There are countless pictures floating around at any given time asking people to do a simple arithmetic problem. Usually the problem requires knowing the order operations are carried out in. Then an argument ensues in the comments, usually with some people sounding really sure that the order of operations only applies in the context of a class on the order of operations. (You could of course have an arithmetic that is strictly left to right, but the standard convention is what it is. Arguing that you’re ignoring the standard convention for the order of operations is as silly as picking a wrong answer and defending it with a nonstandard definition of the plus or times sign.)

I decided to make a somewhat better problem.

Better as in slightly more interesting. I understand the strategy: The comments and shares generated give a page a lot of exposure. People like their pages having exposure. Almost nobody even bothers with mine. But mine seems far less annoying. The few comments it does get are also far less annoying.

(For the curious, it’s a surprisingly easy problem thanks to the multiple choice. You know the cos(x) is sticking around when you integrate with respect to z. Then when you integrate with respect to x it’ll turn into a sin(x) and the whole thing will be a constant. So the third integration just multiplies it by 200. So you have some constant times the sine of something. B is the only option.

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