Friday, July 8, 2011

TEDxAFS - Justin Solonynka, Big Numbers, and VerizonMath

Justin Solonynka a 7th and 8th grade teacher at Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, PA recently gave a presentation on big numbers for their independently organized TED event TEDxAFS.

Justin used a couple of VerizonMath clips to help express the importance of math on our daily lives. He goes on to give a great presentation about probability and some entertaining ways to help make math more approachable and interesting to students. I even learned something very interesting that I had never realized, but I won't mention it as not to spoil it. It was the part about the Milky Way.

Thank you Justin for including my clips in your talk, mentioning this blog, and for making strides to help reduce innumeracy.

Watch it here:


Scott said...

I'm sure you have probably noticed by now, but I didn't see any reference on your blog about it.

Somewhere along the lines (it only took what, 5 years?), Verizon decided to start using your suggestion of using $2.05/MB. See the following image from the Verizon support site at

Hopefully you got some credit for this brilliant revelation of mathematics (though I doubt it). Also, hopefully Verizon CSRs finally understand that difference between dollars and cents (but I kind of doubt that, too).

George Vaccaro said...


Somewhere along the lines they did it and someone noticed it and reported it, maybe in the comments like you. My memory doesn't serve me well. However I thought I'd reply to you with an interesting bit that I do remember. Someone at Verizon at some point suggested that quoting that way might be confusing (funny) since it wouldn't be clear to people what would happen if they used less than a MB. I thought that was a bit laughable considering most people are pretty clear on what a 1/2 gallon of gas will cost them despite the fact that stations don't show a price/ounce. :)

Thanks for the post!