896 posts tagged with Math.
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Remedial Maths for Grownups

What are good (and preferably free) resources for self-teaching high school level mathematics? Snowflakes etc. below the fold. [more inside]
posted by threecheesetrees on Apr 30, 2016 - 15 answers

Counting 101 (and beyond)

Our three year old LOVES to say his letters and numbers. When he gets to Z, he triumphantly (and accurately) announces "and that's all the letters!" When he gets to 100 he proudly informs us, "that's all the numbers!" I've tried to tell him about 101, 102, etc., but he does not believe me. He would believe it if a YouTube video or app told him so. Any suggestions? (Yep, I know this is not a big deal. I just like watching the light bulb go on when he realizes just how big the world is.)
posted by slmorri on Apr 25, 2016 - 14 answers

Science for 6-year-olds?

Can you recommend either a good homeschooling science curriculum for K-1st grade, and/or an experiments that work well for 6 year olds, and/or advice on devising an ongoing science course for kids that age? [more inside]
posted by pipti on Apr 12, 2016 - 6 answers

Math problem alert: NCAA Magic or Unsurprising?

We had a NCAA March Madness contest at work, where about 40 of us all filled out brackets on ESPN's site. One of us - the winner of our group - did very well and ended up ranked 6000th out of all 13 million ESPN brackets - top .05%. My question is, was this really statistically unlikely or, given that there were 40 of us, is it unsurprising one of us did that well (e.g., the birthday problem)? What mathematical tools would one use evaluate this question? Thanks!
posted by slide on Apr 6, 2016 - 9 answers

Help our elementary school get gender balance in gifted math and science

Today I had to have the uncomfortable discussion with my 5th grade daughter about "why there aren't more girls on the Science Bowl team." Apparently, there are 5 girls out of 16 competitively awarded spots. A couple of years ago, we had the exact same discussion about TAG math-- she wanted to drop out because she was the only girl in her group. [more inside]
posted by instamatic on Mar 28, 2016 - 22 answers

I'm looking for a daily or weekly customization math problems

I'd like to receive daily or weekly emails with a math problem. Do you know of a service like this that exists? It would be preferable if I could tweak the settings to include only problems from certain disciplines (eg Calculus). It doesn't have to be delivered via email, although that would be preferred. [more inside]
posted by czytm on Mar 25, 2016 - 4 answers

Statistical framing of the engineering and extremism article

Reading this article on the blue got me thinking about conditional probabilities, prediction and causality. I came up with an analytical framing of what I think the article is saying and would be grateful if stats/social science Mefites could tell me if it seems accurate or else set me right. [more inside]
posted by mister_kaupungister on Mar 25, 2016 - 3 answers

Check My Math Please!

I need this for a work report, so I want to make sure I am doing this right. Could someone please verify or correct me, please? I have two percentages and I need to figure out what percentage of change has taken place. 64.24% has changed to 74.24% So, I think I need to do this: 74.24 - 64.24 \ 64.24 = 15.6% improvement or 74.24 - 64.24 \ 74.24 = 13.5% decrease
posted by LilithSilver on Mar 11, 2016 - 9 answers

Excel arithmetic glitch explanation

This isn't getting in the way of anything practical, but it's niggling that I don't understand the technicalities. [more inside]
posted by protorp on Feb 29, 2016 - 7 answers

Help me develop complicated spreadsheet

Note: NOT Homework. Real world application here. I have to come up with a spreadsheet based on a formula that allocates dollars to people based upon role and participation. I'm good at Excel but this one is boggling my mind. Details and example inside [more inside]
posted by arniec on Feb 23, 2016 - 11 answers

Let's play: math problems with a comm major!

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around a math equation I need to create, possibly because the data I have to cook something up with is less than ideal and only good for faking a preliminary number. Maybe you can help... [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Feb 16, 2016 - 5 answers

Help me figure out this number-of-combinations problem

Supposing you have a set of N number of questions to choose from for creating a test. Your test must have a minimum of 1 question but can have all N. How many unique tests could you create? Am I correct to assume the formula is 64! (factorial)? 64 x 63 x 62 x 61...
posted by postergeist on Feb 13, 2016 - 6 answers

How do I sort folks into groups based on their preferences?

