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Every few months, the Internet eats itself over some kind of viral riddle or illusion, each more infuriating than the last.

Pat: Wikipedia says you hate America if you get 16. Ambiguous PEMDASAmbiguous problems, order of operations, PEMDAS, BEMDAS, BEDMASaka..Taylor said, but from Harvard Morgan: aka...teach the distributive property instead of random acronyms Pat: When written according to ISO standard, the answer is 1.

Dan Roe, test editor: Right but it's multiplication/division, not multiplication then division Morgan: BUT multiplication with parentheses trumps division. Kit Fox, special projects editor: Isn’t the question and ambiguity here on when the parentheses disappear? Or do they go away once you solve the mini equation inside the parens first. I am on team 1I also have not taken a math class in over 10 years Trevor Raab, photographer: My question is to what real world scenario would this apply to Brad Ford, test editor: Math class?And so, like clockwork, this maddening math problem has gone viral, following in the grand tradition of such traumatic events as The Dress and Yanny/Laurel.These kinds of conundrums are purposely meant to divide and conquer, and predictably, the seemingly simple problem posed in the offending tweet—8÷2(2 2)—practically caused a civil war in the magazines. Bobby Lea, test editor (and three-time Olympic cyclist): i ride bikes Matt Allyn, features director: for anyone that wants a longer explanation of why you divide before multiply in this case Pat Heine, video producer: ..writes out PEMDAS and then does PEDMASMatt: you clearly didn't listen Pat: i didn't...i was busy correcting her math. Matt: ok, Derek, the video's for you Pat: if you get 16 it's because you don't know the difference between brackets and parentheses.Trevor: ahh the classic learn to do math to learn to do more math Bobby: school ain't real world Morgan: Generating heated and polarizing office discussion Brad: Bobby, tell that to a 6th grader.Bobby: i'll work on preparing my argument now Taylor: You've got, what, 11 years to perfect it Bobby: time is on my side which is code for: I can put this off for a reeeaaaalllly long time Pat: which is code for "ask your mother"Bobby: she likes to claim she's good at math. Mathematicians try to make rules as precise as possible.Taylor: there is no answer, fake question designed to stoke outrage Bill: maybe our smart take is: math is not subjective, nobody writes math like this, here is what's wrong Taylor: she's just getting started Kit: Sounds like [REDACTED] needs to write the sweaty math take Andrew: daaaaang [REDACTED]go off Bobby: no we're onto something! D., Associate Professor of Physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, Who Delivered the Final Verdict and Decisively Shut Us All Up Of course this isn't math. We have conventions on how to write these things just like we have conventions on how to spell stuff. Some people spell it as ‘gray’ and others as ‘grey.’ We still understand what's going on.For me, I would write this more explicitly so that there is no confusion.Brad: 42Tyler Daswick, associate features editor: secretly the best answer here Andrew: SIXTEEN Andrew, minutes later: why is no one reacting appropriately to this news Brad: Because he's wrong. Andrew: he says (and i'll have to go back to the transcript) that using *traditional* order of operations, the answer is 16Matt Phillips, senior test editor: Andrew, my brother has a Ph D in theoretical physics and writes papers with titles like…“Angular Dependence for ν‘, j’-Resolved States in F H2 → HF(ν‘, j’) H Reactive Scattering Using a New Atomic Fluorine Beam Source” I can see if he wants to weigh in… please do Trevor: PEMDAS Andrew: i'll also fire off the request to my go-to physicist who also just answered the POP question of how to jump from a moving train Taylor: tbh it would be awesome if we could find experts who disagree Trevor: wait revisited my interpretation of PEMDAS back to 16this is why I went to art school Taylor: I asked my friend [REDACTED], who is about to graduate with her phd in statistics from [REDACTED] and has three or four math masters degreesand i am so pleased to report she's on my side Derek: [REDACTED] wins Andrew: but what did [REDACTED] say was the answer??!Any math problem solver will solve your question in a jiffy ensuring that you don’t waste too much time struggling with one problem.They are free and easy to use and have a bouquet of features that capture your interest and make learning math fun.

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