Incredibles 2 Asks: What’s the Right Way to Solve a Math Problem?

Everyone knows I like to analyze the trailers of upcoming movies—in particular, movies that I’m excited about. In this case, it’s Incredibles 2. I have high hopes for this one since the first Incredibles was really great.

In the trailer, we see Mr. Incredible doing his job—helping out with math homework (that’s one of the things dads do). Here is how that goes down.

Dash: “That’s not the way you’re supposed to do it, dad. They want us to do it this way.”

Mr. Incredible: “I don’t know that way—why would they change math? Math is math. Math is math!”

This is what makes a great movie. There are probably quite a few parents that can relate to this. But who is right? Is math math? Or are you supposed to do it some other way? How about an example? Solve the following:

Timmy has 2,314 pieces of candy that he want to share between among his group of 8 friends. How many pieces of candy does each friend get?

Yes, I think that’s a silly question—but I also think that it’s pretty realistic (as an example of something you would see in a math class). To answer this question, you would need to divide the total number of candies by the number of friends. That means 2,314 divided by 8. The “math is math” way to do this is with long division. Yes, you remember long division. It looks something like this: