In this series, I’m compiling some of the quips and one-liners that I’ll use with my students to hopefully make my lessons more memorable for them.
I’ll use today’s quip when there are multiple reasonable ways of solving a problem. For example,
Two fair dice are rolled. Find the probability that at least one of the rolls is a six.
This can be done by directly listing all of the possibilities:
Of these 36 possibilities, 11 have at least one six, so the answer is .
Alternatively, we could use the addition rule:
Another possibility is using the complement:
To emphasize that there are multiple ways of solving the problem, I’ll use this one-liner:
There are plenty of ways to skin a cat… for those of you who like skinning cats.
When I was a boy, I remember seeing some juvenile book of jokes titled “1001 Ways To Skin a Cat.” A recent search for this book on Amazon came up empty, but I did find this: