The Famous Rain Problem and the Importance of Mathematical Reasoning Ability

Ali
7 min readOct 18, 2023
Photo by Gage Walker on Unsplash

Before starting my mathematics education, rain was a significant natural occurrence for me. Right after the rain had ended, I would run to the streets and put the paper boat my father would make for me on the side of our street where water had collected. My favorite pastime was riding my bike in the rain during university life. I learned to love birds while they were drinking the rainwater in the bucket my grandmother had set up for them. Getting wet in the rain was never a problem in my life. However, I would hide my books in my jacket now and then to not get them wet.

For a long time, rain was just a reason to be happy for me. In my first year in university, however, my mathematics professor asked me a question regarding rain. After that question, rain would become a mathematical equation for me for a while. The problem was simple; who would get more wet, the person walking in the rain or the person running in it?

I remember not approaching this question very mathematically at first. Why would it matter if the person, who had gotten soaking wet already, ran or walked? Besides, everyone on the street was running to get somewhere where the rain would not hit them, anyway. All those people could not be mistaken, and therefore, the answer had to be that the running person got less wet. When I came to this conclusion, I did not know that most people, most of the time, were mistaken and therefore made the wrong decisions. How do I know that this is true? Look at Turkey, Brazil, the United States of America, Russia, India, North Korea, and many other countries and their decisions in choosing their government leaders. You will see just how correct my conclusion is. Besides that, I have to get back to mathematics.

After that, I wanted to test the rain question myself. However, while debating if I should run or walk in the rain, my hesitation led me to get soaked.

After I dropped everything and examined the situation scientifically; however, I concluded that it was nearly impossible to come to a strict solution. There were too many variables at play in this situation. For example, the place the person has to get to while under the rain is the most crucial factor, and it determines how long this person will stay under the rain…

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Ali

Math Teacher. Content Curator. Soccer player. Maradona fan. Mostly write about the lectures I love to learn better. alikayaspor@gmail.com