What kind of algorithm can I use to create optimal group assignments for people, given each person's ranked preferences and limitations on group size? I'm having a hard time coming up with good search terms for this kind of thing. If an example helps: I have 115 people and 16 groups. Each person needs to go in a group. Each person will submit a list of their preferred groups in their preferred order. Some groups can hold up to 10 people, while others can hold up to 5. For the purposes of this exercise, let's pretend that no one cares who else is in their group with them.
posted by lizzicide on Feb 9, 2016 - 9 answers

Looking for math and science 'jokes' to slip into a D&D adventure!

I've got the chance to run a fun, whimsical sort of D&D adventure for a friend of mine. Yay! She's a bit of a science/math geek, and very fond of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. So I was trying to think of fun, whimsical science and math jokes and references I could slip in to a sort of 'journey with sights along the way' in the style of TPT. [more inside]
posted by The otter lady on Feb 7, 2016 - 12 answers

What sort of genius do I need to hire, and where can I find them?

I am in the process of trying to create a complex pricing calculator for internal use in our business. I have most of the data, however I am hoping to engage someone on a freelance basis to help me complete the data set, as well as give some expanded detail on how this data (pricing) can change geographically. What specific professions should I be engaging, and where can I find them? More information below the fold. [more inside]
posted by sxtrumpeto on Feb 1, 2016 - 3 answers

Looking for sites or books like Cosma Shalizi's notebooks

I really like the short explanations and exhaustive trove of links found in Cosma Shalizi's notebooks. Are there any other similar sites or books out there? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 30, 2016 - 1 answer

I need some new ideas for scoring non-competitive fencing nights

I am part of a fencing club that includes a wide range of fencers, some inexperienced, some very competitive, some young teens, some over 60 and lots in between. I have started organizing a monthly "goofball" tournament to bring out the members and to have chances to win prizes and it is going very well. The aim, however, is not to ensure the top fencer always wins -- we have plenty of tournaments for that. What I want is to encourage maximum participation for every fencer to get on the piste and be motivated to fence a lot, and have fun. [more inside]
posted by chapps on Jan 27, 2016 - 19 answers

Christmas math

Oh hai. This was me. Awesome responses. Now I need some help with cryptograms. [more inside]
posted by mrfuga0 on Dec 19, 2015 - 6 answers

Help Me GRE Math Study During My Bus Commute

I'm gearing up to study for the GRE, but I haven't done math in...10 years? I usually read on my Kindle on the 30 minute bus ride to and from work, so I was hoping that I could instead start using this time for math studies! [more inside]
posted by forkisbetter on Dec 14, 2015 - 3 answers

Next step beyond Lego?

My son has mostly outgrown Lego but still loves building things from instructions. Challenging things. What are some building kits I could get for him? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Dec 4, 2015 - 38 answers

Math Educators: Is there a name for this?

My eight year old has devised his own way of doing subtraction with re-grouping and it makes me wonder if this is a known "wrong" way of doing things that is part of the "normal" learning process, such as the way that many children write letters backwards and it doesn't necessarily mean anything, or if it is more unusual. For what it's worth, his teacher, who has a masters degree in mathematics herself, has not seen a child do things this way before. [more inside]
posted by toodles on Dec 1, 2015 - 21 answers

Do I need to crash a high school stats class?

Where do English majors go to learn key principles behind deriving mathematically sound meaning from data? I worked for years as a digital editor. Now I'm a "content strategist," which means I'm responsible for proving my new strategy increases reader engagement via different metrics like UVs, shares, attention time, average story finish rate, etc. I'm very familiar with platforms like Google Analytics and Chartbeat. But I want to learn how to see patterns in them there numbers, and I NEED to make sure my insights are mathematically accurate. How can I most efficiently do that without getting a brain transplant? (Example below.) [more inside]
posted by jessca84 on Nov 12, 2015 - 13 answers

Add learning disorder, subtract job

I have a learning disorder called and as a result my math skills are somewhere around a 4th grade level. I can't turn a 3d into a 2d drawing or vice versa and I really can't count money but for going painfully slow. Since I graduated high school I've been looking for a job that I could do where my cognitive function deficits will cause problems keeping the job. So far, lots of odd jobs and low-end jobs with nothing more solid or long term (or better paying). I've thought about going back to school but almost everything requires some kind of math or chemistry. I like working with my hands but my difficulty with math means that doing things like welding (which I trained for) are out because I can't handle the numbers.
posted by Socinus on Oct 28, 2015 - 18 answers

Mathematical permutations

I've gotten multiple answers to this question, so I'm coming to the good folks here for consensus! Given an 8 character string, where each character can be one of 31 different potential values, how many different unique combinations can you create (with the supporting mathematical explanation and reasoning)? [more inside]
posted by rich on Oct 23, 2015 - 6 answers

Can an exact measurement ever be statistically insignificant?

