I'm fascinated with computers, robotics, and photography. Yet, there's something captivating about IT and Computer Programming. I'm almost finishing up my Social Science bachelor's degree (Sociology), which is pretty worthless from a marketable angle, little job offers. I would like to learn more about IT (Support Services for software) and Computer Programming as well, but I have no background in these two fields. Should I pursue a degree in either of these fields if I have no experience with math and computers? [more inside]
We are troubled as to whether or not we should put our daughter in a math special education program. The school has said she needs it, but she is adamant that she does not want to be seen as different. [more inside]
I'm trying to get a list of things (equations, theories, etc) we know about poker or gambling in general in terms of scientific or mathematic principles. It can't just be game theory. it's got to be specific aspects of it. And I mean ANY aspects of it. Hot hands. Beginner's luck. Inside straights.
What are good (and preferably free) resources for self-teaching high school level mathematics? Snowflakes etc. below the fold. [more inside]
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.)
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]
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!
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]
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]
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]
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
This isn't getting in the way of anything practical, but it's niggling that I don't understand the technicalities. [more inside]
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]
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]
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...
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
I am dubious of a colleague’s assertions about statistics. [more inside]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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!
What would you call the shape of the two-dimensional outline of the two stones (cabochons) circled in red in this picture? [more inside]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?