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Career advice for math major (also competent programmer)?

I like math. Programming is OK, but I don't want to make it my thing. What careers should I be looking at? (Special snowflake details inside.) [more inside]
posted by sqrtofpi on Nov 25, 2013 - 15 answers

Educational mathamatics apps for adults that will work on an iPhone?

I am looking for adult-oriented iOS apps that will help improve my math skills. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Comics on Nov 23, 2013 - 5 answers

extrapolating temp/energy use difference from small boxes to my condo

Physics geeks! Help me save energy! How do I estimate how much less energy will be used by light siding vs gray siding, based on an experiment with small boxes? I made some identical boxes, put them in the sun, measured temperatures, and am trying to figure out how to scale up. The net has info about different roof colors, but not siding colors. [more inside]
posted by amtho on Nov 19, 2013 - 6 answers

Teaching in France ??

Hi, my last questions have been about learning French, then skiing in France (thank you for all those answers to those questions)...and now I'm thinking "what about working in France"? [more inside]
posted by bquarters on Nov 18, 2013 - 8 answers

Am I actually an Aspie?

I'm a 45 year-old adult who has just been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. At least, my counselor and my ex- both believe I have it. I don't believe I can be an Aspie because I am *phenomenally bad* with *both* computers *and* math (details on request). Are there Aspies like me?
posted by dr. zoom on Nov 14, 2013 - 31 answers

Probability and a rather unique deck of cards.

Each card in a certain deck has three letters on it. The first letter is either A, B, or C. The second letter is either D, E, F, or G. The third letter is either H, I, J, K, or L. Every possible combination is represented exactly once in the deck. Ergo, there are 3x4x5=60 cards in the deck. How can I determine the probability that a hand of X cards, drawn randomly from the deck, will include at least one of each of the letters?
posted by CustooFintel on Nov 2, 2013 - 32 answers

Math for CSI

My girlfriend is applying for to work for the city as a crime lab trainee, a position they will train her for, but will be tested for basic knowledge (they are looking for someone with a two-year degree, apparently in anything). The test will include math. What do you think she will need to be sure she's solid on? [more inside]
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Nov 1, 2013 - 7 answers

Studying the masters, not their pupils (budget edition)

I am a frequent buyer of <$5 books on Amazon. Lately I am interested in math treatises but have been unable to find any that aren't way out of my price range. Am I being way too demanding? [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Oct 20, 2013 - 9 answers

How do you help people have an epiphany about difficult concepts?

How do you describe the basic concepts of a difficult subject you know a lot about that makes it "click" for a beginner? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Oct 11, 2013 - 18 answers

Math game that featured Bach and Mozart

Around 1995 I played a game on the Mac in school that was for educational purposes, supposedly for the purposes of drilling math skills, and had Mozart Symphony no. 40 (1st movement and but I think 3rd as well), Bach BWV 999, and possibly some Paganini as well, as background music. Do you know what it was?
posted by Busoni on Oct 10, 2013 - 4 answers

I want to show a movie clip in a public talk. Is this legal?

I'm giving a public talk about Goldbach's Conjecture. There is a crazy Spanish movie in which a character is famous for having proved the conjecture. Can I show a clip or two from this movie in my public talk? The talk will be in a bar, and there's a $5 suggested donation, so I don't know if that counts as charging people (if that affects the legality of my idea). Thanks!
posted by middlethird on Sep 26, 2013 - 8 answers

Modern Zoombinis?

What is the modern equivalent of 1995's lovely LOGICAL JOURNEY OF THE ZOOMBINIS computer games? They taught math logic skills rather neatly for children, but I don't have a computer that will run the old games.
posted by musofire on Sep 25, 2013 - 4 answers

Tools For the Spatially Challenged: Couch-Movers Edition

Wizards of Hive, Before I buy that 90" couch from a friend, how can I make sure I'll be able to get it up my L-shaped stairs? Sure, there are a lot of variables. But is there a tool or methodology for figuring this out ahead of time (presuming I know the depth and height of the couch too)? I don't think I have the cardboard to build a mockup. This couch is 50 miles away and can't be returned. Thanks!
posted by baseballpajamas on Aug 21, 2013 - 14 answers

Math Puzzles, Please!

