The Singapore Maths Question That Got The World's Attention

The Singapore Maths Question That Got The World's Attention

By now, most of us would have heard about the "Cheryl's Birthday" maths problem, a problem that is more about using one's logic than a calculator.

A Facebook post by @Kennethjianwen about the maths question after he debated with his wife about the answer (does anyone else feel a sense of familiarity? Hint: #TheDress), the "Cheryl's Birthday" question had become a national conversation over the weekend, sparking a new found interest in maths in the city-state.

This question causes a debate with my wife .... and its a Sec 3 question. #trickquestion#cherylsbirthday

Posted by Kennethjianwen on Friday, April 10, 2015

Now it seems the world has recognised "the maths question for 14-year-olds that stumped thousands of Singaporeans"  as one worthy of conversational relevance beyond the border.

UK MetroMashableBuzzfeed,The GuardianThe IndependentThe Daily Mail, Telegraph, BBC,  NY Daily NewsBusiness Insider Australia, and Global News Canada are just part of the growing list of foriegn and international sites that had posted about about the question in the past 24 hours at the time of this writing.

While this article will enjoy a shorter time in the spotlight compared to that of #TheDress which gained a viral phenomenon status in February, 2015 is truly become the year of unexpected discoveries from the least expected sources.

First a dress, now a maths question, what's next?


SPOILER ALERT! ANSWER BELOW

Having become viral as a "Primary 5" question, the organising body responsible for the question, the Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO) had found it necessary to step out and clarify the matter and also providing the definite guide to the answer to the once illusive birthday date of Cheryl.

Photo Credit: Kenneth Kong/ SASMO

Photo Credit: Kenneth Kong/ SASMO

Photo Credit: Kenneth Kong/ SASMO

Photo Credit: Kenneth Kong/ SASMO

Do you hear Aug 17 as the answer? Well, it seems to be very popular alternative answer, but here is SASMO's response to why it is not.

Photo Credit: The Straits Times / SASMO

Photo Credit: The Straits Times / SASMO

Photo Credit: The Straits Times / SASMO

Photo Credit: The Straits Times / SASMO