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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

How do I learn to be an effective tutor?

If I know the material that I'm teaching well, but don't have any experience with tutoring or teaching, how do I learn the skills and techniques that will help me be an effective tutor? [more inside]
posted by cognitio on Feb 3, 2013 - 8 answers

Clearly, this proves that I'm stupid

I can't seem to wrap my mind around the language of higher level math. Definitions, theorems, and proofs make me fall asleep, but I really do want to understand. Do you know of any good resources that can help me out? [more inside]
posted by lucia_engel on Jan 31, 2013 - 19 answers

The Seven Bridges of Königsberg in 200 Words or Less

Can you recommend short, easy-to-understand math writing I can read before bed? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Jan 29, 2013 - 12 answers

Fallacies and Errors in Inferential Statistics

I have recently been introduced to the concept of pseudoreplication as a mistake that people often make when using inferential statistics to evaluate treatment outcomes. My field (evolutionary and conservation biology) makes heavy use of inferential statistics, including techniques that are vulnerable to pseudoreplication, yet nowhere in my formal education have I been taught about how poor experimental design and lack of statistical rigor can lead to fallacies like this. My personal statistical proficiency is poor, but I am working to remedy that. To that end, could folks help me by identifying and ideally explaining whatever other potential pitfalls you can think of, and explaining how they can be avoided through careful experimental design and data-analysis?
posted by Scientist on Jan 26, 2013 - 5 answers

What does a mathematician do all day?

I'm wondering, after breakfast, and a shower, and a commute, and coffee - what is next? [more inside]
posted by Lownotes on Jan 24, 2013 - 23 answers

How do I figure out how to divvy out these projects?

I have roughly 20 people who each need a project. I have 27 projects and don't want anyone to share a project. I let the people pick their top five projects and rank them so I know who wants what. What is the best (easiest...) way for me to fairly figure out who should get what project so that the most people get their top choice, or at least one of their top choices? [more inside]
posted by pwb503 on Jan 22, 2013 - 8 answers

The heck is a modular form?

For a work assignment, I need to come by a conceptual understanding of modular forms that's light on jargon and, ahem, actual math. If such a thing is possible.
posted by Zerowensboring on Jan 18, 2013 - 12 answers

Teach myself Math virtually for the first time.

I'm a 21 year old college senior liberal arts major who has managed to slide by in school (and life) without ever really learning math beyond a middle school/very early high school level. For no reason in particular, I've decided that I want to get serious about bettering myself in the math department. How can I teach myself the academic math skills I missed out on? [more inside]
posted by Krazor on Jan 15, 2013 - 19 answers

Online Math Tutor

I'm a college student who is having some issues really understanding Calculus II, which is a problem as A) I am a Comp Sci major, and B) I need to take Calc III as well, and an advanced math elective as well. I've not heard good things about the school provided tutors, (IE, one is not too skilled at math, and the other is really smug and poor pedagogically) and while I could get a private tutor to help me, I was wondering if there are any good resources for online math tutors, like there are for online language tutoring over Skype. Does a directory of such tutors exist, has anyone had a good experience doing this (maybe even with names?), and how much can I expect to pay? [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on Jan 14, 2013 - 11 answers

Perspective drawing calculation

If I want to draw something in one-point perspective, say, like a set of railroad tracks where the vanishing point is on the horizon, and the tracks are represented on the picture plane by an equilateral triangle (they appear that way to the viewer), the apex of the triangle being the vanishing point on the horizon and the base of the triangle is where the tracks meet the picture plane, how do I calculate where the railroad ties would be? (Given that in 3D they are evenly spaced. Also, I'm not really concerned with the thickness of the ties -- we can consider the ties to simply be horizontal lines.) [more inside]
posted by strangeguitars on Jan 8, 2013 - 5 answers

Teach me about Applied Math

I'm interested in a Masters in Applied Mathematics in the NYC area. Help me research further. [more inside]
posted by prunes on Jan 1, 2013 - 7 answers

Weighted mean

Mathematics-filter: If there are seven funds with various charges, how can I work out the allocation to these funds of a fixed amount so that the weighted mean charge is below a certain level and the allocations are of similar sizes? [more inside]
posted by djgh on Dec 31, 2012 - 13 answers

The use of Linear Algebra in Programming.

I just finished my first course in Linear Algebra. I know a fair amount of Python. Please help me come up with a project that combines the two. [more inside]
posted by lobbyist on Dec 23, 2012 - 11 answers

Can't do ALL THE THINGS right now.

In 2013 I will have 2-3 hours a week to spend learning one or more of the following: French, guitar, advanced math (stats, calc). Which will benefit most from this limited amount of study effort? [more inside]
posted by riddler on Dec 15, 2012 - 6 answers

centering circular cake boards

[geometryfilter] I have to assemble a tiered cake stand to hold cupcakes at a wedding tomorrow. The tiers and the styrofoam thingies that will separate the tiers are all circular. How do I make sure that I get each tier centered properly on the next?
posted by undue influence on Dec 13, 2012 - 5 answers

If I Knew the Answer, I Could Probably Give the Question a Good Title

Is there a formula for determining (eg.) how many tracks would fit on a TT 79:57 CDR where the first track was one second, and subsequent tracks added 1 second each? (00:01, 00:02, 00:03, 00:04, &c) [more inside]
posted by herbplarfegan on Dec 10, 2012 - 7 answers

How common are discontinuous tax rates? And why would any nation have them?

