831 posts tagged with math.
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An infinite debate?

Got into a debate with a friend regarding a math question - I think our debate reflects his misapplication of finite math reasoning to infinities, but I'm having trouble dredging up what I learned in set theory 10 years ago. Imagine you have a bag that has all of the real numbers from 0 to 2, let's say. What are the odds that if you reach into the bag you pull out a number between 0 and 1.5 ? 75%? 50%? Why? Depending on the answer to this I may have followup questions, but I'll leave it here for now. [more inside]
posted by slide on Mar 23, 2011 - 9 answers

"New" math?

Multiple students taking an exam at different times come up with the same baffling answer. Help! [more inside]
posted by King Bee on Mar 21, 2011 - 24 answers

What length to cut pipes for a xylophone?

Need help with some math: figuring out pipe lengths for a xylophone for my daughter's school project. [more inside]
posted by marble on Mar 18, 2011 - 13 answers

What the heck is an imaginary exponent?

What does it mean to raise a number to an imaginary power? [more inside]
posted by slappy_pinchbottom on Mar 16, 2011 - 29 answers

Strong Induction

Hey all, just a real quick discrete math induction question inside for anyone willing to help, thanks. [more inside]
posted by Benzle on Mar 14, 2011 - 7 answers

How to find focal length from image magnification % ?

Math/Optics: How can I derive the focal length of a lens from the magnification percentage of an image? [more inside]
posted by ScarletPumpernickel on Mar 13, 2011 - 10 answers

How to be analytically creative?

I have a poetic, creative, intuitive brain. I feel out of my element talking to programmers, mathematicians, and physicists, yet I find their ideas aesthetically intriguing and I want to understand them. [more inside]
posted by xenophile on Mar 9, 2011 - 17 answers

math finance text?

Any recommendations for a good graduate level text book for an introduction to mathematical finance course? [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 8, 2011 - 1 answer

Pie is greater than not pie.

I'm trying to express my love for a certain dessert in a math/logic formula. I have this: π > ∼π , which I take to mean "Pi is greater than not Pi", and this: π > ∞-π, which I take to mean "Pi is greater than Everything but Pi". Do these make any sense or hold up in any legit way?
posted by TheCoug on Mar 5, 2011 - 15 answers

Game Theory Post Grad studies

Post grad studies in Game Theory? Which universities have a focus in Game Theory? Are there Masters available for this? Sorry for the grunt like presentation to my question. I just thought the abbreviated style would be best for a summary review of what I'm looking for. Thanks!
posted by EricBrotto on Mar 1, 2011 - 6 answers

How to manipulate "12 = x - (square root of x)" into "x="

The solution to 12 = x - (square root of x) is 16, but how do I manipulate the equation to show that? [more inside]
posted by Wanderboy on Feb 23, 2011 - 47 answers


If I know the number of widgets, number of days, and total budget, can I break down a per widget price? [more inside]
posted by pencroft on Feb 22, 2011 - 10 answers

How much extra salt?

Chemistry, math nerds, and smart people please help me with this cooking question involving salt. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 20, 2011 - 13 answers

Should I pursue my interest and study college physics more?

Should I pursue my interest and study college physics more? Specifically, should I take a year-long calculus-based program, until I get comfortable that I'm on top of it-- and can really judge my level of interest and aptitude fairly? Considering I'm a Junior English major. Also considering that it's been 15 years since HS algebra and I've never been good at math. But I want to be. [more inside]
posted by reenka on Feb 10, 2011 - 31 answers

I Need All the Help Ever: Calculus Edition

Help me arm myself for a future-determining showdown with calculus. [more inside]
posted by geneva uswazi on Feb 10, 2011 - 28 answers

not that marriage theorem, another one

A friend in college once mentioned a theorem for deciding the number of people to meet before deciding on the person to marry. Was it just a joke, or is there really such a theorem? [more inside]
posted by bleary on Feb 8, 2011 - 16 answers

Like two peas in a pot

Mathfilter: Antiderivative explained? [more inside]
posted by mooselini on Feb 6, 2011 - 14 answers

publisher reputation

if I'm looking through a library... does being published with Springer Verglag mean that the research is legit, and does being published with Nova Publishers mean that it isn't?
posted by moorooka on Jan 30, 2011 - 6 answers

Math and Crime

I've been asked to teach a week at a summer university. Help me to design the most awesome computer science/discrete math course ever. [more inside]
posted by mathemagician on Jan 27, 2011 - 7 answers

What kind of graph plot am I looking for?

