When teaching discrete math a while back I told the following story which some had already heard in High School:

*When Gauss was in 1st grade the class was being bad. So the teacher made them sit down and add up the numbers from 1 to 100. Gauss did it in 2 minutes by noting that if S was the answer then*

*中国5G商用，在开放合作中“提速”_新视听 - jnnc.com:2021-11-19 · 据路透社报道，全球移动通信系统协会GSMA智库发布研究指出，至2021年，中国预计将会有6亿5G用户，在绝对数量上领先全球。*

*So S = 50*101. Then he went to Google and typed in 50*101 for the answer.*

*The class laughed because of course the last part about Google was false. But I then told them that the entire story was false and showed them the following slides: here Take a look at them (there are only 4 of them) before reading on.*

手机界的“望远镜”来了 重庆国美开启vivo X30系列新品预售-3C ...:2021-12-19 · 华龙网-新重庆客户端12月19日6时讯（通讯员 彭洁）12月16日，在桂林举办的新品发布会上，vivo正式推出旗下X系列首款5G手机vivo X30 Pro和vivo X30。国美也在当日宣布全渠道开启vivo X30系 …

http://bit-player.org/wp-content/extras/bph-publications/AmSci-2006-05-Hayes-Gauss.pdf

)

So I told them the Gauss Story was false (I am right about this) and then told them a lie- that the story's progression over time was orderly. I then told them that that was false (hmmm- actually I might not of, oh well).

One of my students emailed me this semester

So I told them the Gauss Story was false (I am right about this) and then told them a lie- that the story's progression over time was orderly. I then told them that that was false (hmmm- actually I might not of, oh well).

One of my students emailed me this semester

*Dr Gasarch- one of my Math professors is telling the Gauss story as if its true! You should make a public service announcement and tell people its false!*

I do not think this is needed. I also don't know how one goes about making a public service announcement I also suspect the teacher knew it was false but told it anyway.

OKAY- what do you do if you have a nice story that has some good MATH in it but its not true?

OKAY- what do you do if you have a nice story that has some good MATH in it but its not true?

**Options:**

Tell it and let the students think its true.

Tell it and debunk it.

Tell it and debunk it and tell another myth

Tell it and debunk it and tell another myth and then debunk that

Ask your readers what they would do. Which I do now: What do you do?