"Math for Smarty Pants" was awesome -- recommend me more books like that for a kid who loves math puzzles. [more inside]
posted by selfmedicating on Aug 7, 2013 - 9 answers

I want to be able to read CS and math research papers with ease.

I often find myself crossing interdisciplinary lines and reading research papers, trying to understand some new practice or algorithm in math or computer science. I start out thinking "I just need to understand these basic concepts and I'll crack this", but end up with a very tired brain at 5am, having tried to mainline dense trees of Wikipedia and Eric Weisstein'sWolfram MathWorld, and still not feeling like I retained everything. [more inside]
posted by hanoixan on Aug 1, 2013 - 9 answers

Rearranging the formula for Compound Annual Growth Rate

How do you rejig the formula for CAGR to get the starting value when you know the other variables? [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Aug 1, 2013 - 3 answers

Longitude lines in perspective, what shape are they?

I'm drawing/painting a globe (in time lapse, so the sun appears to rise) and trying to figure out what shape, exactly, the longitude (not latitude) lines are when a globe is flattened into a circle (I know I can just trace them, but I've gotten curious). So, the outermost longitude lines are tangent to the circle, they are half-circles, and the centermost line is a straight line from pole to pole, it's the progressively flatter curves in between that I'm trying to figure out. Do they have a name? Are they catenaries? Are they the curves of progressively larger circles? How do I construct them (easily)? Example image: HERE
posted by sexyrobot on Jul 26, 2013 - 11 answers

Not my high school TI-82.

I'm taking Calc I this fall. I can borrow a graphing calculator for actual exams, but don't want to actually purchase one for day-to-day--or haul it around with me. I have an iPhone and a Nexus 7. Is there a graphing calculator app in one or the other app store that is clearly superior? I'm willing to pay, but under $10, ideally.
posted by Sequence on Jul 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Where can I find sample arithmetic problems like this one!

I'm taking a standardized test on Wednesday with the Government of Canada and they ask individuals four types of questions. The type that I struggle with are the arithmetic problems... specifically determining the formulas to solve word problems. I was hoping someone might be able to point me in the direction of a website or easily accessible textbook to practice today and tomorrow before the test. [more inside]
posted by DorothySmith on Jul 15, 2013 - 11 answers

I was banned from collegeconfidential just for asking for some help?

Summer vacations are coming up and I am going to use some of my free time to learn physics and math, subjects that I love. In order to do that i asked collegeconfidential.com if anyone had "exclusive study materials" from their university which they could share. I mentioned that I would like to have acess to tests and exams from other universities and I could give some good materials collected by my colleagues of the physics and math course in exchange. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal on Jul 12, 2013 - 27 answers

Best option for completing two college math courses

What is the best option for a working professional to complete two undergraduate level math courses - linear algebra and differential equations - in order to bolster my graduate school application? [more inside]
posted by nowoutside on Jun 30, 2013 - 8 answers

Textbook Cross-reference for different editions

Is there some place I can find cross-reference guides to match up material and problem sets between different editions of the same textbook (specifically math textbooks) ? [more inside]
posted by marsha56 on Jun 29, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me convert this graph into a table.

I have a bitmap of a chart (in polar coordinates) that I would like to convert into a format that some plotting package can recognize, and then retrieve values from the chart at specific intervals. How do I do this? [more inside]
posted by tylerkaraszewski on Jun 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Anyone good at math, semi-circles and areas PLEASE HELP!!!!

So I am trying to figure out how to charge for a product that is a semi-circle. I charge per square feet. The client ordered a product that was 25 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep (radius if it were a full circle), then changed it to 20 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep (radius if it were a full circle. I tried to figure out the area of the space as half of 3.14 x radius squared. But there is no part of the equation accounting for the change in diameter... a little confused since this is the first time we are doing a semi circle. I feel like the it shouldn't work out to the same price. If I were charging $1 per square foot, what would the difference in price be?
posted by soooo on Jun 26, 2013 - 24 answers

iPad math apps for a 10-year-old?