I am dubious of a colleague’s assertions about statistics. [more inside]
posted by lakeroon on Oct 14, 2015 - 23 answers

Godel, Escher, Bach: worth it?

Is it a waste of time for me to even attempt to read Godel, Escher, Bach when I don't have a very good foundational knowledge of math? [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 10, 2015 - 18 answers

What was this "monster" math game from the early 2000s called?

As I was using Picmonic for gross anatomy, I was reminded of a computer game our sixth-grade math class played back in 2002 or 2003. The main characters were "monsters", and to advance in the game, you had to answer math-related questions. I seem to remember the name of the game starting with "Z"? I could have sworn it was "Zoonies", but the only results I get are for a Nintendo DS game. Our computers were Macs.
posted by Seeking Direction on Sep 30, 2015 - 5 answers

Does math homework help middle-school kids learn and retain knowledge?

Does giving math homework really help middle-school aged kids (11 to 13 years old) with learning and retention? Is "practice makes perfect" really a thing with pre-teen learners? Are (or were) you a middle school math teacher? If so, do you give homework? If so, how much and what kind? And what were your outcomes? [more inside]
posted by blessedlyndie on Sep 29, 2015 - 19 answers

Did I sell myself short?

I'm currently in the very very early research stages of making a career change and I'm starting to think that I sold myself short in regards to my education. I have a Bachelor of Arts in History and, well, I've really been struggling to find "my place" in the career world for the last 5 years. I'm starting to think I sold myself short by not pursuing more math/science related careers. Is it too late for me to maybe find a career in STEM I would enjoy? [more inside]
posted by modesty.blaise on Sep 26, 2015 - 19 answers

Typer Shark for Algebra?

I want to take a pre-calculus class, but I’m not prepared. I would find it easier to prepare with some kind of program or system to refresh my math skills and learn some of what I missed in high school. I, like most mammals, am motivated by immediate rewards. Is there an online game where the math gets progressively harder and you earn rewards for completing problem sets? I was more willing to practice typing when I was defeating sharks than when I worked from a book. Does such a gamified system exist for math? [more inside]
posted by Catenation on Aug 25, 2015 - 4 answers

How to Math

I'm a computer science major in college. I'm not a freakin' genius, but I do well-- get A's in my classes, good with abstraction (e.g. pointers), etc. However, I seem to have missed... my entire high school pre-Calculus math curriculum? I don't know. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 14, 2015 - 13 answers

Learning To Read Mathematical Notation?

I do not have a math background, but I have been learning statistics for work and while I understand the concepts, I am having a really hard time reading mathematical notation (proofs, formulas, etc). It feels like I missed the 101 class in reading the language of mathematics. Are there particularly good resources out there on reading Mathematical Notation?
posted by Spurious on Aug 12, 2015 - 11 answers

Fano Plane and Hexagonal Tiling - a deep connection or a shallow one?

I've been chewing on the Fano plane a lot these last few weeks, and have just noticed something that seems really interesting to me. Notably, that the seven lines of the plane map very nicely to the 7-color hexagonal tiling. [more inside]
posted by NMcCoy on Aug 11, 2015 - 10 answers

The Best Historical, Educational, or Informational YouTube Channels?

I'm looking for YouTube channels that are dedicated to providing education about or insight into interesting subjects. They can have humor in them, but I'd prefer for them to be primarily informative rather than humorous. [more inside]
posted by gregoryg on Jul 17, 2015 - 4 answers

How to self-study science from textbooks like a boss?

I'm an (older) grad student doing research in applied physics. I've ticked all my class requirements but have a shortlist of subjects I feel would be useful to my research and my career. I've translated these into a list of reputable, recommended textbooks to read. I've started reading those, usually in the evenings after all daily tasks are complete, and I enjoy it very much - but does anyone have tips to maximize the payoff of those reading hours? [more inside]
posted by Riton on Jul 15, 2015 - 10 answers

More self-confidence for approaching games and puzzles

I've reached the proverbial straw moment where I'm realizing that, approaching any sort of numbers/critical thinking game or challenge that is meant to be fun, is instead filling me with absolute dread. I find myself becoming incredibly tense and anxious, and very often preemptively angry at myself for OF COURSE being too stupid to pick it up, which means that often I don't even try to pick it up, which then becomes an inescapable feedback loop. I need to change this, please tell me how! [more inside]
posted by erratic meatsack on Jul 2, 2015 - 8 answers

