875 posts tagged with math.
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Exit strategy, please

I'm a math PhD student with two years left. I'm not sure I want a job in academia (but maybe I do). What should I be doing to maximise chances of success (whatever that means)? [more inside]
posted by hoyland on Jun 12, 2012 - 13 answers

Why can the reals be well-ordered but not countable?

Math-Filter - Set theory edition: I am struggling with the difference between countable infinite sets and well-ordering. Longer explanation inside. [more inside]
posted by heybearica on Jun 12, 2012 - 16 answers

An odd property of Eigenvectors

The first eigenvector is related to the sum of the columns of a matrix. What is this property called? [more inside]
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated on Jun 9, 2012 - 7 answers

Math Geeks!! Assistance needed!!

How should a surcharge be calculated? [more inside]
posted by elf27 on Jun 7, 2012 - 11 answers

How to Find The Average Commenter?

Harmonic or Arithmetic Mean?: I'm trying to settle an argument with my wife - is using the arithmetic mean or harmonic mean more appropriate when finding the "average" number of, say, online comments made by a large number of people, where a significant portion of them make only one comment and a few people make the bulk of the comments? [more inside]
posted by salsamander on Jun 2, 2012 - 13 answers

Making the impossible possible

Help with a simultaneously math & non-math question: Finding the square root of a negative number was impossible until imaginary numbers came along. What are examples of other things that were impossible until we altered systems that have been created? [more inside]
posted by CaptainCaseous on May 24, 2012 - 22 answers

Need formula for APR with long/short odd days.

Need formula for APR with long/short odd days. [more inside]
posted by joshuamcginnis on May 23, 2012 - 2 answers

Math Help - Library Contest Edition

Math Help! We're doing a big inventory project in my library this summer and we want to attach weekly prizes to it to help motivate the poor students who have to do all the scanning. Trick is, students do not work the same amount of hours per week, so we would like some way of weighting each student's output so that those that work less feel like they can compete with those who work more while not disadvantaging those with longer hours by requiring them to go insane in order to keep up. How to keep things fair and sane? [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on May 10, 2012 - 20 answers

How to model the accident rate on a certain stretch of road

How could I approach modeling the number of accidents on a certain stretch of road? I've got some semi-ecological approaches in mind but no idea if they're workable. Are there standard approaches to this sort of problem? [more inside]
posted by col_pogo on May 7, 2012 - 9 answers

I want to drink and derive in the comfort of my own home.

Good online accredited Precalculus and Calculus classes? [more inside]
posted by spinifex23 on May 3, 2012 - 5 answers

Prorating monthly fees

What is the right way to calculate daily rate for monthly charges? [more inside]
posted by primethyme on May 2, 2012 - 10 answers

Pageviews vs Visitors: Do people really just sit there and reload all day?

On the Lifehacker/Gawker websites, what do the views/viewer numbers really mean? How can articles with 100,000 pageviews only have 10,000 visitors? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Apr 28, 2012 - 9 answers

Identifying urban centers using an algorithm based on topological prominence

Calling geographers: has anyone applied the idea of topological prominence to population density? [more inside]
posted by miyabo on Apr 27, 2012 - 7 answers

Google, why do you make my brain hurt?

How does real time google analytics measure the "active visitors on site"? Please help me, because apparently I fail at math. [more inside]
posted by cgg on Apr 25, 2012 - 2 answers


I'd really love a detailed explanation of the terms and humor in this math / science related XKCD cartoon. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 25, 2012 - 14 answers

Is it possible to solve for X?

(Y)(S^N) = (M)(X^(N+E)) - (Y)(X^N) Is it possible to solve for X? [more inside]
posted by spacediver on Apr 25, 2012 - 24 answers

Are the odds (ever) in my favor in this raffle?

Are the odds in this raffle significantly better than last year? [more inside]
posted by madajb on Apr 19, 2012 - 17 answers

How to get 2nd Bachelor's Degree from UCLA after foreign-based Bachelor's?

Seeking 2nd Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from UCLA, then PhD. Details below. [more inside]
posted by Hassoon on Apr 17, 2012 - 5 answers

Me + Math Major = Success?