My son is 10 years old and going into 5th grade in the fall (but he usually does 6th grade math). He likes Stack the States, and we're looking for a math app with similar appeal. We already have Sushi Monster and his younger sister loves it, but I'd like something more challenging for him.
posted by The corpse in the library on Jun 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Find standard deviation in Excel, but first develop a labor-saving trick

Help me with statistics and Excel. Especially help me if you know any labor saving methods. I want the median, mean and standard deviation for the average price of all items sold, but my spreadsheet-full-of-data doesn't tell me the price of each sale -- just the average price per store, and the number sold at that store. Something like this: [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Jun 21, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me understand fractions

Dear math people: please help me understand fractions and ratios intuitively. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 19, 2013 - 29 answers

Returning to grad school after 2 year hiatus

So I'm beginning a statistics PhD program this fall and I'm concerned that my math skills have gotten rusty since I haven't done anything related for the past two years. I've been working as an actuary since I graduated college but I don't do that much math--mostly a lot of programming. Has anybody been in a similar situation to me? How was the adjustment for you? I'm considering retaking advanced calculus and linear algebra during my first year (probably next summer before I take 2nd year advanced courses) just to refresh myself again. I'm aware some people may think this is kind of pathetic but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Besides, it's only my first year. Is this frowned upon? [more inside]
posted by molamola on Jun 17, 2013 - 15 answers

Scale my function for a line graph

Math-filter: I have a line chart in Google Docs that plots three columns of data over time. Data in the first two columns ranges from 0-1000, but data in the third column ranges from 3-9. I'd like to "scale" Line 3 (maybe this is the wrong word?) to be able to compare its value over the same graph space as Lines 1 and 2. [more inside]
posted by electric_counterpoint on Jun 12, 2013 - 7 answers

Educate me on modern mathematics!

My math knowledge ends just past Newton. What books provide a good, relatively general-audience introduction to the past 150-250 years of problems and developments in mathematics? [more inside]
posted by gallusgallus on Jun 10, 2013 - 7 answers

I would rather throw a tantrum than learn math (10 year old edition)

I tutor a boy who is moving from 4th-5th grade. He's at grade level in most subjects, above grade level in reading, but getting an Elvis Presley head in math. Can you help me find ways to help him be less intimidated by math, allowing us more time to learn and practice before his eventual mental shutdown each session? [more inside]
posted by ovenmitt on Jun 9, 2013 - 13 answers

Learning Statistics for the Social Sciences 101 paperlessly

I'm running into trouble with my statistics course. I'm just getting up to t statistics for independent measures research design. My problems are: 1. I'm going through a lot of paper 2. I need to keep all my calculations better organized as a do them 3. I'm flipping back and forth between my book, an online version of the book, and another screen so that I can reference as much material as possible at once. I'm thinking some kind of basic statistics calculator spreadsheet (or any other format) would be in order. Can anybody direct me towards one? [more inside]
posted by Che boludo! on Jun 8, 2013 - 9 answers

Dealing with percentages: noob question

I've recently decided to transition to a new career path, accounting. Most firms round here do an online numeracy test as part of the application process. There is a type of % change question that often comes up and I can't find a proper answer about how to calculate it. There are two formulae suggested by different websites, but they give different answers. Which is right? (details inside) [more inside]
posted by NoiselessPenguin on May 28, 2013 - 10 answers

150 to around 120, which bpm is best for pitch?

I have a song at 150 bpm, perfectly in tune. I want to repitch it down to around 120 by slowing it down. At which bpms will the notes be at pitch?
posted by semaphore on May 23, 2013 - 6 answers

How do I go from one kind of nerd to another?

What steps should I take to switch to the aerospace industry from the academic world? [more inside]
posted by vernondalhart on May 21, 2013 - 9 answers

How to pronounce an equation in English.

Please help me pronounce this formula related to projectile motion as it would be spoken out loud: L = v0^2 sin2θ / g [more inside]
posted by misozaki on Apr 30, 2013 - 15 answers

How can I relearn high school subjects?

I want to relearn algebra, chemistry, basic mechanics, and basic physics this summer. For free? [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur on Apr 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Tweak my study habits.

I'm taking Calc II at a community college and I'm not getting the grades I want. Studying 10 hours everyday a week in advance only got me an 84% on the first test. It is clear that I'm doing something wrong, but what is it? Help me tweak my study habits before the second test! [more inside]
posted by squirtle on Apr 10, 2013 - 18 answers

Algebra: exotic identity values?

