# Hate fractions? 12-year-old girl just solved the problem

REDMOND, Wash. -- 12-year-old Isabel Hughes didn't like working with fractions on a calculator.

"There's nothing on this calculator that has fractions," she said.

It's slow to convert the fractions into decimals to use the calculator, then convert the result back to a fraction to double check the answer.

"So I asked my dad, 'is there a fraction calculator on the app store?' " Isabel said. "And we looked in the app store and turns out there wasn't, so we decided to make one."

So the two sat down and penciled out what a fraction app would look like. Then her dad went to work creating the app.

It helps if your dad is former Microsoft employee and software developer.

"So we came up with this idea that you can just type it in the way you see a fraction," said Aidan Hughes.

You don't have to go through all the mental gymnastics of converting it to decimals?

"You can just enter it like '3' for the whole number here and '2' for the numerator and the denominator down here," she said.

The final test: that same sheet of fraction problems that took minutes to do, Isabel did it in 50 seconds.

They put it on various app stores, and it was an instant hit with students, teachers, construction workers, and even quilters.

"Who knew? And they love it because they have to figure out 3 1/2 yards of this fabric," Aidan Hughes.

It's now the second highest rated app of all time on the Amazon Kindle app store -- download 1 million times.

"That's crazy," Isabel said. "I would have never expected that."

The app is called "calculator plus". There's a free version with ads and a 99-cent version without ads.

It's available on all the major app stores for all devices.

"There's nothing on this calculator that has fractions," she said.

It's slow to convert the fractions into decimals to use the calculator, then convert the result back to a fraction to double check the answer.

"So I asked my dad, 'is there a fraction calculator on the app store?' " Isabel said. "And we looked in the app store and turns out there wasn't, so we decided to make one."

So the two sat down and penciled out what a fraction app would look like. Then her dad went to work creating the app.

It helps if your dad is former Microsoft employee and software developer.

"So we came up with this idea that you can just type it in the way you see a fraction," said Aidan Hughes.

You don't have to go through all the mental gymnastics of converting it to decimals?

"You can just enter it like '3' for the whole number here and '2' for the numerator and the denominator down here," she said.

The final test: that same sheet of fraction problems that took minutes to do, Isabel did it in 50 seconds.

They put it on various app stores, and it was an instant hit with students, teachers, construction workers, and even quilters.

"Who knew? And they love it because they have to figure out 3 1/2 yards of this fabric," Aidan Hughes.

It's now the second highest rated app of all time on the Amazon Kindle app store -- download 1 million times.

"That's crazy," Isabel said. "I would have never expected that."

The app is called "calculator plus". There's a free version with ads and a 99-cent version without ads.

It's available on all the major app stores for all devices.

Every calculator already has a fraction button - Â the division symbol...

That is awesome. I do hate fractions. I am actually looking for <a href="http://tutordoctorvegas.com/programs/">math tutoring in Las Vegas</a>. Maybe I should look into this app.

Stories like this make me realize how vulnerable and lazy we've become.Â We're one EMP pulse or solar flare away from a generation of drooling idiots that couldn't create light or heat without burning something.

Fix the name of the app. It is called "Fraction Calculator Plus". Will make it much easier for people to find in the iTunes app store.

Excellent. The more you rely on devices like this to handle things kids used to do in their heads half a century ago, the longer I stay in work. My chances of retirement have gone down the hole, but I'll be able to keep my job until I decide I'm done, because, after all, my replacement would be more expensive and less industrious.

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The next 2 decades are going to be hilarious.

Recently I was in a library when their computer system went down.Â The librarian didn't have a clue how to check out my book without a scanner.Â I suggested she just write everything down and enter it later, she refused to do that and they closed the library until the thing was fixed.Â THAT was pathetic.

Did you try a pencil, you know it's that yellow wooden thing with a rubber tip on one end and a black tip on the other. We are all screwed when the power goes out.

Children should learn the basic ways of solving math problems before relying on calculators to solve simple math problems i.e addition, subtraction, fraction and even beginning algelbra. I think that's the problem in today's generation. In Asian countries, Japan, Korea, Philippines, India, they teach algebra as early as 2nd graders with no calculators. You know what else motivates students in Asian countries, teachers post everybody's grades and standing in each class for everyone to see. This encourages and motivates students to study harder.

Â how many of us actively worry that we, or our children, don't know how to hunt, grow our own food, milk a cow, sew our own clothes, build a house or a car, all things that are far more important to our survival as a species? I'm guessing not very many of us.Â how is a calculator app that calculates fractions any different, or worse, than any of that? How many times have we said to ourselves, "Wow I really wish I didn't have a washing machine so I could spend all day washing clothes".Â We don't.Â I hope that we all continue to learn what is appropriate for the era in which we are living. The world is a dynamic place; itÂ morphs and we adapt.

