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But Sir, what is x? Teaching students algebra for the first time. They keep wanting to put values in for x, and write that down.
E.g. x + x = . Becomes 1 + 1 = 2, in their books. Whereas I want x + x = 2x.
Does anyone have any strategies, or techniques to overcome this? [more inside]

posted by 92_elements on Nov 11, 2010 - 23 answers

posted by 92_elements on Nov 11, 2010 - 23 answers

I've been seriously considering becoming a high school math teacher. I have some experience teaching in a classroom, and lots of experience tutoring. What I'd like to know now - before I jump into an alternative degree program - is what it's actually like *being* a teacher day in and day out. If I'm not going to be able to hack it, I'd rather know now. [more inside]

posted by Gori Girl on Nov 9, 2010 - 30 answers

posted by Gori Girl on Nov 9, 2010 - 30 answers

posted by Taft on Nov 8, 2010 - 34 answers

How do I assign partial credit consistently? [more inside]

posted by madcaptenor on Nov 2, 2010 - 24 answers

posted by madcaptenor on Nov 2, 2010 - 24 answers

Assuming a grasp of college algebra, what maths would one need to understand the entirety of the wikipedia entry on white noise. Which order would be the most advisable way to learn those maths and which books might be good for a self study on those topics?

posted by Drama Penguin on Oct 28, 2010 - 7 answers

posted by Drama Penguin on Oct 28, 2010 - 7 answers

I'm writing a graphics app where I'm generating a simple gear transmission system with a variable number of gears each with variable number of teeth and placed at random orbits around each other. I generate gears in succession, placing and rotating each with respect to its parent/driver gear before moving on to the next. The problem I'm having is how to determine the initial orientation of each subsequent gear such that its teeth are properly meshed with that of its driver. [more inside]

posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron on Oct 25, 2010 - 6 answers

posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron on Oct 25, 2010 - 6 answers

Textbooks on data mining techniques / statistical analysis on large data sets? [more inside]

posted by wooh on Oct 22, 2010 - 5 answers

posted by wooh on Oct 22, 2010 - 5 answers

WHEN should I have my six year old first grader do her homework? [more inside]

posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Oct 19, 2010 - 21 answers

posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Oct 19, 2010 - 21 answers

Is it possible that an English speaker learning Chinese would develop problems with math? [more inside]

posted by bookman117 on Oct 14, 2010 - 25 answers

posted by bookman117 on Oct 14, 2010 - 25 answers

I need help untangling a formula for tracking poker winnings. All this math is making my head hurt! Totally legal details within. [more inside]

posted by c:\awesome on Oct 7, 2010 - 8 answers

posted by c:\awesome on Oct 7, 2010 - 8 answers

How math intensive are the online MBA programs from ASU and Penn State? [more inside]

posted by gibbsjd77 on Oct 7, 2010 - 6 answers

posted by gibbsjd77 on Oct 7, 2010 - 6 answers

Why doesn't the OED have better coverage of mathematical terms? Is this an area they want to improve on, or have they drawn a line of obscurity somewhere that just leaves out more than I expected? [more inside]

posted by ErWenn on Oct 5, 2010 - 9 answers

posted by ErWenn on Oct 5, 2010 - 9 answers

MathFilter: Problem with permutations [more inside]

posted by rottytooth on Oct 4, 2010 - 23 answers

posted by rottytooth on Oct 4, 2010 - 23 answers

The area between f(x), the x-axis and the lines x=a and x=b is revolved around the x-axis. The volume of this solid of revolution is b^3-a*b^2
for any a,b. What is f(x)? [more inside]

posted by stuart_s on Sep 29, 2010 - 27 answers

posted by stuart_s on Sep 29, 2010 - 27 answers

this isn't homework filter, I promise: what is the cosine of 30?

posted by pipti on Sep 24, 2010 - 16 answers

posted by pipti on Sep 24, 2010 - 16 answers

How do I reduce something by -800% when I'm working with a scale between -99% and 99%? [more inside]

posted by tunestunes on Sep 13, 2010 - 15 answers

posted by tunestunes on Sep 13, 2010 - 15 answers

Help me figure out how to do cluster analysis on discrete data. [more inside]

posted by fremen on Sep 8, 2010 - 10 answers

posted by fremen on Sep 8, 2010 - 10 answers

Calling all math lovers! Great mathematics toys/gifts for adults? [more inside]

posted by gilsonal on Sep 7, 2010 - 24 answers

posted by gilsonal on Sep 7, 2010 - 24 answers

I'm interested in learning everything there is to know about waves. Sound waves, ocean waves, light waves, electromagnetic waves, waves in math, in economics, brain waves, etc, etc.... [more inside]

