Math for Real: Octane Algebra

“when will I ever use this?”

Author: Don S. Balka and Dave Rash
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Octane numbers, seen at the gas pump, are explored and calculated to provide the real-life tie-in to this computation activity.


Edited by Erik Tillema,, who teaches at Indiana University in Indianapolis, and Fred Dillon,, a math educator from Strongsville, Ohio. Manuscripts should show how math is used to solve a real-life problem, preferably in the context of one's profession, and should be no more than 300 words. Submit manuscripts through

Contributor Notes

Don S. Balka is Professor Emeritus at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and president of TODOS: Mathematics for All.

Dave Rash is a retired electrician and former co-owner of Banner Electric in Plymouth, Indiana.

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School


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