I would hope that before children are allowed to use calculators they would be encouraged to learn these things in their head. If they would for any reason loose the use of a calculator at a time when they needed to figure things out it would be helpful to know how to do it. Technology is great to make things easier for them, but it shouldn't take the place of a good basic learned knowledge.

There are a lot of calculators that do fractions already. They've been around for decades. HP makes them and so does Texas Instruments and Casio. There just weren't any for Microsoft tablets.Â

What happens when solar flares or whatever take out our technology? I can't even fathom it. Bunch of zombies wandering around staring at blank devices.

wow!Â you know what is even sadder than living in a world where people lean on technology to solve simple math problems? Living in a world that considers it OK to put down a 12-year-old on a blog for having created something with her father which is rather innocuous (that means harmless ; )), when you consider all of the things she could be doing out in the world. Adults, if we want to teach our young people good and right ways, please be respectful. It's OK to disagree without being rude. Every single person reading this blog relies on technology. It doesn't mean that we are stupid.

I think that's a brilliant idea. I can do the math if I need to, Â but if I'm in a hurry it would be veryÂ handy to have the app on my phone.

Here's an idea. Â Go metric and never deal with fractions ever....

Ah the internet, people hating on a 12 year old kid, making snide comments about girls and math. What a bunch of skank garbage. Try it in public and decent folk will give you some smack down.Â

Just read this and offered the app to my 12 year old daughter. Â She said, no, Fractions are easy....

Great, now add this to audio books and the voice recognition app, we can finally rid ourselves of that pesky learning to perform math, read, spell and write. Hopefully in the future, humans will be mercifully free of having to think at all. Nobody will ever again be burdened with the curse of using their heads for anything other than watching reality TV and mindlessly follow rules.

Every calculator I ever owned does fractions. All a person needs to know is what the line between the numerator and denominator means. That is, unless a kid is required to produce an answer as a quotient with a remainder, but that's only early elementary school arithmetic.Â Remainders may be correct, but they are useless for any practical math. More appropriate is giving the answer as a decimal with correct significant digits.

I'm just curious how many of the people that are hating on this girl and her dad are actually capable of doing a problem involving fractions on paper right now? Â Yes, learning the methods are important, but if you learn them and forget them and just rely on a calculator in your life now, thoseÂ fundamentalsÂ you learned however many years ago have rendered themselves useless and now you rely on that same kind of technology this girl and her dad came up with. Â It continues to amaze me how hypocritical people are and how much they just want to hate on others. Â Â

You have to be able to show the proof of the solution.

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Otherwise you are not actually doing math - you are just a monkey with a device that does it for you. later on, after acquiring a fundamental understanding of formulaic process, and yes, that includes fraction solving, using machines for calculation can open up major doors in scientific development - but unless you get how the process works in the formative phase of your education, you are just going to be a data entry hack.

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there is a reason top mathematicians still use chalkboards.

Or, kids could just use paper and pencil for arithmetic, which helps them learn to do arithmetic in their heads. Â Save the calculators for trigonometry and calculus. Â

Try it, you'll like it.Â You can't see the corrective underline once posted, mores the pity, but you can when you're typing it.Â Take the hint?

You know folks, when you type something and a little red mark shows up under your word (like this wodr), it's most likely SPELLED WRONG!

This reminds me of the tip calculator or fuel mileage apps.Â It's mind blowing how many people get through college and have a hard time with such basic calculations.Â Same problem with measurements.Â Someone told me recently that they don't even teach handwriting in school anymore.Â Technology is great, but it's making us dumb.Â People need to learn these things first, before being allowed to use technology.

It was easy as pi

And this is a news story?? KOMO should subscribe to the AP or some other major news organization so they can publish REAL news stories.

Sad state of affairs. Nothing new, though. Fourteen years ago I went to use a 10% discount at a Godfather's Pizza. Took two cashiers almost 10 minutes to figure it out. It was priceless... and tragic.

Â @KlondikoÂ It's not blank! I'm playing "Words with friends".

Â @Richard Burton Right. Because you will never need 1/3 of a metric unit. Or need to do ratios in geometric figures. Or do probability with metric dice or decks of metric cards....

Â @Citizen#3457899654 I haven't seen a single post referring to girls and math.Â ?????

Â @semprecoraggio You forgot "and texting."

Â @johnbeÂ except when you do algebraic equations with fractions they expect the answers to have fractions as well. I always got marked down for this because I would convert the fractions into decimals...