posted by empath on Sep 7, 2010 - 15 answers

posted by empath on Sep 7, 2010 - 15 answers

I'm taking a calc-based physics class as well as a calculus class. The last time I took a math class was 5 years ago and I would love some refresher resources - or even better, an intensive algebra-trig-precalc course. Are there any online or in the DC area? [more inside]

posted by alaijmw on Sep 2, 2010 - 10 answers

posted by alaijmw on Sep 2, 2010 - 10 answers

Can someone explain to me why there are 169 starting hands in poker? [more inside]

posted by tomtheblackbear on Aug 22, 2010 - 17 answers

posted by tomtheblackbear on Aug 22, 2010 - 17 answers

Mathematical sequences challenge. Need your help. [more inside]

posted by gummo on Aug 18, 2010 - 7 answers

posted by gummo on Aug 18, 2010 - 7 answers

How to smooth a histogram or unclump a dataset. [more inside]

posted by DU on Aug 17, 2010 - 12 answers

posted by DU on Aug 17, 2010 - 12 answers

I've got a long function with two variables, encoding - I suspect - a hidden message. Most likely, the message is somehow encoded in the function's roots. Is there any good software to plot a function in two dimensions and only show the points where it evaluates to zero? [more inside]

posted by Triton on Aug 15, 2010 - 7 answers

posted by Triton on Aug 15, 2010 - 7 answers

How many different ways can you hold hands with someone? [more inside]

posted by 777 on Aug 13, 2010 - 12 answers

posted by 777 on Aug 13, 2010 - 12 answers

I studied mathematics and some computer science as an undergrad, and I loved it. I feel that my real passion, however, is in experimental sciences or engineering. What are some graduate school options for me? [more inside]

posted by scose on Aug 10, 2010 - 9 answers

posted by scose on Aug 10, 2010 - 9 answers

Help me teach myself enough about probability to properly balance the board game I want to design. [more inside]

posted by Caduceus on Aug 9, 2010 - 3 answers

posted by Caduceus on Aug 9, 2010 - 3 answers

I need help understanding the "principle domain" (a term only my professor seems to use) of a polar function. That is, how do I find the smallest value delta such that [0,delta] plots all of the unique points on the curve; any values greater than delta re-trace points. I suspect that if MeFi could identify the more common name for this, uh, procedure, I'd be set.

posted by phrontist on Aug 4, 2010 - 10 answers

posted by phrontist on Aug 4, 2010 - 10 answers

36 people total, meeting in groups of 6. After 5 minutes, the groups shuffle into completely new groups. How many "rounds" can we go without people meeting with someone they've already met? [more inside]

posted by foggy out there now on Jul 31, 2010 - 27 answers

posted by foggy out there now on Jul 31, 2010 - 27 answers

Looking for biographies of scientists or mathematicians. [more inside]

posted by reenum on Jul 27, 2010 - 22 answers

posted by reenum on Jul 27, 2010 - 22 answers

I have 232 facebook friends, and six of them share a birthday in common (not 6 different pairs of people on the same birthday, but 6 out of the 232 were born on the 17th of July. Now, I know it only takes 23 random people to get a 50% chance of at least ONE birthday collision, but how the heck do I figure out the odds on this one? Is this a significant anomaly, or reasonably expected? My one stats class was entirely too long ago....

posted by um_maverick on Jul 14, 2010 - 25 answers

posted by um_maverick on Jul 14, 2010 - 25 answers

Help me find a career path or course of study that combines the topic I'm interested in (obesity and public health) with the methods I enjoy (applied math and computer science). [more inside]

posted by telegraph on Jul 12, 2010 - 9 answers

posted by telegraph on Jul 12, 2010 - 9 answers

I am a teacher at a high school that will be providing netbooks to every single student this fall. I am trying to consider ways that this will be helpful in the classroom, particularly in a math classroom. If you knew that every child in the classroom had their own netbook and the classroom were wireless, what would you like to see happen that would help students learn math? Please fire away ideas. All are welcome - whether brainstorm ideas or maybe you know of a particular website or web-based tool that would help students. Particularly, I'd like to assess students' progress as they learn as well as to provide them multiple ways to learn/experience the fundamental concepts in a math course. What would YOU have wanted if you had a laptop and wireless in high school? Thanks for your suggestions!!!

posted by mathmatters on Jul 10, 2010 - 21 answers

posted by mathmatters on Jul 10, 2010 - 21 answers

Metafilter: Would you help me write this thank you letter? More details inside. [more inside]

posted by The1andonly on Jun 29, 2010 - 4 answers

posted by The1andonly on Jun 29, 2010 - 4 answers

Math nerds, help! I need to figure out what's the better option for acquiring a car using borrowed money. [more inside]

posted by greatgefilte on Jun 22, 2010 - 10 answers

posted by greatgefilte on Jun 22, 2010 - 10 answers

I've started learning to program and I'm enjoying it well enough, but I'm not fantastic at math. Do I have a future as an employable programmer? [more inside]

posted by lekvar on Jun 21, 2010 - 28 answers

posted by lekvar on Jun 21, 2010 - 28 answers

Saying "it's three times less" seems nonsensical to me. Please enlighten me. [more inside]

posted by not that girl on Jun 17, 2010 - 27 answers

posted by not that girl on Jun 17, 2010 - 27 answers

What is the difference between Gilbert Strang's two linear algebra textbooks? [more inside]

posted by scose on Jun 9, 2010 - 5 answers

posted by scose on Jun 9, 2010 - 5 answers

Mathfilter: How do I figure the total value of interest at a per-month rate, compounded monthly, with monthly contributions? [more inside]

posted by AV on Jun 9, 2010 - 17 answers

posted by AV on Jun 9, 2010 - 17 answers

I need to pay for my new house and anticipated Reno's. Canada's lending laws put a limit on the minimum down payment I need without penalty, *and* the minimum I can take from my retirement savings without penalty. The two limits don't mesh for me! Help me decide the best way to patch together the money. [more inside]

posted by Popular Ethics on Jun 6, 2010 - 18 answers

posted by Popular Ethics on Jun 6, 2010 - 18 answers

Does anyone else remember the textbook I am thinking of from the late 1980's? [more inside]

posted by Yellowbeard on May 30, 2010 - 6 answers

posted by Yellowbeard on May 30, 2010 - 6 answers

What are the best places to study science and mathematics subjects for university credit online? [more inside]

posted by compound eye on May 24, 2010 - 3 answers

posted by compound eye on May 24, 2010 - 3 answers

I want to eventually publish a high school / college level math textbook, but I have no idea what I'm doing. [more inside]

posted by*anonymous*
on May 19, 2010 -
6 answers

posted by

I'm half way through college and am about to begin taking courses for my math minor. However, the last time I took an invasive course on mathematics was during high school. I am looking for a couple textbooks/methods that will help me get up to Calc II proficiency by the end of this summer. Specifically, I need to tune up my Precalculus and Calc I skills. If anyone could recommend problem sets, online tools, and/or their favorite textbooks I would greatly appreciate it. I'd like to keep it under $100. Thanks.
~Stephen

posted by Steve073190 on May 14, 2010 - 6 answers

posted by Steve073190 on May 14, 2010 - 6 answers

I'm trying to find a website that teaches vector mathematics in lesson form. [more inside]

posted by giggleknickers on May 3, 2010 - 2 answers

posted by giggleknickers on May 3, 2010 - 2 answers

MathFilter: Is there a relationship between the number of dimensions in a Euclidean space and the number of regular tessellations of that space? [more inside]

posted by jedicus on May 2, 2010 - 10 answers

posted by jedicus on May 2, 2010 - 10 answers

I need to learn Calculus II over the summer. I won't be able to take summer courses. I need to be ready to take differential equations in the fall. Hope me! [more inside]

posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints on Apr 28, 2010 - 11 answers

posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints on Apr 28, 2010 - 11 answers

How do I go about finding a plateau within a set of numbers? [more inside]

posted by SamuelF on Apr 23, 2010 - 21 answers

posted by SamuelF on Apr 23, 2010 - 21 answers

"Count all the ways that 15 objects can be put into four piles so that each pile has a **different** number of objects in it." Is there a smart general method for solving problems like this? Feel free to assume uniqueness/non-emptiness of the piles if it helps. (Not homework)

posted by onalark on Apr 20, 2010 - 18 answers

posted by onalark on Apr 20, 2010 - 18 answers

I have a wonderfully large dataset that I'm working with for a long-term project. I am analyzing a small section the dataset for my masters thesis. In meeting with my thesis advisor last week, she suggested I run some statistical tests of significance on the 4 tables I'm working with. She knows that I am yet to be versed in quantitative analysis methods (I've done solely qualitative work thus far) and that I'm under a massive time crunch to get this done. She suggested I seek help from others, as she doesn't want me to get bogged down with figuring out this step, and would rather I concentrate on analyzing the other aspects of this data. To this end, I'm wondering if somebody might be able to suggest the best type of test of significance to run, the easiest way to run it, and a good, simple resource for what the resultant values mean? [more inside]

posted by iamkimiam on Apr 17, 2010 - 19 answers

posted by iamkimiam on Apr 17, 2010 - 19 answers