Fun and Games: August 3

August 3, 2010
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Joke of the Week: Trouble With Car Brakes

Problem of the Week: Advanced Mathematics: Simultaneous Equations

Each week, we present a surveying problem for you to solve from the third edition of “Surveying Solved Problems for the FS and PS Exams” by Jan Van Sickle, PLS (formerly "1001 Solved Surveying Fundamentals Problems"), some jokes, trivia or other amusing items and a cool link to brighten your day. If you have a joke or link you would like to share, please submit it to ornekianl@bnpmedia.com.

Joke of the Week: Trouble With Car Brakes

A Software Engineer, a Hardware Engineer and a Branch Manager were on their way to a meeting. They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes on their car failed. The car careened almost out of control down the road, bouncing off the crash barriers, until it miraculously ground to a halt scraping along the mountainside. The car's occupants, shaken but unhurt, now had a problem: they were stuck halfway down a mountain in a car with no brakes. What were they to do?

"I know," said the Branch Manager, "Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and by a process of Continuous Improvement find a solution to the Critical Problems, and we can be on our way."

"No, no," said the Hardware Engineer, "That will take far too long, and besides, that method has never worked before. I've got my Swiss Army knife with me, and in no time at all I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we can be on our way."

"Well," said the Software Engineer, "Before we do anything, I think we should push the car back up the road and see if it happens again."



Problem of the Week: Advanced Mathematics: Simultaneous Equations

What is the name of the following rule for solving a system of simultaneous equations by the use of determinants?

When there are just as many equations as there are unknowns, the system has a single solution if the determinant of the coefficients of the unknowns is not zero. The value of each unknown in the system of equations can be written as the quotient of two determinants.

The determinant in the denominator consists of the coefficients of the unknowns.

The determinant in the numerator is different for each unknown. The numerator is identical to the denominator with the coefficients of the desired unknown being replaced by the constants.

A. Leibniz theorem

B. Kowa’s rule

C. Cramer’s rule

D. Pratt’s rule

This is problem 9 (2-2) from the NEW third edition of “Surveying Solved Problems for the FS and PS Exams” by Jan Van Sickle, PLS (formerly "1001 Solved Surveying Fundamentals Problems"). Reprinted with permission from “Surveying Solved Problems for the FS and PS Exams” by Jan Van Sickle, PLS (2008 Professional Publications Inc.). For details on this and other FLS exam-prep books, call 800/426-1178 or visit www.ppi2pass.com

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