Ask MetaFilter questions tagged with math
http://ask.metafilter.com/tags/math
Questions tagged with 'math' at Ask MetaFilter.Thu, 12 Nov 2015 11:14:40 -0800Thu, 12 Nov 2015 11:14:40 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Do I need to crash a high school stats class?
http://ask.metafilter.com/288375/Do%2DI%2Dneed%2Dto%2Dcrash%2Da%2Dhigh%2Dschool%2Dstats%2Dclass
Where do English majors go to learn key principles behind<strong> deriving mathematically sound meaning from data</strong>? 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.) For a current client, I'm comparing how Oct Stories A performed compared to October Stories B across 5 different metrics. (The data comes from a proprietary analytics tool.)<br>
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All stories were distributed during the same time period on the same platform (Outbrain). It took me forever to figure out that I had to calculate the "percentage difference" instead of "pecentage change between the two groups, and that i have to ensure the ratio of both groups is roughly even. (I'm comparing 9 stories against 11.)<br>
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Ratios, percentages: this stuff is not rocket science. But I'm aware I don't know what I don't know. What is the most efficient way to get schooled? A math tutor? Stats 101? Excel training? A lot of data classes focus on the platform but not the meaning behind the numbers.<br>
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Thanks!tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.288375Thu, 12 Nov 2015 11:14:40 -0800jessca84Add learning disorder, subtract job
http://ask.metafilter.com/287729/Add%2Dlearning%2Ddisorder%2Dsubtract%2Djob
I have a learning disorder called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyscalculia"></a> 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.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.287729Wed, 28 Oct 2015 20:37:25 -0800SocinusMathematical permutations
http://ask.metafilter.com/287507/Mathematical%2Dpermutations
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)? No, this isn't for homework. Ha. To clarify, of string "abcdefgh" where each variable (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h) can be one of 31 values (lets say a symbol or alpha-numeric of some origin), and it is allowable for a=b=c=d=e=f=g=h (so QQQQQQQQ is a valid result if Q is within the 31-value allowable set) and I am not limited by Lyndon words restrictions. What is the full potential universe.<br>
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So far, I've had an argument between 8^31, or 31^8, variations of factorials (31!/8! and reverse), and the Lyndon word calculation, which would appear to incorrectly exclude AAAABBBB and BBBBAAAA from co-existing as unique value.<br>
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I have my ideas, but looking to see if my reasoning is sound.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.287507Fri, 23 Oct 2015 12:31:35 -0800richCan an exact measurement ever be statistically insignificant?
http://ask.metafilter.com/287105/Can%2Dan%2Dexact%2Dmeasurement%2Dever%2Dbe%2Dstatistically%2Dinsignificant
I am dubious of a colleague’s assertions about statistics. Say I work for the corporate office of a grocery chain. We want to monitor how often milk is on the shelves of our stores past its sell-by date. We have an annual inspection day when we send inspectors to all the stores to look at every container of milk and count up how many are still good and how many have expired. (For purposes of this hypothetical, let’s set aside the question of whether food is actually still good past its sell-by date.)<br>
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1. We’re looking at the results for a small store that had only 5 containers of milk in stock, and 2 of them were expired; thus 60% of containers were in-date. Is there any basis for saying that this finding is not statistically significant?<br>
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2. Now we want to compare the store from #1 with a larger store at which 80 out of 100 containers were in-date. Is there any reason to say that the comparison between 60% and 80% lacks statistical significance?<br>
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My recollection from long-ago statistics class is that confidence intervals and statistical significance only come into play when you’ve taken a sample from a larger population and are using it as an estimate of what is true of the whole population. My colleague is so insistent, though, that I’m doubting myself.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.287105Wed, 14 Oct 2015 14:48:47 -0800lakeroonGodel, Escher, Bach: worth it?
http://ask.metafilter.com/286930/Godel%2DEscher%2DBach%2Dworth%2Dit
Is it a waste of time for me to even attempt to read <em>Godel, Escher, Bach</em> when I don't have a very good foundational knowledge of math? <em>GEB</em> appears on practically everybody's must-read list. But these folks frequently seem to be computer science professionals who already have a lot of pre-existing understanding of recursion or other abstract mathy things. <br>
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I'm a layperson with terrible math skills but a small amount of programming experience. Will I get anything out of the project of reading <em>GEB</em>? And if so, are there supplemental readings that can help?tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.286930Sat, 10 Oct 2015 05:01:00 -0800overeducated_alligatorWhat was this "monster" math game from the early 2000s called?
