48 Times People’s Math Just Did Not Add Up (New Pics)

I had a love/hate relationship with math growing up. I remember several particularly painful evenings in middle school sitting at my family’s dining room table crying over my math homework because I just could not comprehend it. Thanks to immense patience shown by my father and my algebra teacher, by the time I made it to high school, I had learned to appreciate math. The logic in it is comforting, and it just makes sense (for the most part). Plus, I finally started to understand how useful it would become for the rest of my life. And while most of us don’t need to know how to do long division in our heads, a basic understanding of math can make our lives much easier. 

Unfortunately, however, some of us never seemed to become friends with math. And as people on the internet are quick to roast others for anything and everything they do wrong, math is no exception. There is an entire subreddit dedicated to laughing at all of the times people had a little too much confidence in faulty math that did not add up, so we’ve gone through and gathered some of our favorite posts just for you. Whether you’re a mathematician or you need a calculator to find out how many hours you work a week, enjoy these posts from “They Didn’t Do The Math” and be sure to upvote all of your favorites. Keep reading to also find an interview we were lucky enough to receive from Sofia Baca, one of the hosts of the Breaking Math podcast. Then if you’re interested in checking out the last Bored Panda piece on this same subreddit, look no further than right here.

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#1 A Post About Triplet Regnancy

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Mocking people for not understanding math is apparently a popular pastime, as the “They Didn’t Do The Math” subreddit currently has over 26k members. From ignorant tweets that would disappoint these people’s former math teachers to companies proudly advertising miscalculations on their products, the page is full of posts mocking people for not knowing basic math principles. Whether these mistakes were one-time accidents or common occurrences for these individuals, we will never know, but unfortunately for them, the internet never forgets.

To gain some insight on this topic from a math expert, we reached out to Sofia Baca, one of the hosts of the Breaking Math podcast. First, we wanted to know what inspired this podcast in the first place. “What inspired us to start this podcast was simple: I was Gabe’s tutor for electrical engineering at UNM,” Sofia explained. “We started to talk about the moment where learning turns into understanding: the ‘a ha!’ moment. I was an avid math and podcast enthusiast, and couldn’t find a podcast for math that I wanted to hear. Eventually, we ended up combining both elements into a podcast.”

#2 How Did Everyone Else Miss This?

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We also asked Sofia what she loves most about math. “It is symbiotic with physics: you start to notice that mathematical discoveries are often inspired by discoveries in physics, and vice versa,” she told Bored Panda. “And what I love about this is that it tells us that, much like physics is understanding the world in terms of logic, mathematics is understanding logic in terms of the physical world. I also love how math that has no initial real-world application can crop up centuries later in something useful, such as is the case with discrete math in the 1700s and RSA cryptography in the late 20th century.”

Next, we wanted to know if we should all care about math. “We should, but there are many ways to care about math,” Sofia explained. “Math is crucial to the way that we run the world, and always has been. Tally marks were created because we wanted to keep track of how many things there are. But we should also care that we make people scared of math: this keeps some people at a disadvantage. If we don’t care about math, we sweep the problem of educational trauma under the rug. We actually explain in our first episode some of the reasons why math has been made almost purposefully difficult to learn over time because of class issues.”

#3 Population Of New Cuyama

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We then asked Sofia if she knows any math fun facts that you pandas might be interested in. “If you know binary, you can count to 1,024 on your hands,” she said. “Let your right pinky represent the number 1, your right ring finger 2, your right middle finger 4. Continue going left finger by finger, doubling each time until your left pinky is 512. I won’t teach you binary here, but that’s a start. This system becomes remarkably intuitive over time.”

“Mathematics was used by every culture around the world, but it wasn’t until the Ancient Greeks, with people like Pythagoras and Euclid, developed the idea of mathematical proof,” Sofia added. “The ways mathematical statements were shown to be true or false was by repeated examples. An ancient Chinese text shows various different right triangles to prove the Pythagorean Theorem (the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the remaining sides). This is in contrast to Euclid’s proof, which not only shows this theorem to be true for all possible right triangles, but for all possible right triangles in a range of geometries that wouldn’t be developed until the 1800s.”

