Some word problems provide too much information, but are there problems that do not provide enough information? What example can be given for a word problem providing too much information and what...

Some word problems provide too much information, but are there problems that do not provide enough information? What example can be given for a word problem providing too much information and what example can be given for a word problem providing too little information?

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(a) There are a number of ways to present too much information. You can add extraneous details, e.g. in 1987 a farmer had 150 head of cattle and lost 10% to disease. How many cattle remained? The year is extraneous.

Another way is to give information that can be determined from the other information. For example, given a right triangle with sides 15,20, and 25 determine the smallest angle. We did not need to give all three sides, just 2 sides and an indication of whether the sides were legs or the hypotenuse.

(b) An example of giving too little information: The distance from Town A to town B is 1/2 the distance from town B to town C. Find the distance from A to B.

Without knowing B to C this problem is impossible.

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