921 posts tagged with math.
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Math for Board Game Design?

I'm making board games as a hobby and I'd like to have a better understanding of statistics and similar math topics in order to start the design stronger outta the gate - having better balance instead of just guessing. [more inside]
posted by symbioid on Oct 21, 2016 - 3 answers

Finding near-misses between lines in 3D

Is there a good (read: well-known/efficient) way to find the "near-miss" intersection of 3 lines in 3D space? The lines almost, but don't quite, cross each other (image in an attempt to illustrate the problem) [more inside]
posted by btfreek on Oct 14, 2016 - 6 answers

In lieu of quals...

I'm currently in the first year of a PhD program in physics. Right now I am just taking classes. My school does not have a qualifying exam, and there's not much I need to do outside of my classwork. However, I don't want to live from homework to homework -- so I'd like to set aside some extra time for textbook-reading and problem-solving. Have you done this? Tell me about your experience. [more inside]
posted by miniraptor on Oct 7, 2016 - 8 answers

math/geometry/construction query!

Suppose you have to install new moulding in a house. Suppose also that it's a huge house with many rooms large and small, and many windows of different size. This means that you end up needing many different lengths of wood... [more inside]
posted by Rich Smorgasbord on Oct 6, 2016 - 14 answers

Too Many Strata To Sample

I have multiple independent variables that I want to stratify my sampling across, but the result would be way more strata than I can sample. Is there a way to stratify across different character states for each independent variable without creating strata for the interactions of each? Example inside. [more inside]
posted by agentofselection on Sep 21, 2016 - 6 answers

Resources for helping young student with idiosyncratic math issue?

I"m tutoring a 12 year old girl in math and she displays an idiosyncratic learning disability / learning style. (Specific issue was in learning to calculate the area of a rectangle, an example was used of a rectangle with area of 48 and she didn't understand why all rectangles don't have areas of 48.) Could someone offer suggestions for this specific student, or, more generally, a resource where I might be likely to find others who might have run across similar students?
posted by Jon44 on Sep 12, 2016 - 16 answers

Can you figure out the probability of a specific outcome?

I work in a field where we think about possibly dangerous people. If Mr. X is a poor driver and has a 5% chance of running a red light in the next month, can you know the probability of him running a red light at a specific intersection? Can you know a range of probabilities for that specific intersection? What if it's the intersection that he drives through most often? I think this likely has an easy answer but none of us can clearly explain it so we keep talking about it.
posted by kerf on Sep 11, 2016 - 6 answers

Math Facts

Beyond multiplication tables, what sort of mathematical knowledge is useful to have memorized? Also, what alternative methods have been of help for you? [more inside]
posted by Trifling on Sep 1, 2016 - 31 answers

The Boozy Educational Series

I want to learn, from the beginning, with no pressure and a drink in hand. Help me come up with a boozy math/science online course curriculum. [more inside]
posted by naju on Aug 25, 2016 - 8 answers

How much math should most college students be able to learn?

I have read quite a few articles that state that there's no such thing as being bad at math, that often it is just the case that you haven't had a specific subject explained to you in a way that made sense to you, or that you just have to work harder at it. That resonates with me, but clearly there's a limit to that and I wonder what that limit is. [more inside]
posted by blub on Aug 25, 2016 - 16 answers

I was told there would be no math.

I've crossed a bunch of plants with one another, and now have a bunch of berries on those plants. Each berry can contain way more seeds than I have room to pot up and grow out individually, so I'm trying to find the point of diminishing returns, where potting up additional seedlings stops giving me new and interesting results, but my math background is inadequate. [more inside]
posted by Spathe Cadet on Aug 21, 2016 - 13 answers

inexpensive pathways for math greats?

My older one is great at math, worried about UK student debt, and wants to have the university experience. Are there distance or residential sub-£18,000 math degrees anywhere that offer a level of student experience akin to the tutorial opportunity and entertainment a student in university might have, or companies or organisations geared to these experiences?
posted by parmanparman on Aug 13, 2016 - 16 answers

Do you have a vigor? A vigor for rigor?

A colleague mentioned a college course he took on rigorously proving commonly handwaved aspects of math. Help me find books or a syllabus relating to this! [more inside]
posted by The Gaffer on Aug 8, 2016 - 9 answers

I have excel and a sense that this is possible

So imagine I have a population of like 100,000 people. And I have goals for them to achieve for which they get money. Now I want to calculate what my budget might be. [more inside]
posted by jander03 on Aug 7, 2016 - 4 answers

Help with Excel formula to compare 1 column of numbers to other columns.

I have an excel sheet with 4 columns of numbers. The first column is a recent donation amount. The other three columns were the prompts of donation amounts, (the Reach, the Target, and the Anchor). Is there an excel formula that can compare these four columns? [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Jul 19, 2016 - 8 answers

Excel Formula to Weight Ratings By Number of Ratings?

How do I write an Excel formula to weight a rating by the number of ratings, so that a 4 with tens of thousands of ratings weighs more than a 5 with three ratings? [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jul 5, 2016 - 13 answers

Searching for a math learning book for children

Sometime within the last two years, I read a positive review of a mathematics book for children of at least kindergarten age that introduced math concepts using the number line as a conceptual focus. I'd appreciate any help in trying to identify this book. [more inside]
posted by Svejk on Jul 5, 2016 - 3 answers

Mathematical patterns

Does this math pattern have a name? How can I find more like it? [more inside]
posted by oceanmorning on Jun 20, 2016 - 17 answers

At-Home Summer Math Program for Reluctant Teenager?

We have a 15 year old (entering 10th grade) staying with us for the summer, who needs significant help with math. He worked pretty hard this past semester to bring his math grade up to a C - and I don't want him to lose that knowledge. What can we do to work on his math skills this summer? Open to all ideas - books, online tutorials, games.
posted by wearyaswater on Jun 16, 2016 - 8 answers

Math education resources

I am aiming to create extracurricular programming for people of all ages (but I'm particularly focused on teens and adults) to illuminate the neat areas of math that aren't covered in school. (Graph theory, mobius strips, pascal's triangle, things like that.) However, I don't have a very official background in mathematics myself. 1) What resources can I use to teach myself about math in those areas, or math leading up to those areas? 2) What resources are out there for kids/teens/adults to increase their math awareness? [more inside]
posted by azalea_chant on Jun 14, 2016 - 8 answers

How much will it cost to run window air conditioner all year in PA?

I am considering moving into an apartment where I cannot adjust my own heat, although management takes care to make sure everybody's happy in that department. But due to my health probs, I still may need to run the window air conditioner a LOT, most of the year. [more inside]
posted by serena15221 on Jun 10, 2016 - 16 answers

Turns out I really like math...

How can I continue to study it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 2, 2016 - 9 answers

Career in IT and Computer Programming with zero knowledge?

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]
posted by RearWindow on May 28, 2016 - 15 answers

Should we give daughter special education or let her be who she is?

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]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on May 22, 2016 - 65 answers

What are some mathematical or scientific principles of poker?

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.
posted by rileyray3000 on May 5, 2016 - 7 answers

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

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