#4 Lol

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Lastly, Sofia noted, “If you want to learn math, don’t be afraid to play around on paper. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I once heard it said that mathematical proof is often like trying to find your way to a store that you can’t quite remember where it is: first you go down the block, then you accidentally get stuck in a dead end, then you wind up lost on the moon, then to a shop that looks similar, then to marks, and then finally you make it to the store. Be kind to yourself when you teach yourself anything. and be kind to those who you teach.”

If you’d like to check out the Breaking Math podcast to strengthen your math skills and learn more from Sofia and her co-hosts, you can check out their website right here.

#5 Took A Wizard In The Comments To Understand How Bad The Math Was

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We all had it drilled into our heads from an early age how important math is, so how is it possible that some of us are so bad at it? Well, despite taking math classes for at least 12 years of our lives, some of us just did not see the point. According to Oxford Learning, there are several reasons why it’s common for students to dislike math, but there are also logical reasons behind them. One common reason people cite for not being interested in math is because they simply find it boring. “They don’t get excited about numbers and formulas the way they get excited about history, science, languages, or other subjects that are easier to personally connect to,” Oxford Learning explains. “They see math as abstract and irrelevant figures that are difficult to understand.” 

Learning math formulas may be less interesting than reading 1984 or hearing about the tragic details of World War II, but that does not make them any less relevant. Oxford Learning recommends that educators find a way to connect real-world scenarios to lessons in math classes to help students become interested. Introducing classes to people who actually use math in their careers, like accountants or architects, can also help them see the relevance in understanding certain concepts. Even showing them everyday uses for math like balancing a budget or telling time can help peak their interest. It is hard to understand the importance of math when you sit in a classroom for 7 hours a day as a kid, but those students will surely be glad they paid attention ten years later when they actually know how to do their taxes.   

#6 Sims Taxes

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Another common reason for students not having any interest in math is because it requires so much memorization. There is really no way around it; times tables and formulas just have to be memorized. We know that 7 times 7 is 49, but it would be a huge waste of time to have to add that up every time we need to know it. And while it can be hard to remember every formula and simple multiplication problem we learned in school, they still do come in handy. How many hours did you work this week? How much should you tip if you want to leave 20%? How many episodes of Seinfeld can you watch if you have to leave your house in 90 minutes? There’s really no reason to whip out a calculator just for these questions.

To get students to care about these formulas they have to memorize, Oxford Learning suggests making math exciting in general. When they simply have to apply their knowledge to a fun brain teaser or word problem that they find relevant, students won’t even realize that they are memorizing information. They will just understand how the processes work and eventually won’t need to be reminded of the information. 

#7 44 Billion Divided By 8 Billion = 5 Billion

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#8 Me_irl

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#9 What A Deal!

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If you are one of the people who could have easily ended up on this list due to your lack of math knowledge, it might be nice to get a reminder of why we learn math in the first place. Yes, we have calculators and computers to solve all of our problems today, but isn’t it satisfying to be able to compute in your head? In fact, learning math is great exercise for our brains. According to Dr. Tanya Evans of Stanford University, kids who have a greater understanding of math “can recruit certain brain regions more reliably, and have higher gray matter volume in those regions, than those who perform more poorly in math”. The same regions that are used for math are also involved in decision making and visual attention, so the more they are exercised, the more benefits we can see in various parts of our lives. So if math has ever made your brain hurt, just know that you were strengthening a muscle that can help you pay attention to much more than just multiplication.

#10 Very Interesting

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#11 8+3 = 10

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#12 50% Larger

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Many of us also forget the importance of simple math in our daily lives. Calculating how early we need to leave for work based on the current time, how long the bus takes and how long our walk is after getting off the bus is a math problem. Understanding fractions helps us tell time, and creating budgets based on our salaries and the current cost of living is a mathphobic person’s nightmare. But nobody wants to go into debt or be late for work, so we should be interested in having a basic understanding of math. Even cooking requires measurements and a bit of math, especially if we want to half or double a recipe. Trust me, that birthday cake will taste much better with precise measurements of flour, sugar, eggs, milk, etc. than just estimates. 

