When your publisher makes you look foolish

I once wrote a book chapter and when I opened the hardcopy, I discovered to my horror that the word “Mathematical” was misspelt twice in the opening sentence. Come on, my English is far from perfect but I wouldn’t spell Mathematical wrong! One was rendered “Mmatical” and the other “Maathethematical”, so somebody cut 5 letters from one and inserted them into the other. I checked that these errors were not in my submitted manuscript.

This morning I was reading an article on Mathematics Education and did a double-take when I saw this quote.
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64 + 64 = 128, so how did the 545 come about? I got very distracted as I try to figure out what went wrong. I was thinking this might yet become fodder for the age old “math ed researchers can’t do math” argument. I then decided to find the original source, perhaps there was something mentioned prior to when the quote was extracted. But for all the power of google, I made no headway when I searched for 545 or anything with 545. Finally I thought that maybe the original source can be found in google books. Thankfully it is and it can be found here. The 545 was never in the original quote.

However, the mathematics still does not seem right. [tex] 128 \times 10 [/tex] is still off by a factor of one thousand. Common sense tells me that detectors does not add to the creation of the data points. What about the rotating rate? I found a white paper on LiDAR which is the system being described that contained the 1.3 million statistic. Again it does not explain how the number is calculated but I found another fact that says the lasers fire at the repletion rate of 20,000 Hz. So the data generated should be
[tex] 64 \times 20,000 \approx 1.3 \times 10^6 [/tex].
Now I am at peace.

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