooler] averages (was: unions)

John H. Robinson, IV jhriv at ucsd.edu
Fri Jul 15 10:48:14 PDT 2005


Todd Walton wrote:
> On 7/14/05, Stewart Stremler <bofh at stremler.net> wrote:
> > I think of three things when I think of 'average': the mean, the median,
> > and the mode.  Saying just "average" isn't very useful in and of itself.
> > However, nobody else seems to think of it in this way, so I wonder where
> > I got the idea from.
> 
> I think of it that way, and I got it from my fourth grade math
> teacher.  I thought it was so cool that there was this technical
> difference that I burned it into my memory circuits.  But, my teacher
> also told me that if I encounter "average" unspecified, I should
> assume mean.  Like, numbers without an exponent are assumed to be to
        ^arithmetic
> the first power.

I find that assumption to be so blatant (much like numbers w/o powers
are raised to first, numbers without signs are positive, 0 is neither
positive nor negative, 1 is neither prime nor composite) to not even be
worth mentioning.

Unless, of course, someone confuses arithmetic mean (average) with
median. Or says 0 is positive, or 1 is prime.

-john
i love math :)



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