Revised 2011 budget: Higher education comes out ahead thanks to a mathematical error

At a press conference today, Governor Sonny Perdue acknowledged a serious mathematical error in the state budget, which means good news for state funded colleges and universities. Under the revised budget released today, cuts to higher education went from over $100 million, which was the amount used in the joint House-Senate budget committee, to only $312.

“This was due to a computer error compounded by human error,” Perdue told reporters. “I want to thank the faculty at Georgia Tech for catching this, especially the School of Mathematics. I guess it just goes to show you really do need math in real life!”

When the budget office of the Georgia general assembly first announced the $100,111,000 shortfall, they had simply copied the number off a computer generated report. However, the values on that report were all mistakenly printed in binary. When converted from base 2 to base 10, the binary number 100111000 becomes the decimal number 312.

The person responsible for generating the confusing report has apologized for the error.

“I am deeply sorry this happened,” he said, “but I'm really glad someone at Georiga Tech noticed it. Ever since they installed that new version of Microsoft Office, my spreadsheets are all messed up.”

All state budgets are now being audited to see if similar errors occurred elsewhere. In particular, the salary of $1,001,110,001,000,000 which was being paid to several capitol staff members is now under review.

5 comments Add your comment

Hexadecimal Dude

April 1st, 2010
8:20 am

Great, just great. I wonder how many other numbers in the state budget have been accidentally converted to something other than base 10. Does this explain why my tax bill is $2A7F ?

Not paying attention

April 1st, 2010
8:24 am

So what? It's still a huge problem for the university system. Where are they supposed to get $312? I think they should take that money from the hospitals.

Polly Anna

April 1st, 2010
9:25 am

See, I told you it would all be OK. Please come visit my herbal aromatherapy site to increase your ---DELETED-TEXT---.

Concerned Taxpayer

April 1st, 2010
9:56 am

I think this whole situation would be improved if we simply let the students and faculty all carry guns.

UGA Student

April 1st, 2010
10:54 am

Wait a minute, does this mean the $10 bill in my pocket is now only worth $2?

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