Math and Science Solutions for Businesses/Ratio Definition



Ratios can indicate division. For example, 3/4 or (3:4) indicates 3 divided by 4 equals 0.75.

It also has a different meaning that does not necessarily indicate division. For example, the ratio of boys to girls is 3 to 4 (3:4) what meaning does this ratio have?

I thank you for your reply.

This is good question and you're right that the meaning of "ratio" is somewhat different for the 2 cases.

For the ratio of boys to girls, it means that there 3 boys for every 4 girls (not a bad ratio!). This implies that a basic collection consisting of both sexes would be 7 = 3 + 4 so that the proportion of boys in a population would be 3/7 = 0.43 for boys and 4/7 = 0.57 for girls.

Thus, if you had a large group of boys and girls, say N, the number of boys would be (0.43)N and (0.57)N for girls.

Hope this makes sense.

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Randy Patton


Questions regarding application of mathematical techniques and knowledge of physics and engineering principles to product and services design, optimization, prediction, feasibility and implementation. Examples include sales and product performance projections based on math/physics models in addition to standard regression; practical and cost effective sensor design and component configuration; optimal resource allocation using common tools (eg., MS Office); advanced data analysis techniques and implementation; simulation and "what if" analysis; and innovative applications of remote sensing.


26 years as professional physical scientist and project manager for elite research company providing academic quality basic and applied research for government and defense industry clients (currently retired). Projects I have been involved in include: - Notional sensor performance predictions for detecting underwater phenomena - Designing and testing guidance algorithms for multi-component system - Statistical analysis of ship tracking data and development of anomaly detector - Deployed vibration sensors in Arctic ice floes; analysis of data - Developed and tested ocean optical instrument to measure particles - Field testing of protoype sonar system - Analysis of synthetic aperture radar system data for ocean surface measurements - Redesigned dust shelters for greeters at Burning Man Festival Project management with responsibility for allocation and monitoriing of staff and equipment resources.

“A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics” (with Mark A. Cane), J. of Phys. Oceanogr., 14, No. 12, pp. 18531863, December 1984.

MIT, MS Physical Oceanography, 1981 UC Berkeley, BS Applied Math, 1976

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