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Why It Pays to Learn Math

In order to encourage his son in the study of arithmetic, a father agrees to pay him 8 pennies for every problem solved correctly and to charge him 5 pennies for each incorrect solution. After the son completed 26 problems, neither owed anything to the other. How many problems did the son solve correctly?

Algebra, Christopher Clavius, 1608

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"Why It Pays to Learn Math," Convergence (June 2008)