For a couple of months starting this summer, Bruegger's Bagels cash registers would sometimes compute change incorrectly. As a start to investigating the problem, several people gave me their receipts. Here's what I found out.

The problem seemed limited to Nebraska. A Bruegger's in Syracuse, NY, did not seem to have the problem. In Nebraska (I checked both the Lincoln Bruegger's and one in Omaha) the problem only seemed to occur when you ordered the hummus deli bagel. for any order that included one or more hummus deli bagels, the change computed by the cash register would be short by 1 cent. No orders that did not include a hummus deli bagel seemed to have the problem.

Sometime in the last couple of weeks the problem seems to have been fixed.

Here is the writing assignment: write up a short article (of one or two pages) describing the problem, what you think may explain it, and how you suggest it might best be investigated if one wanted to determine exactly what was going on.