[mathfilter] please give me some example algebraic structures that are not commutative, with exotic identity values. [more inside]
posted by knz on Apr 8, 2013 - 5 answers

Masters in maths? Difficulty level: Have bachelors in graphic design

Dear Mefites, a long time ago I got a degree in graphic design but never worked in the industry. Along the way I somehow (don't remember how or why or when) became interested in math and I finished a graduate diploma in maths as a distance learning course in my free time. I am considering applying for masters programmes in maths or related subjects but ... can I? Should I? [more inside]
posted by Cat Set Go on Mar 31, 2013 - 10 answers

Wearable expressions

What is the math (physics?) going on in this very cool-looking, equations-as-art necklace?
posted by firstbest on Mar 28, 2013 - 10 answers

I can say with 99% confidence that this class is killing me

I'm struggling hard in my statistics class right now. Some of it comes from not grasping the concepts, but a bigger part is the ridiculous level of anxiety I've developed about my grades, and catastrophizing about what a low grade means. Help me attack both aspects of the problem. [more inside]
posted by ActionPopulated on Mar 28, 2013 - 22 answers

I can't do basic math, but my competence is in other things...Help?

We want to assess a list of vendors in two domains: Accessibility and Cost. We have two tools that we are using to essentially score them in each of these domains separately. The Accessibility assessment tool totals 110 points; the Cost tool totals 90 points. We want a final score for each vendor that combines the domains and is out of 100. We want the Accessibility score to "count" about 20% more than the Cost score in the final because it is more important to us. How do we do this? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Mar 14, 2013 - 10 answers

Basic math test as part of a job application?

Which employers still use a basic math test as part of the application process? [more inside]
posted by klausman on Mar 9, 2013 - 15 answers

Math/Physics Question: Stability of an abruptly stopped object

If you have an object with a given base length and a given CG height, how fast can it travel before you have to worry about it running over an obstacle and falling over? [more inside]
posted by Popular Ethics on Mar 5, 2013 - 16 answers

How to study math

What is the best way to manage time while studying for upper-division undergraduate math classes that are proof-based/STEM classes in general? [more inside]
posted by Hey Judas! on Mar 5, 2013 - 15 answers

Can a transcendental number raised to an algebraic power be algebraic?

Can a transcendental number such as pi, be raised to an irrational, but algebraic power resulting in an algebraic solution? Complex solutions would be acceptable. There might be a quick proof here, or there might not be. - Thanks for any help you can offer answering this! (And I promise that this isn't for a class or anything like that!)
posted by ch3cooh on Mar 2, 2013 - 3 answers

Books about mathematics for the interested layman?

So, physicists like Brian Greene, Lisa Randall, Kip Thorne, and others have written books aimed at an interested lay audience. What are similar books written by mathematicians? I'm aware of Godel, Escher & Bach. And that's about it.
posted by dfriedman on Feb 25, 2013 - 23 answers

Explain the Riemann-Christoffel curvature tensor

Greetings Ask Metafilter: Can anyone suggest a book or article that provides a simple, yet comprehensive explanation of the Riemann-Christoffel curvature tensor? I've studied the explanation provided by Lillian Lieber in her book The Einstein Theory of Relativity, but for several reasons I am suspicious of the validity of her derivation, and her claim that the tensor can be used to distinguish between Euclidean and non-Euclidean space. Lieber gives the Rieman-Christoffel curvature as follows: {σρ,ε} {ετ,α}- ∂/(∂x_ρ ) {στ,α}+∂/(∂x_τ ) {σρ,α}-{στ,ε} {ερ,α} Lieber derives the curvature tensor from a covariant tensor of rank one that has undergone two different sequences of covariant differentiation. This supposedly produces two different versions of the second, partial, covariant derivative of a covariant tensor of rank one. [more inside]
posted by jesman on Feb 14, 2013 - 4 answers

Fiction help: Name something a math genius could do to improve a bar.

Writing a script, need a few believable, throwaway lines for a character. A guy running a TGI.Friday's-like bar praises his bartender, a math genius, for giving him an idea that saves money and improves the business overall. An example of outside-of-the-box thinking that enforces that our math-genius-in-disguise really is a genius. Bonus points if the idea skirts the line of legality -- something funky with accounting, maybe? [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Feb 9, 2013 - 22 answers

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