interesting question
I seem to recall in the movie "A Beautiful Mind," when the mathematicians in the bar were considering which girl to go after (the really pretty one or one of her lesser friends), that John Nash said something to the effect of "the best choice is the choice that has the best outcome for the individual AND the group, rather than the best outcome for just the individual."

That seems to be the case here, except the students apparently didn't heed John Nash's advice.

I would have selected 6 points becasue.....

If everyone selected 2 points then the entire class's grades would have a constant added to their scores. Assuming that the class was graded on a curve this would have no net effect. So there's nothing to loose -- but possibly something to gain -- by selecting 6 points.

As a math teacher, I would NEVER make such an offer. I don't believe in extra credit opportunities.

(07-18-2015 12:57 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote: [ -> ]As a math teacher, I would NEVER make such an offer. I don't believe in extra credit opportunities.

Back in 1967, my first year at Purdue University, I had a Physics professor who had been teaching honor students for several years. He found himself teaching a first semester physic class with average students. He just couldn't adjust to us (and we didn't adjust very well to him either). I remember that he got so frustrated at one point that on a quiz we were offered extra credit for putting our name in the correct place on the quiz and for spelling our name correctly. Of course, one student didn't get the extra credit - I think he misspelled his own name.

Later, the professor told us he had done that just to see if we were actually completely reading his quizzes. But I still prefer to think he was just frustrated with teaching a bunch of average students.

I did pass the course, but his teaching methods were atrocious. He was always assuming we already knew what he was talking about instead teaching us what we needed to learn.

The next semester, he went back to his honor students.

Bill

Smithville, NJ

(07-18-2015 02:29 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote: [ -> ]I would have selected 6 points becasue.....

If everyone selected 2 points then the entire class's grades would have a constant added to their scores. Assuming that the class was graded on a curve this would have no net effect. So there's nothing to loose -- but possibly something to gain -- by selecting 6 points.

On the other hand, if there is a cut-off pass mark, and you think that you might be just below it, then asking for 2 points my be the difference between a pass and a fail.

I, being a callous egotist, would choose 6 points knowing that I was getting 100% anyway, so it makes no difference to me, but will cut out some of the duffers from the class. ;-)