Help me create a player ranking system for a game

I want to create a ranking system for a game that will be more refined than just ranking the users in order 1, 2, 3, etc. [more inside]
posted by banished on Jun 29, 2015 - 5 answers

Math equation problem

Asking for a friend: I have a question about how to work out a student's exam mark. Unit 1 is worth 60%, Unit 2 is worth 40%. Both units are marked out of 80. For example, a student scores 67/80 on unit 1 and 69/80 on unit 2. What is their overall mark? Thanks for any help!
posted by charlen on May 28, 2015 - 9 answers

Is there a name for this shape?

What would you call the shape of the two-dimensional outline of the two stones (cabochons) circled in red in this picture? [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on May 27, 2015 - 7 answers

My Math/Excel Ignorance is Showing

In three cells in a single column in Microsoft Excel, I'd like to be able to input a number in the bottom cell, have the middle cell calculate what a 6% sales tax on the figure below it is, and provide the amount before that 6% tax in the top cell. Any help will be appreciated. The last math class I took was 44 years ago and I didn't pay much attention in that one.
posted by imjustsaying on May 8, 2015 - 8 answers

Anything like the Harvard Extension School in the DC area?

I’m likely relocating to Washington DC this summer and I'm looking for somewhere where I can take Linear Algebra and a few other undergraduate math and statistics classes in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 as a non-degree student. [more inside]
posted by dyslexictraveler on May 2, 2015 - 8 answers

The Mathematics Of Time

So I have a few years to kill and I'd like to spend them fully understanding what physicists and mathematicians know about time. I'm not looking for any sort of summary, I want to understand the math from the bottom up. I once caught my father going through the Annus Mirabilis papers with a red pen; that's the sort of proficiency I have in mind. [more inside]
posted by Tell Me No Lies on Apr 25, 2015 - 12 answers

Am I doing compound interest wrong?

I'm hoping Metafilter can help me with a stupid math question, but one that's bothering me about how I was taught to compound interest versus some numbers I'm reading/hearing online about a Supreme Court case. [more inside]
posted by Fortran on Apr 23, 2015 - 5 answers

Exorcizing the devil from the details

I'm currently studying undergraduate math and though the concepts are clear, I lose a lot of marks through carelessness or small errors. Please help me pick up on/avoid these better. [more inside]
posted by solarion on Apr 22, 2015 - 15 answers

Business math word problem: calculating salary through "growth tiers"

I'd like some help coming up with a formula for calculating annual salary increases. The idea is that a given job description will have two "growth tiers", through which an employee's salary will increase at different rates, and beyond which their salary cannot increase further (except for cost-of-living adjustment). There's also a "base growth factor", which is determined by individual employee performance--e.g. 10% for a stellar employee, 6% for a good employee, etc. Lots more inside. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Professional on Apr 22, 2015 - 4 answers

Books/review of high school math for former math major, current tutor

I need book recommendations two categories: 1) for myself for review (that are somewhere between high school text books and Spark notes) 2) just straight up textbooks for high school math (algebra i, geometry, algebra ii, trigonometry, pre-calculus) [more inside]
posted by miss so and so on Mar 5, 2015 - 10 answers

Looking for a blogging platform that handles equations and code

My friend and I are starting an academic blog. We will be posting equations and code snippets (mostly MATLAB), and are looking for a blogging platform that will allow us to enter them easily and display them nicely. Do you have any suggestions on what we should use?
posted by tickingclock on Feb 27, 2015 - 5 answers

How can I quantify these fitness scores?

Hey math/fitness nerds. I'm working on a pet project. I'm trying to quantify general fitness levels across a population based on a few different scores. I have the tests, but need help setting up the values of each score. [more inside]
posted by Telf on Feb 25, 2015 - 5 answers

Something more interesting than :(){ :|:& };:

What are some fun, computationally intensive tasks for my new computer to do? [more inside]
posted by vogon_poet on Feb 21, 2015 - 13 answers

Probability distributions and their practical applications

I am looking for a resource that lists probability distributions and their common real-world applications. For example, I'd expect to see: Lognormal - daily returns in the stock market. Poisson - failure rates for mechanical equipment, ... [more inside]
posted by wivy on Feb 19, 2015 - 6 answers

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