Â @Audio CatÂ "Doing" math would be coming up with the correct solution. Understanding math would being able to PROVE that the solution is correct.

Â @Audio Cat YES!

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Â @Audio CatÂ I agree to a certain extent. Â I do believe students should learn how to do this on paper etc, but often a fraction is just a small part of a much larger equation. Â Working out the quadratic formula can deal with fractions, if you can save some time with that part of it you can move on with the rest of the formula much quicker. Â Again though, I agree with the idea of learning it manually first.Â

@Audio Cat I have to agree with you 100%.Â Sometimes I feel that Technology will be the cause of Society's destruction.Â Remember the movie WALL-E.Â Everyone should watch that movie, from a serious point of view.

Â

Everyone should learn how to do the "basics" properly, before seeking shortcuts!

Â @Joy Johnson I taught a writing course back in the day, and the students submitted their papers electronically.Â Even with the technology, their papers were still filled with the red and green underlines (indicating spelling and grammar errors).Â They just ignored it.Â Truly scary.

Â @chuckh0308Â they don't teach cursive in most schools. They DO teach handwriting (IE the ability to write)

Â @chuckh0308Â Agree, but honestly too much time on handwriting is a waste of time. Â For the most part, people dont write anymore. Â Everything is typing. Â I am not saying no one ever writes and there is no use for it, but it is rare anymore.Â

Â @Insomniac DreamsÂ But pi is not a fraction. It's an irrational (and transcendental as well) number so it can never be a fraction.

Â @parkinatorÂ HA! Â The AP a real news company. Â News flash. Â The United States has zero "Real News" companies. Â Every single one of them is owned by aÂ corporationÂ with a political interest. Â

Â @parkinator The AP feed isn't much better.

Â @bornhere:Â

Kind of like when the drive-thru order comes to $5.13 and you give them $12 and they try to hand you back the twoÂ $1 billsÂ as "too much money", not realizing that it rounds the change up to aÂ $5 bill and some coins.

Â

When my son was young, I used to test him at the grocery store.Â I used to tell him that if he could figure out the change I had coming back from what the total was & the amount I handed the cashier, he could have the change.Â It was an excellent way for him to learn to do math in his head.

Â

I remember working at the old Taco Bell on Aurora in Shoreline way back when the Hammersmith's owned it.Â Everyone who worked the tills had to know basic math, enough to be able to make & count back change.Â Now, it seems like the vast majority rely so much on the electronics in their tills that if the power goes out they have no clue whatsoever how to make change.

Â @BornhereÂ Â @justmyopinionÂ there is a difference between daily use (1/2 + 1/2 = 1) and a math sheet for school (where you are doing 20-30 problems with increasing difficulty: 1/2 -3/4 * 5/16 + 6/9 / 27/32Simple math to do, but it takes time.

Â @RN1Â Â @Richard BurtonÂ lets see...what is 1/3 of 10? 3.3

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Metric is ALL base 10 so even if you need a fraction it is easy to figure out (and most of the time you wont need some weird fraction anyway)

From algebra through calculus, and working for many years in customary and metric units,Â I never had theÂ experience of an answer being required to be presented as a fraction, nor has it ever been needed to do so.Â One of the steps required when working an algebraic equation is clearing ofÂ the fractions. The reason for this is because a fraction is actually an unresolved division expression. Also, an answer given in fractions would require any remainder to be presented, which could also contain decimal numbers.

Â @randomuserÂ Â @Insomniac DreamsÂ technically if we took Pi out long enough it must repeat (if only because there are only a certain number of digits available in beforeÂ repetitionÂ is a must) therefor Pi could eventually be represented as a fraction (which would undoubtedly take longer to write out then it would to solve any equation using it)

Â @randomuserÂ OK then... Â Easier than pi

Â @The206Â Â @parkinator That's scary.

Â

@Bornhere @parkinator ...and we know that because KOMO gets many of its stories from the AP.

Â @LocalLadyÂ Even with the "typo" (the 1 is adjacent to the 2)Â Your meaning is crystal clear. Very good idea to sharpen your son's number skills.Â Do schools today use the cards to teach multiplication tables?

Â

It's rare today that young cashiers properly count back your change. They just drop whatever the machine say's in your hand.

Â @LocalLadyÂ Â @bornhere:Â Hopefully your son's math is better than yours. Â

Oops, acutally it adds up to six dollars and some change. Guess those kids aren' so dumb after all.

Â @al_waÂ Â @LocalLadyÂ When I was tutoring my cousin in multiplication not too long ago, she didn't know what a multiplication table was. Â I was shocked. Â I probably shouldn't be with the way some things are taught these days but there it is.