My Nephew Brought Home This Menacing Maths Problem

Junaid Mubeen

45715

I do remember memorizing times tables and thought math was boring until 8th grade. I was not allowed to go on a field trip one day and my math teacher gave me a game to play.

Using the digit 4 four times and any mathematical symbols you wish, create the numbers 1 to 20. 44/44 = 1, 4*4/(4+4) = 2, etc. By the end of the day I still hadn’t figured out how to make four 4s produce a 5. He then explained factorial (which we hadn’t gotten to yet) to me. 4!/4+4/4=5.

I leave the rest as an exercise for the class.