Do you have to be "inherently" good at math to successfully major in math as an undergrad? [more inside]
posted by lobbyist on Apr 14, 2012 - 27 answers

Bathrooms and Statistics

My workplace has 3 small bathrooms. It seems to me that if I go to use one of them, and it's occupied, there is a statically higher chance the 2nd and even 3rd bathroom will be occupied (vs the chance that they would be occupied if the 1st one was not). Is it true? [more inside]
posted by lohmannn on Apr 13, 2012 - 30 answers

Let's do some math

A is the top of a vertical line 30 feet in length. B is at the base of that line. C is 63 feet from B in a horizontal right angle. What is the distance from A to C. [more inside]
posted by ephemerista on Apr 9, 2012 - 7 answers

Help me find a specific Children's TV show.

Tracking down a pre-2000 children's TV show with a female presenter in a fairy tale style magician's house. [more inside]
posted by jeffkramer on Mar 21, 2012 - 5 answers

How many people lived in the U.S. between 1974 and 2004?

[MathFilter] How many people were alive in the U.S. between 1974 and 2004? [more inside]
posted by arveale on Mar 20, 2012 - 11 answers

Help me make planet dice.

Is there an easy way to map a sphere onto a dodecahedron? I'm playing with the idea of generating "planet dice." [more inside]
posted by Karmakaze on Mar 19, 2012 - 11 answers

Pi R Square, but this is a circle

Please help me with some basic math: The circumference of a circle is 8 inches. Extend that circle by 8 inches from circumference (i.e. adding 16 inches to the diameter). Now what is the circumference of the larger circle? [more inside]
posted by _paegan_ on Mar 16, 2012 - 22 answers

Can you solve a time dilation math problem?

I'm writing a story and it has to do with time dilation and I don't want it to be one of those stories where people roll their eyes and say, "Well... It's just a story." I want accurate math. I suck at math. [more inside]
posted by CarlRossi on Mar 10, 2012 - 7 answers

Linear Algebra was easy, but I can't add 1+1 without using my fingers. WHAT.

Basically, what it says. I've been brushing up on my math skills via Khan Academy, and I'm running into a problem I hit when I was in school. Basically, the math *concepts*, like Algebra, Trig, and the like? I'm able to get really easily. But, manipulating the numbers and doing the basic arithmetic? Hard. Sometimes even with a calculator, I'll miss carrying over a negative sign, and I'll get the problem wrong, despite knowing the concepts really, really well. What's going on here? Is my ADHD not under control? Are these symptoms of Dyscalculia? What? Ideas, hivemind! [more inside]
posted by spinifex23 on Mar 10, 2012 - 28 answers

Coordinate Subtraction

Which would be the correct way to subtract coordinates that are on different sides of the equator? [more inside]
posted by Deflagro on Mar 8, 2012 - 5 answers

Salary Vs experience analysis

Need to do a simple analysis around pay and experience fairness. Example: Two project managers managing exactly same kind of projects and have similar performance levels: PM 1 -> Pay $130,000 ; Experience 15 years; PM2-> Pay $80,000 ; Experience 3 years; I want a mathematical way of analyzing if the person getting paid $80,000 is being under payed. Now I know there are industry standards and charts available. I want to do something that may not be perfect but gives a sense. How much weight should be given to experience and can this be factored in mathematically? Please dont get hung up on accuracy. I want a logical analysis method that does not need to be entirely accurate. Also, where can I find industry charts comparing pay and experience
posted by r2d2 on Mar 3, 2012 - 12 answers

How do I not kill my future patients?

I'm learning how to do dosage calculations in class - I'm terrible at math/dimensional analysis, and I am afraid I am going to overdose/underdose/kill all of my future patients! How do I quell my panic and embrace this aspect of my job? Advice from animal and human nurses especially appreciated. [more inside]
posted by OsoMeaty on Mar 2, 2012 - 12 answers

How much is my space heater costing me per hour?

Can a math / electrician whiz help me figure out how much my little space heater is costing me to run? The heater is listed as 120V 60Hz 1500W, and I run it on its highest setting for about 8 hours a day. According to my last utility bill, my electric was $118.64 for 1536 kWh, or $0.077239583 per kWh. So how much is this little heater costing me to run per hour?
posted by bjork24 on Feb 8, 2012 - 13 answers

math quest

Ask MathaFilter: If I square 100 mm I get 10,000 mm. But, convert to .1 m, and square, we have .01, a smaller amount! Why can using a conversion like this give a nonsensical answer? If I want a length times itself why does it matter the metric?
posted by Benzle on Feb 2, 2012 - 7 answers

Paradox: objective meaninglessness of concept of similarity?

