Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Heather:

The butterfly garden in St. Thomas gardens is a three mile loop at every 1/3 there is a sign along the loop to mark each 3rd of a mile along the loop. If melanie is standing next to the 7th sign at what mile is she?

Hi Heather,

This is an example of a type of problem called Fence Post Problems. The classical Fence Post Problem is:

You want to begin fencing a field by fencing along a side of length 100 feet. A posts are placed at 10 feet intervals. How many posts do you need?

Hint: The answer is not 10. Draw a diagram.


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