http://ask.metafilter.com/286480/What%2Dwas%2Dthis%2Dmonster%2Dmath%2Dgame%2Dfrom%2Dthe%2Dearly%2D2000s%2Dcalled
As I was using <a href="http://www.picmonic.com">Picmonic</a> 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.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.286480Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:13:09 -0800Seeking DirectionDoes math homework help middle-school kids learn and retain knowledge?
http://ask.metafilter.com/286456/Does%2Dmath%2Dhomework%2Dhelp%2Dmiddle%2Dschool%2Dkids%2Dlearn%2Dand%2Dretain%2Dknowledge
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? I'm a middle school math teacher in Texas with 10 years experience and I got a whole lotta flack during our department meeting today because I've decided this year to not give homework (in the traditional sense: students are given packets from the textbook and are expected to bring their packets and binders and math journals every day to class). The department head is giving homework: lots of pressure on the rest of us to do the same even if it's not the best for students.<br>
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Here's my question: am I right? Am I okay to advocate for the "no homework" philosophy before high school? Any studies that might back me up? If you have studies, then I want to read them.<br>
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TL;DR: Should a middle school math teacher giver her students homework just because her department head is giving her students homework?tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.286456Tue, 29 Sep 2015 19:19:53 -0800blessedlyndieDid I sell myself short?
http://ask.metafilter.com/286312/Did%2DI%2Dsell%2Dmyself%2Dshort
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? I feel so stereotypical for saying this, but I never felt that I was "good" at math when I was in elementary school. I started to get a better handle on math (and science courses) when I was in high school, but by that time all interest in those subjects was lost. I saw no future for myself in any STEM field because I was just too "dumb" (at least I thought that's what all my assignments said). I ended up never taking calculus or physics courses because I figured there was no point. <br>
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Years later, in my late 20s, I'm not really satisfied with the career path I chose. I'm working in education/libraries and I'm not really into it anymore, I've only just started and I plan on staying in the field for a couple more years (just to get some stability in other areas of my life). Now that I've begun to slowly research other fields, I'm feeling locked out of so many areas that sound interesting. Would it be worth it for me to try to take those high school physics/calculus courses as an adult? If I'm successful, I think they would open up so many more educational doors for me. <br>
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Did I really sell myself short when I was in high school/university? Part of me thinks that if I was just naturally good at math/science courses, I would have gravitated to them anyway and I wouldn't have been so discouraged when I was in school.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.286312Sat, 26 Sep 2015 19:23:54 -0800modesty.blaiseTyper Shark for Algebra?
http://ask.metafilter.com/284894/Typer%2DShark%2Dfor%2DAlgebra
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? I have a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, which I managed to obtain without taking much real math. I’m now trying to position myself to make a career change into a science-based field, and the linchpin in getting to my other prerequisites is taking pre-calculus, but since I only took statistics and formal logic in college, I need to place into pre-calculus (or take some lower level prerequisites). <br>
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More than 18 months ago, I said I was going to do some independent studying to get myself up to speed to place into pre-calc. I did really well for about six weeks, then totally lost momentum. I've heard of Khan Academy - though I admit I haven't spent any time on there - and I have Saxon’s Algebra I and Algebra II books. I made it about ⅓ of the way into Algebra I, but haven’t touched it since May 2014.<br>
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I’d also love to hear from others who, like me, needed to bulk up your math skills in your late twenties/early thirties. What worked for you? Am I best off just signing up for the lower level algebra course I’m likely to place into now, knowing I’ll then be ready for pre-calc in a couple of quarters? In a related topic, I'm also willing to hear advice for maintaining motivation on a long-term project you want to complete but are having trouble staying focused on.<br>
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Some similarities to <a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/113970/Math-basics-need-be-strengthening">this</a> question, though I’m starting from a much lower level, and maybe some to <a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/187878/If-an-geeky-child-is-traveling-South-at-839-MPH-and-his-nerdy-dad-is-going-North-at">this</a> one, though I'm pretty focused on algebra and these answers appear more scattershot.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.284894Tue, 25 Aug 2015 22:59:05 -0800CatenationHow to Math
http://ask.metafilter.com/284341/How%2Dto%2DMath
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. I've never gotten less than an A in a math class, but mathematical notation and reasoning just do not stick with me. I can't really explain it, but I'm good at tests, not so good at creative mathematical thinking. Would do poorly on the Putnam. It's a huge hole in my self-esteem and I really want to change this. <br>
