Dr. Sarah's While Visions of Roadrunners Danced in His Head
Wile E. Coyote
Philadelphia City and County Prisons
8201 State Road
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Dear Math 1010 Students:
I was stopped at a rest stop on 95 South when
all of a sudden, the Roadrunner came speeding past me.
I looked over and saw one
of those automated speed checker signs which says
"your speed is 120 miles/hour". So I knew that the Roadrunner was going fast!
After waiting a little bit to decide what to do, I decided to try and catch him. I accelerated instantaneously (I'm good at that!) and kept going the
same constant speed.
I started my newly purchased Walmart velocitometer.
My velocitometer works by observing a moving object and then tells you how
fast you are going relative to that
object, as a percentage.
The velocitometer told me that I was travelling at 60% of the Roadrunner's
A cop stopped me and arrested me for excessive speeding, reckless driving and being a public menace. The Roadrunner was long gone when the cop hauled me off to jail.
I don't think that I was speeding, but I'm no mathemagician, so this is
where you come in.
Was I speeding? Why? Was I speeding
excessively, driving recklessly and being a public menace?
What % should the velocitometer have read in order for me to
catch the Roadrunner? Why?
Please write me a detailed report which I can understand.
I'll then argue my case in front of the judge.
My trial date is this Monday at 8am, so I'll need you to turn in
your report to your professor's door by 5pm on Friday, so that she can
bring it to me.
Help me - you're my only hope!
Hungry as ever,
Wile E. Coyote
Author: Dr. Sarah J. Greenwald
Comments: Your answer should be in the form of a typed
letter or report aimed
at Wile E. Coyote which includes a picture of him (we'll learn how to do
this in lab). Staple this sheet to your report.
Be sure to follow the writing
checklist points that are relevant to this assignment, since your
grade is the percentage of checklist points that you satisfy.
If you are confused about how to satisfy a point, or whether it
applies to this assignment,
please ask me.
Your first draft
should be printed out and turned in to me or
onto my door by Friday the 24th at 5pm.
Your draft will receive a preliminary grade, with suggestions
for improvement for the final version, which will be graded using the
checklist (this course has a writing designator on it, and so
in addition to doing a substantial amount of writing in
this course, you will sometimes turn in drafts).
Be sure to explain not only your answers to the questions, and how you
got them, but also explain why these are correct and make sense.
For example, in answering the second question, you must explain
in detail why your answer would have enabled Wile to
catch the Roadrunner.
To satisfy the writing checklist point on giving deep mathematical
understanding of the problem and solution, this
means that you also must explore which other answers
would or would not have
allowed Wile E. to catch the Roadrunner and explain why.
In addition, notice that Wile doesn't tell you what the speed limit was
at the time that he was caught.
We don't have all of the information that we need,
as often happens when we try to solve
real life problems,
so you will need to address this issue in your report.