Mr. Jeavons, the school psychologist, has said that Christopher likes math because there’s always a clear answer, unlike in life. Christopher doesn’t agree. He uses “The Monty Hall Problem” to show why.
Christopher doesn’t allow other people, even professionals, to tell him how his mind works. He’s confident in his knowledge of both math and himself.
The Monty Hall Problem is as follows. A woman named Marilyn vos Savant had the highest IQ in the world, and answered difficult math questions in a magazine column. Once, someone sent in a problem dealing with probability. Logic gave Marilyn vos Savant one answer, but most people’s intuitions gave them another answer. Thus, many people, including professors and mathematicians, wrote angrily to the magazine, refusing to accept the answer she gave. Christopher explains why she was right, using both an equation and a chart of possible outcomes in the given situation. He likes this problem because it shows that people shouldn’t depend so much on intuition, but instead on logic, and that math isn’t necessarily straightforward.
This mathematical problem in a way represents the way Christopher moves through the world. Marilyn vos Savant depends entirely on logic to answer the problem, just as Christopher depends entirely on logic in most aspects of his life. However, almost everyone who wrote to Marilyn vos Savant saw the problem differently than she did—just as nearly everyone sees the world differently than Christopher does. Furthermore, Christopher’s understanding of the correct answer to the Monty Hall Problem proves his impressive intelligence and suggests the advantages to seeing the world through his logical eyes.