Has anyone heard of the mathematical "proof" that the concept of similarity is objectively meaningless? [more inside]
posted by rwhe on Feb 1, 2012 - 8 answers

Discrete mathematics for idiots?

Now that I'm back at college, I'm having serious trouble with an elementary course in Discrete Mathematics (for computer scientists). How can I complete this course? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 31, 2012 - 29 answers

Resources for learning Matlab?

I'm starting a new job soon where I will be using Matlab a whole lot. I've used Matlab (and Octave) before and know the basics, but I want to become an expert. What book should I buy, or what other resources should I look into? [more inside]
posted by no regrets, coyote on Jan 27, 2012 - 7 answers

What's the best way to think about mathematics?

What's the best way to think about mathematics? What's the best advice you have ever received about learning math and approaching math problems? [more inside]
posted by lackadaisical on Jan 26, 2012 - 36 answers

When calculating a statistical average, is it reasonable to remove outliers?

When calculating a statistical average, is it reasonable to remove outliers? [more inside]
posted by JPigford on Jan 13, 2012 - 31 answers

Thirsty work

Mathfilter. Bonus: involves football and beer [more inside]
posted by raider on Jan 12, 2012 - 22 answers

I need an awesome topic relating to maps/geometry!

I'm looking for an awesome video/discussion topic that relates to street maps - something appropriate for a HS geometry course. [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jan 3, 2012 - 7 answers

What was this geometric creature builder website?

Several years ago, I saw a website with a fun little flash or javascript applet thingy where you could build little tensegrity structure creatures, then have oscillating movements applied to the pieces, so that the structures would seem to "walk". I don't remember what it was called! From memory, one of the simpler structures looked sort of like this. What was it? Is it still online? [more inside]
posted by rivenwanderer on Jan 3, 2012 - 4 answers

What is the difference between floating point accuracy and precision?

What is the difference between floating point accuracy and precision?
posted by conrad101 on Jan 2, 2012 - 10 answers

How does a non-science major structure a self-guided science/engineering course of study?

How does a non-science major structure a self-guided science/engineering course of study? [more inside]
posted by holterbarbour on Dec 23, 2011 - 9 answers

Help me make an awesome trivia night!

Can anyone help me come up with a pub trivia points system? [more inside]
posted by keepmathy on Dec 17, 2011 - 21 answers

Math for Kindergarteners

Math exercises for kindergarteners? [more inside]
posted by zeikka on Dec 14, 2011 - 4 answers

Help Me Graph Abstract Points in Space with Just Distances

MathFilter: Help me calculate the location of points with lots and lots of distances. [more inside]
posted by petiteviolette on Dec 12, 2011 - 31 answers

Some good books to re-learn math?

I'm teaching myself to code (Python, mainly), and it's going well, except I keep on running into one big problem: I haven't done any math since high school (6 years ago). I used to be top of my class, and now I can't do simple word problems anymore. This gets tough because they inevitably pop up in the books I'm using, and then I stop dead in my tracks. Could anyone recommend a couple of books or web resources to help me get back up to speed? I never took Calculus, so a good Calculus book would help, too. [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet on Dec 10, 2011 - 22 answers

What does a personal interest in math look like?

A while back I read about an english professor who claimed to have a strong personal interest in mathematics. Assuming that he doesn't use math in a professional setting, how would this interest manifest itself? Completing math textbooks? Reading books about math? Memorizing the first 1000 primes? What would someone with an interest in math do? [more inside]
posted by Homo economicus on Dec 8, 2011 - 20 answers

What math flash card game did I play in school?

What math flash card game, which required you to use each of four numbers on a card to get to one fixed answer each time, did I play in grammar school? [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket on Dec 2, 2011 - 5 answers

Connect the Dots for Math Geeks

Help me make an awesome connect-the-dots for middle school math nerds. I'll take care of the math, you take care of the art. Don't let these poor kids be stuck with my cat/walrus. [more inside]
posted by Wulfhere on Dec 1, 2011 - 7 answers

Does anyone remember this educational computer game?

Does anyone remember this educational computer game? [more inside]
posted by thebots on Dec 1, 2011 - 17 answers

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