#13 Passive Income

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#14 He Is Now 100.8 Kg, And 0.794% Ravioli, If The Ravioli Is Part Of Him

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#15 Chicken Nuggets On The Burger King App

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Quick math can also help us save money when we understand the best price of an item. For example, when various brands sell the same item at different prices and quantities, it can be hard to know how to get the most bang for your buck. But a few quick computations can tell you definitively which product is the most cost effective. And if an item is 30% off, you probably want to know exactly how much it will cost before getting to the register. As much as some of us like to swear that we don’t need to actually know much about math, there’s no question that having a greater understanding can make calculating costs easier. After all, who wants to wander through the grocery store using the calculator on their phone every time they are looking for the best deal.     

#16 Oh You Were Joking

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#17 That Isn’t A Majority, But Great Headline

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#18 You Do The Math!

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No matter how hard you try to hide, math is unavoidable. It is everywhere, even in nature. Bees use geometry to build their honeycombs, creating infinite hexagons, and the Fibonacci sequence is found in countless places like pinecones, leaves, seashells and flowers. Math is also a universal language that everyone in the world speaks (as long as they payed attention in school…). No matter where you are on the planet, you can know what time it is by looking at a clock, and you can understand how much an item costs by looking at the price tag. Speed limits will be clear to you, and your birthday will be the same (the numbers might just be in a different order depending on the country you’re in).      

#19 Every 1000 Years?

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#20 Nice Try, Amazon

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#21 Seems Like A Few Extra Zeros

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While we don’t all use math to the same extent, there are certain careers that could never function without math. So if you’re a math lover looking to choose a career path, perhaps you want to consider becoming an accountant, an auditor, a research analyst or a computer programmer. If those don’t pique your interest, perhaps you would rather be an actuary, a statistician, a medical scientist, an architect or a software developer. The truth is that almost nobody will get out of doing math at work completely, but these career paths are great for people who have fallen head over heels with mathematics.     

#22 If I Was 4 When My Brother Was Born And I’m 40 Now How Old Is My Brother?

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#23 Maybe Exercise Your Brain More?

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#24 $132 Per Meter, You Say

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Now, you might be thinking that society is doomed based on all of these cringe-worthy posts and the commonly held disdain for math, but contrary to what many people believe, there are some math lovers out there. In fact, one study done by Texas Instruments (yes, the calculator company) and Research Now Group, Inc., found that 46% of students surveyed reported that they actually like or even love math. This is compared to only 24% who said that they hate or dislike the subject. Even 77% of these students said that they believe being successful in math class can lead to future success in college and in a career. 

“There is a misconception in this country that kids hate math,” said Peter Balyta, a former math teacher and the current president of TI Education Technology. “Our findings suggest middle and high school students naturally like math, so it’s up to us as parents and educators to help kids fuel that passion to develop a deeper understanding of – and hopefully – a lifelong love and appreciation for math.”

#25 Exactly

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#26 1 Out Of 6 Americans Are Dead Now

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#27 15 / 3 = 0

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We hope this page has reminded you of the value of all of those math classes that you suffered through as a child. Even if they were painful at the time, what would be even more painful is the public ridicule of a post of yours being shared on the “They Didn’t Do The Math” subreddit. Keep upvoting the posts that make you do a facepalm, and then let us know in the comments what the worst mathematical faux pas you have ever witnessed was. And if you have some free time after reading this piece, maybe you’ll want to practice your times tables for a little bit? You never know when they’ll come in handy…

#28 I Don’t Think They Know What 24/7 Means

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#29 H

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#30 This Is Not How Percents Work, Youtube

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#31 I Smell Profit!

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#32 Dr. Pepper Has 23 Flavors

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#33 If You’re Willing To Spend An Extra 2 Cents It’s A Great Deal!

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#34 1 Year =~365.25 Days, So…

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#35 Reddit Premium Pricing

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#36 That 3 Pack Deal

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#37 They Didn’t Math The Ice Pack

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#38 Wtf Panda Express?

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#39 Gimme My Milion Baby

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#40 Bold Of Them To Assume A Consistent 12.5% Interest Rate And No Inflation

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#41 I Don’t Think You’re Right About That Stat

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#42 An Alternative Reality Sequence

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#43 I Felt Young For A Second There

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#44 Save $2… Coles Math

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#45 This Statement Is True For Vancouver Housing Prices

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#46 Pokémon Go Players Have Huge Calves (Advanture Sync Is Out Since 2018.)

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#47 There Was An Attempt To Do The Math

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#48 160,000 ÷ 120 = 100?

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Source: boredpanda.com

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