# Goal: To Right Mathematical Wrongs!

Nothing annoys me more than incorrect statements in textbooks. Well, the text book I am using in my design class had a section on the golden ratio. One of the sentences stated, “The irrational number ^{21}/_{34} is approximately 0.618 and is represented by the Greek letter Π.”

This is soooooooo wrong! Not a single statement in that sentence is correct.

So, I wrote the following email to whom I believe are the publisher. I’m not sure if it was the publisher. The email in the book gave me a failure notice return email. So, I check the website in a printed version I had and just emailed the contact us email on that website.

Whom in May Concern:

I am not sure who to contact about this, however, I found a glaring typo in one

of your books and this is the only contact email I could find. I am hoping, if

this is not the correct email address to send this to, whomever receives this

email can forward it to the correct people.I am currently taking a design class at the Art Institute Online and we are

using the digital version of the following book for our class:DESIGN BASICS

7th ed.

David A. Lauer

Stephen PentakThe Ohio State University

1111504512I have a masters degree in mathematics and teach math at the Art Institute of

Charleston. I noticed a HUGE typo in your book concerning the golden ratio in

Chapter 4 page 11 (printed page 85).It states: “The irrational number 21/34 is approximately 0.618 and is

represented by the Greek letter [pi].”Every fact in that statement is incorrect!

The following are the three reasons it is incorrect.

1. 21/34 is not an irrational number. An irrational number by definition cannot

be written as a fraction. Therefore, since this is a fraction (it CAN be written

as a fraction) and is not irrational. *See note.2. The golden ratio is NOT .618. It is 1.618.

3. The golden ratio is represented with the Greek letter phi NOT the Greek

letter pi. (I purchased a 5th edition of the book and it is correct in it. It

is possible this is only incorrect in the digital version.)*Note: the golden ratio is an irrational number (21/34 is not). The actual

number that represents the golden ration cannot be written as a fraction, but

it can be approximated by rational (fractional) numbers. A correct

approximation would be 809/500. (There are many different approximations that

can be used; however, the one given in the book is NOT one of them.)To correct this statement it should read:

“The golden ratio is an irrational number; however, it can be approximated by

the rational numbers 809/500 and 1.618. The non-approximated golden ratio is

represented by the Greek letter phi.”If my master’s degree in mathematics and the fact that I teach the math of the

golden ratio in my geometry class are not enough to convince you I am correct,

simply google “golden ratio” and you will see that I am.I know this is not a math book and this is not high priority, but it is a text

book and all facts should be correct.Thank you for you time,

Ashley Godbold

So, thus ends this chapter in my crusade to right mathematical wrongs! I feel very superhero-ish…

those typos blow my mind.