Thursday, May 24, 2012

Order Matters at 5-Below

I was walking through 5-Below this afternoon looking for some fun stuff for my daughter and saw this hanging on the wall: a customizable iPod case with 'over 17,000 possible combinations!' Whenever I see advertisements like this I always wonder if they have a math guy that figured that out for them or if they just estimate it. I also wonder how many people will change the way their iPod looks 17,000 times.
If I showed this to my students while teaching permutations and combinations, which would they argue that it is? Is this an engaging enough picture to get them to think about it, or would they quickly move on?

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