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Tiny example: During a programming class, an instructor scribbles down a formula involving factorials. I stare at the board and try to remember how factorials work, even though I aced my Honors Analysis course (which was mostly proof writing). It's like I have to learn everything from first principles to remember any of it.<br>
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Further examples are hard to come by as it mostly relates precisely to things I can't remember or explain. I've never taken a class on probability and subsequently I absolutely hate it, because it seems like mostly arcane formulae and non-intuitive reasoning about weird, hypothetical events. Combinatorics is another important field that I suck at. I wouldn't say I'm super skilled at Calculus, but I had very little trouble in my Calc class since by the time I took Calc I was actively interested in math and soaked it up better, and the principles of real numbers are familiar. (I have a feeling most of this lack of proficiency comes from not being a natural math whiz and having a rather poor high school math/science education. I'm self-taught at most things, but math wasn't my focus or main talent in high school.)<br>
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I recently took the GRE and studied a lot (well, moderately-a lot) for the math section and did not do all that stellar (78th percentile). Sad! But it highlighted my weaknesses-- data analysis is easy but sometimes I go too fast and make dumb errors, I have no fucking idea how probability/combinatorics work, even ALGEBRA eludes my slippery grasp when I'm making dumb leaps of logic. <br>
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Is there just like, a GREAT book for hammering down these kinds of concepts that I should obviously have under my belt by now? I know what it feels like to be the smart kid in the class-- not necessarily the superior intellect but the one that just has the hang of things-- and I want to be that, now, for math. Pretty soon I'm going to be facing more discrete math and algorithms classes and I want to be better prepared.<br>
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Note: Also coming in to play is the fact that I'm female and so I constantly have this voice in the back of my head saying "why are you such a STUPID GIRL why are you such a MATH IS HARD BARBIE DOLL" and it's driving me crazytag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.284341Fri, 14 Aug 2015 07:10:47 -0800AnonymousLearning To Read Mathematical Notation?
http://ask.metafilter.com/284277/Learning%2DTo%2DRead%2DMathematical%2DNotation
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?tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.284277Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:42:44 -0800SpuriousFano Plane and Hexagonal Tiling - a deep connection or a shallow one?
http://ask.metafilter.com/284199/Fano%2DPlane%2Dand%2DHexagonal%2DTiling%2Da%2Ddeep%2Dconnection%2Dor%2Da%2Dshallow%2Done
I've been chewing on the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fano_plane">Fano plane</a> a lot these last few weeks, and have just noticed something that seems really interesting to me. Notably, that the <a href="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/381295/FanoHex/fanocolors.png">seven lines</a> of the plane <a href="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/381295/FanoHex/FanoHexTiles.png">map very nicely</a> to the 7-color hexagonal tiling. Is there some trivial mathematical reason why this will naturally be the case, or is there a more profound connection between these two things? Have I somehow stumbled across something new? Googling has offered me no obvious answers (and in fact, has also not shown any images of Fano planes using my coloring scheme, mapping the 3-bit numbering of points to RGB coloration). If I'm treading familiar ground, is there somewhere I can learn more about this connection? If I'm in undiscovered territory... where do I go from here?tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.284199Tue, 11 Aug 2015 01:24:24 -0800NMcCoyThe Best Historical, Educational, or Informational YouTube Channels?
http://ask.metafilter.com/283069/The%2DBest%2DHistorical%2DEducational%2Dor%2DInformational%2DYouTube%2DChannels
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. As YouTube content providers become more and more sophisticated, I've seen a huge influx of well-produced, interesting videos come out of individuals or teams of content creators. Some of these are more straightforward education, some are more entertaining. They fill the hole in my heart that The History Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, etc. all filled in the 90s, and they generally come in small, snackable lengths with enthusiastic, interesting hosts or narrators - much as some of the information podcasts I listen to that have been talked about previously on Ask MeFi.<br>
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Some current favorites that fit into what I'm thinking about:<br>
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- Crash Course History/Astronomy/etc.<br>
- TED Ed<br>
- Atlas Obscura<br>
- Stan Winston School/Studio ADI/Steve Johnson FX/Legacy Effects<br>
- Chrontendo/Gaming Historian/Generation 16/DidYouKnowGaming<br>
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I've recently discovered that PBS has a series of really interesting seeming channels (The Art Assignment, Blank on Blank, BrainCraft, Deep Look, PBS Space Time, PBS Idea Channel, and semi-comedic shows like Dr. Frankenstein, MD - none of which I've delved into too much so would like suggestions to weed out the good ones), and I'm wondering how much more is out there. Is the new Bill Nye or Alton Brown a 22 year old on YouTube? Science, philosophy, engineering, history, pop culture, hobbysits, mathematics, tech, news - any subject or focus is fair game. I just want to learn!tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.283069Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:45:21 -0800gregorygHow to self-study science from textbooks like a boss?
