Every day I get to work with geniuses. They often don’t yet know they are a genius, and they’ve still to hit the heights of Einstein, but nevertheless, I am, on a daily basis, struck by the brilliance and intuitive thought of those I teach.

I’ve recently been doing some work with a class, encouraging the effective use of a calculator. I love this as it really forces the pupils to *think* as we can use the calculator to do the boring donkey work of, well, calculation.

Knowing that some in the class would finish the set tasks first, I had prepared some extension work to challenge them.

One question I devised was:

Two integers (whole numbers) multiply together to get 1829. What are the two numbers?

Having picked two prime numbers, I figured that, whilst solvable with a bit of trial and improvement, this was not a simple 10 second question and would need the pupils to think about their strategy to solve the problem.

But I was wrong (not a first!) – one boy solved the problem instantly: “1 and 1829”

He was working smart, he had the insight of a genius – look for the simple solution!

I love it when pupils come up with the unexpected and show a real insight into the subject.

But don’t worry, I amended the question for the next class:

Two integers (whole numbers) multiply together to get 1829. What are the two numbers? 1 and 1829 is one solution, can you find another?

And the answer?

Well, I’m not going to tell you – perhaps you can work it out too!

## 2 Comments

-1 and -1829 .. Sorry 🙂

Good answer, working smart: I’m all for that!

What about if I specify that the integers must be positive?