I had previously thought nonflat taxes were all marginal, but to my surprise the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax doesn't use marginal rates at all. Are there other taxes like this? And why would a nation implement taxes this way? [more inside]
posted by jackbishop on Dec 6, 2012 - 10 answers

What is the point at this!

Here’s a simple computational geometry problem. I am trying to figure out the value at an point of two line segments based off of the values at both of one of the segment’s endpoints. The problem is that I don’t exactly know the best way of going about finding the value at one of those points. Here is a reference figure. Given values (X_C, YC) = F_C (X_D, YD) = F_D How can I calculate the value of F_E, where F_E = (X_E, Y_E), where E is the point on the segment CD, where CD intersects with the line AB? (Extraneous details inside) [more inside]
posted by oceanjesse on Dec 5, 2012 - 10 answers

What does a professional statistician do?

(Good) jobs involving probability and statistics other than math teacher or actuary? [more inside]
posted by CustooFintel on Dec 3, 2012 - 15 answers

How to solve a complex statistics problem with a script?

In this game, you roll a number of six-sided dice to get a total. The total is either the highest single die result, or the sum of any multiples rolled, whichever is higher. For example: If I roll three dice and get a 3, 4, and 6, my total is 6. But if I roll a 4, 4, and 6, my total is 8, the sum of the two 4s. What I want to find out is the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation of the possible totals given N dice. How might I create a simple script to compute this? [more inside]
posted by j0hnpaul on Nov 30, 2012 - 24 answers

Help me name my final project.

Help me find a catchy name for my final math project. [more inside]
posted by cairnoflore on Nov 29, 2012 - 21 answers

Relearning Algebra

I haven't done Math in approximately 5 years. How can I relearn Algebra I and II in 6 weeks? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 29, 2012 - 8 answers

Turning user input into pie (charts)

WordPressFilter: I'm looking for a plugin/widget/codesnippet that will allow me to create a graph using input from the user. [more inside]
posted by antonymous on Nov 27, 2012 - 5 answers

Need math info interviews

I am interested in becoming a mathematician! I want to do some info interviews to figure out what that actually means for my daily life and future prospects. How do I get started? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Nov 20, 2012 - 13 answers

Algebra Question

Can anyone help with an algebra question I am trying to help my neice with her homework. [more inside]
posted by Summer Fall on Nov 17, 2012 - 9 answers

I'm not stupid, I'm just American!

I need to learn how to seamlessly convert between miles and kilometers in my head - without having to think about it. [more inside]
posted by matty on Nov 16, 2012 - 25 answers

Poul la Cour?

Can anyone point me towards a good resource for learning more about Poul la Cour's work on wind turbines? Or other historic wind turbine work? [more inside]
posted by teraspawn on Nov 13, 2012 - 3 answers

What should my sample size be?

Say that I have a bag which contains 100 balls and every ball in the bag should be red, but it's possible that one or more of these balls is the wrong colour. How many balls should I look at to be 90% sure that all the balls are red? Or 95%? Or 99.9%? Talk me through how to work this out, please?
posted by xchmp on Nov 12, 2012 - 14 answers

Mortgage Math Problem

Please teach me how to solve this problem related to a Home Equity Line Of Credit. While I am looking for an answer, I am equally interested in learning the math required to solve the problem. [more inside]
posted by The Architect on Nov 9, 2012 - 4 answers

Practice Probability Word Problems

What great books or resources are there for practicing probability word problems such as for standardized tests like the GRE? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio on Nov 8, 2012 - 3 answers

Direct line to Stephen Hawking

Where can I find someone willing to help me do relatively simple (ha!) relativistic time dilation calculations? [more inside]
posted by brenton on Nov 2, 2012 - 14 answers

What are the odds that two randomly selected people share the same bank PIN?

Statisticsfilter: Given available information about the distribution of self-selected 4-digit passwords (specifically banking PINs), is it possible to calculate the probability of two randomly selected individuals having the same PIN? If so, what're the odds? [more inside]
posted by myrrh on Oct 27, 2012 - 15 answers

Building website for math students, first-time programmer, need some guidance.

Building website for math students, first-time programmer, need guidance. [more inside]
posted by brighteyes7 on Oct 22, 2012 - 7 answers

Percentage Calculation

I know the price of something now and what the price was 2 years ago - how do I calculate that as an annual percentage increase? [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Oct 19, 2012 - 12 answers

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... and I took the one where I went crazy for a month to raise my score 40 points... and that uh... has made all the difference?

GRE-Filter: I was happy with my GRE scores. Then, I received word that I have the opportunity to get into a super-duper-top-tier doctoral program previously inaccessible. However, my Quantitative Score--while still in the range of accepted scores over the years for this program--is now less-than-stellar relatively speaking. Is it crazy to think I could study intensely for about a month and improve my score 30-50 points? Am I overthinking this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 15, 2012 - 12 answers

Help me figure out what in the world I should do with my life.

Should I change my major? Drop out of school to become a plumber or electrician? I need some advice. [more inside]
posted by bookman117 on Oct 14, 2012 - 31 answers

What is the cardinality of the set of all people who shall expel us from the paradise that Cantor has created?

Sweet descriptions of the empty set? [more inside]
posted by King Bee on Oct 12, 2012 - 12 answers

Typeset my equations--as vector graphics

I am trying to create math worksheets in Adobe Illustrator. I would like to not manually build the equation layout. Is there a math typesetting program (like LaTeX) that creates vector graphics I can plug directly into AI? Free/stupidly easy to use/OS X compatible are the key requirements.
posted by philosophygeek on Oct 5, 2012 - 4 answers

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