http://ask.metafilter.com/282959/How%2Dto%2Dself%2Dstudy%2Dscience%2Dfrom%2Dtextbooks%2Dlike%2Da%2Dboss
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? Some extra points:<br>
- I want to keep this learning "pleasurable" - for example I wouldn't like taking detailed notes<br>
- I've so far skipped all problems but am considering reading the books entirely once, then going through them once more to solve a few problems from each chapter<br>
- I'm looking to get the "big picture", not to grasp all the details - if I ever need them I can come back to the books later on<br>
- I don't annotate or even know how to. I've tried doing it but never got anything out of it.<br>
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Thanks so much everyone!!!tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.282959Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:55:31 -0800RitonMore self-confidence for approaching games and puzzles
http://ask.metafilter.com/282389/More%2Dself%2Dconfidence%2Dfor%2Dapproaching%2Dgames%2Dand%2Dpuzzles
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! I was raised in a "Get this right immediately or you're a complete failure" environment, which clearly haunts me to this day. As soon as I was able to escape into the arts at school I dove in head-first, and this meant that I was one of those girls who grew to hate math and thought most science too challenging to be truly enjoyable. I don't want to live the rest of my life like this.<br>
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This isn't a problem when it comes to playing competitive games - no problem losing to another person. It's more of the "See if you can figure out this thing with numbers/logic (oh woops the way it was set up was a trap too *wink*)" thing that kills me every time. Even with neat things that are meant to display how weird or finicky the human brain is my main takeaway is always "OH GOD I FAILED I DID IT WRONG."<br>
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What's the solution? What are the baby steps? What giant books of puzzles should I stash underneath my bed to do in the moonlight?<br>
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(I'm also married to a programmer who has no problem going "Huh, I got that wrong. Oh well! Let's try again" while I'm off whimpering in a corner hating myself. I want that confidence. ...Should I learn to code? Oh god.)tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.282389Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:01:03 -0800erratic meatsackHelp me create a player ranking system for a game
http://ask.metafilter.com/282247/Help%2Dme%2Dcreate%2Da%2Dplayer%2Dranking%2Dsystem%2Dfor%2Da%2Dgame
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. I have a game, the participant number is variable and can go into the thousands. I already have a point system where I can rank them in order (1- however many participants there are, based on how many points they have obtained in the game). But ranking them 1, 2, 3, etc. is boring (and also communicates too much about how they are doing in relation to other players).<br>
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I want to instead create an artificial number for the ranking. So similar to a credit score, I want to take their actual ranking, do some math wizardry, and then tie it to a different number on a scale, similar to how a credit score can go from 300-850. Bonus points if you're able to give me some formula that lets me choose different ranges of numbers.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.282247Mon, 29 Jun 2015 21:03:24 -0800banishedMath equation problem
http://ask.metafilter.com/280732/Math%2Dequation%2Dproblem
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!tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.280732Thu, 28 May 2015 05:31:25 -0800charlenIs there a name for this shape?
http://ask.metafilter.com/280681/Is%2Dthere%2Da%2Dname%2Dfor%2Dthis%2Dshape
What would you call the shape of the two-dimensional outline of the two stones (cabochons)<a href="http://imgur.com/tyIYnbv"> circled in red in this picture</a>? The stones don't appear to be "perfect" but they are approximating something that I'm sure should have a name.<br>
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Just like I can tell that the outline of <a href="http://www.rpmjewellery.com.au/shop/product.php?productid=17585">this piece</a> is a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuleaux_triangle">Reuleaux triangle</a>, I'd like to be able to name (and perhaps even mathematically generate) this curved parallelogram type shape.<br>
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The closest I've found is the shape formed by two sine waves that are out of phase like <a href="http://imgur.com/QHXFrBM">in this picture.</a>tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.280681Wed, 27 May 2015 06:48:30 -0800sparklemotionMy Math/Excel Ignorance is Showing
http://ask.metafilter.com/279858/My%2DMath%2DExcel%2DIgonrance%2Dis%2DShowing
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.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.279858Fri, 08 May 2015 14:34:19 -0800imjustsayingAnything like the Harvard Extension School in the DC area?
