Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from kirsten, a teacher:

for example, if jodie is on the bus travelling at 10 m.p.h and lee is walking at 4 m.p.h how long will it take lee to catch up with jodie?? what is this mathematical name for this

Hi Kirsten,

I have the same question. When someone sends this type of problem to Quandaries and Queries and we post a response I have to decide on keywords for the search in our database. I often use rate, speed, velocity, distance and time. In a mathematics textbook for perspective elementary and middle school teachers that I helped author we had questions on distance, time and rate in a section titled Ratio and Proportion. If you or someone else has other suggestions for classifying the type of problem you quote I would be very happy to hear them.


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