http://ask.metafilter.com/279569/Anything%2Dlike%2Dthe%2DHarvard%2DExtension%2DSchool%2Din%2Dthe%2DDC%2Darea
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. I currently live in Cambridge, and I've been taking courses through the (excellent) <a href="http://www.extension.harvard.edu/">Harvard Extension school</a>, which essentially offers open-enrolment versions of many of Harvard’s undergraduate courses. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have online versions of many of their advanced math courses, so I’m looking for an institution in DC where I can keep taking courses as a non-degree student as I apply for masters programs in Stats and CS.<br>
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Obviously there are many schools in DC, but from my limited googling it’s not clear to me which one is likely to offer the best options for someone in my shoes. If the instruction is good, I have nothing against night schools or community colleges, but I don't know which ones I should be looking at. I will have a very flexible work schedule, so taking courses during the day would also not be a problem. <br>
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Thanks in advance!tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.279569Sat, 02 May 2015 12:29:07 -0800dyslexictravelerThe Mathematics Of Time
http://ask.metafilter.com/279238/The%2DMathematics%2DOf%2DTime
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 <em>Annus Mirabilis</em> papers with a red pen; that's the sort of proficiency I have in mind. Unfortunately my physics and calculus largely left off at the end of Freshman year, so I have a ways to go. I'm looking for some sort of hierarchy of the form:<br>
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In order to understand the math for Special Relativity you'll need to understand Z<br>
In order to understand Z you'll need to understand X and Y<br>
In order to understand X you'll need to understand U, V, W<br>
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Etc. I realize it's not as simple as a straight line, but that's the general idea.<br>
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I'd also like to find such a chart for the math that goes into Quantum Physics.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.279238Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:57:26 -0800Tell Me No LiesAm I doing compound interest wrong?
http://ask.metafilter.com/279135/Am%2DI%2Ddoing%2Dcompound%2Dinterest%2Dwrong
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. Here's the gist. I got lost in the Wikipedia mindhole this afternoon and ended up at <em><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Sioux_Nation_of_Indians">United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians</a></em> where I saw this:<br>
<blockquote>Finally, under its new authorizing statute, the Claims Court held the Sioux had suffered a taking cognizable under the Fifth Amendment, and were entitled to the value of the land as of the 1877 taking which was $17.1 million, the value of gold prospectors illegally took out of the land computed at $450,000, and 100 years' worth of interest at 5% per year which would be an additional $88 million.[18]</blockquote><br>
In my head, though, that number seemed...wrong. I was taught annual interest compounded with a formula of B_n = P*(1+i)^n. The balance at year n is the principal times 1+i to the n. So, I plugged into my calculator and I got that 100 years of 5% annual interest on ~$17.5 million is ~$2.3 billion including the principal. The only way I could get to ~$88 million of interest is ~37 years of compounding.<br>
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Can someone here help me? This is either an "I don't understand math" or "I can't read the court opinion" answer.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.279135Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:07:15 -0800FortranExorcizing the devil from the details
http://ask.metafilter.com/279108/Exorcizing%2Dthe%2Ddevil%2Dfrom%2Dthe%2Ddetails
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. I am sure I lack discipline. As a fairly bright sort I am accustomed to doing math in my head, which no longer cuts it at university level. Trying to hold it in my head for more involved problems results in small errors like losing a minus sign or slight number errors which throw the whole thing awry. I also have trouble mixing up capital and lower-case letters, which doesn't help.<br>
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The question is twofold: Faced with a similar detail-demanding discipline, what methods do you use to avoid errors? Similarly, how do you -find- errors after the fact?tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.279108Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:33:16 -0800solarionBusiness math word problem: calculating salary through "growth tiers"
http://ask.metafilter.com/279076/Business%2Dmath%2Dword%2Dproblem%2Dcalculating%2Dsalary%2Dthrough%2Dgrowth%2Dtiers
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. So here's an example: Let's say we have a Field Engineer, Amazing Ashley, who's currently making $63,000 (in 2015 U.S. dollars). The 2015 growth tiers for the Field Engineer position are the following:<br>
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$60,000: minimum salary<br>
$60,000 - $72,000: first, "quick" growth tier<br>
$72,001-$84,000: second, "slow" growth tier<br>
$84,001 and above is "maxed"--no further growth possible except cost-of-living adjustment<br>
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Ashley has done really well at her job in 2015, so in early 2016, at annual review time, she's assigned a "base growth factor" of 10%. Ashley's salary will be increased by the unmodified "base growth factor" until it hits the top of the first growth tier ($72K). It will then continue to increase through the second growth tier, but at a modified factor of 5% (half her base growth factor).<br>
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I also want to account for cost of living. Let's peg this at 1.7%. So Ashley's new 2016 salary would be something like (63000 + 6300) 1.017 = $70,478 (I think?).<br>
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Easy enough--because she hasn't crossed into the second growth tier yet. But the 2017 raise will be trickier. And here's the other thing: the growth tiers also adjust to account for increased cost of living. So while the 2015 tier caps for Field Engineer are $72,000 and $84,000, the 2016 numbers will be slightly more: $73,224 and $85,428.<br>
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Assuming Ashley continues to do amazingly at her job (10% base growth factor), what will her 2017 salary be? 2018? 2023?<br>
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And what about Decent Denise? (Sorry Denise.) She's a Field Engineer making $61,500 in 2015 who'll be given a base growth factor of 6% at her 2016 review, which means her new 2016 salary will be $66,298 (I think?). Assuming she remains merely decent, what is her 2020 salary?<br>
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So there you have it. I don't think I'm fully grasping the issue, so my presentation of the information might be bad and might be based on some wrong assumptions. There may also very well be "real" math/statistics terms for the concepts I'm describing, but I don't know them (which might be why I'm having trouble googling this one). If you know them, please set me straight.<br>
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Thanks in advance everyone!tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.279076Wed, 22 Apr 2015 09:43:15 -0800Mr. ProfessionalBooks/review of high school math for former math major, current tutor
http://ask.metafilter.com/276837/Books%2Dreview%2Dof%2Dhigh%2Dschool%2Dmath%2Dfor%2Dformer%2Dmath%2Dmajor%2Dcurrent%2Dtutor
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) Hello! <br>
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Currently I tutor one student in Algebra ii. Although i have been able to eke it out, i would like a more comprehensive review of maths so i can do a better job. Part of the problem is my student doesnt have a text book and the teacher seems to randomly wander around in the algebra ii world. Another part of the problem is it has been many years since i have done math. The sad thing is, even though i have my undergraduate degree in math, so i really should be able to connect things better than i currently am, my brain has swiss-cheesed its math knowledge. I really like tutoring and i really like math, so i would like to tutor more. To do this, I need to do some serious review. I have been trying to do this, but i have run into a few problems:<br>
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Regarding review books:<br>
As i said, I need something between the high school textbooks and Spark notes. I really wish Spark notes were enough, but my brain apparently needs more help re-connecting concepts than those provide. I have gone to bookstores to check out their review books (___ for dummies, barrons, etc) for my student, and they seemed a little too long-winded for me (although if you guys recommend them, i will give them another shot)! I know it is whiny, but i get super bored trying to get myself to read about all this math targeted to current struggling high school students. I have tried to force myself to read, say, Barrons, but my brain revolts. I hope that makes sense.. Truthfully, i do not know exactly what i need/want, which i think is part of the problem. I can only really afford to buy one review book for each subject otherwise i would just buy a few books at barnes and noble and see which one works best (and I _have_ checked libraries and thrift stores and used bookstores for review books).<br>
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Regarding textbooks:<br>
I would really like to get one textbook of each subject, so i can see at what pace they teach concepts, have access to appropriate level problems, etc. I have checked many libraries, goodwills, salvation armies, misc thrift stores, the strand, and misc used bookstores and found 0 textbooks for my hours of looking. I know i can order them online through like amazon or a used textbook site, but the problem there is i dont know which books are good/bad and i dont want to have to buy a few books of each subject to find ones i am happy with. <br>
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On a side note, my brain has a really bad filter as to what things are more important than other things (i have add), which is why the seemingly easy task of choosing books is for difficult to me. Also, if you guys have any random advice you would like to impart to me, please feel free! Thank you guys for any help you provide and i hope this all made sense.tag:ask.metafilter.com,2015:site.276837Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:31:15 -0800miss so and so