I have a series of tables describing a set of data and their values for certain points in time. I want to create a multi-line chart from this data so I can see the growth curves. Is there a name for this kind of plot? It must be a solved problem and some tools to do this but I can't google for it if I don't know the name of what I want. [more inside]
posted by rdhatt on Jan 26, 2011 - 7 answers

calling math/chem geniuses

When doing mixed-operation arithmetic keeping significant figures, do you round after each operation- according to the rules for that particular step? Or do you keep everything in long-form calculator numbers, then round at the final answer? [more inside]
posted by tremspeed on Jan 25, 2011 - 21 answers

Sloppy Calculus

Please help me evaluate integrals more accurately. Sloppy calculus is killing me. [more inside]
posted by PFL on Jan 24, 2011 - 14 answers

Never been near a university, never took a paper or a learned degree.

Why should I study math? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jan 22, 2011 - 8 answers

Straightforward Dice Probability

Please refresh my memory with regard to a straightforward question of fair dice and probability. [more inside]
posted by Justinian on Jan 20, 2011 - 14 answers

Ah! Real, living story problems!

Math Filter: I am trying to find a name for this equation. I am not sure if I can solve it given the information that I currently have. [more inside]
posted by occidental on Jan 17, 2011 - 14 answers

Infinite Economics

Do the economics in Nick Spencer and Christian Ward's Infinite Vacation make sense? Are supply and demand meaningless concepts when an infinite multiverse is brought into the picture? [more inside]
posted by davextreme on Jan 12, 2011 - 9 answers

Ghostly miasma and morass: aka basic math proofs

Can someone give me some insight as to how to approach and make sense of mathermatical proofs? [more inside]
posted by Listener on Jan 11, 2011 - 30 answers

Math skills for 300-level statistics?

I'm about to start a 300-level Statistics course, but my math skills are very rusty. How can I quickly rejuvenate my old skills? [more inside]
posted by double block and bleed on Jan 8, 2011 - 5 answers

I don't get it.

Please explain this mathematics joke to me. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 5, 2011 - 21 answers

How to ace every math class I ever take

I just failed my math class (a finance class). I'm smart at math but I don't handle organization well for math-related classes. How can I handle them classes better? [more inside]
posted by dubadubowbow on Dec 17, 2010 - 17 answers

How to count a cribbage hand.

Counting-Filter: A friend once asked me how many points the entire 52-card deck is worth in the game of Cribbage...not that you could actually be dealt the whole deck, but just a curiosity. [more inside]
posted by klausman on Dec 6, 2010 - 5 answers

Quantitative finance jobs for a pure mathematician

I'm a pure mathematician with a Ph.D. and I'm currently a visiting professor at a large state university. However, I'm looking to switch gears and get into the quantitative finance field. The problem is that I don't know anything at all about finance. I know that there are companies such as D. E. Shaw that hire mathematicians that don't have financial experience; what other companies should I look at? Is there any general advice you'd give someone in my position? Also, I have my Ph.D. from a well-regarded state school, but I'm not an Ivy-leaguer; does that put me at a disadvantage?
posted by Frobenius Twist on Nov 29, 2010 - 6 answers

Dyscalculia and logic class

I have a learning disability (dyscalculia/mathematics disorder). Could I handle the formal language component of an undergrad Introduction to Logic class? [more inside]
posted by autoclavicle on Nov 23, 2010 - 19 answers

When do I look for non-academic jobs?

When do I look for non-academic jobs if I'm trying to transition out of academia, and which jobs do I look for? (I have a math PhD.) [more inside]
posted by madcaptenor on Nov 20, 2010 - 18 answers

Recommend me a book on Cryptography/Cryptanalysis!

I get to teach myself Cryptography for a class, please help me pick my book! [more inside]
posted by zidane on Nov 14, 2010 - 12 answers

Answering to Sir What is x

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

I am 85% certain I want to be a teacher

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

Calculator software

Me: Poor student. Problem: The prices of TI calculators are 2 damn high. Looking for: Free software that performs wide range of operations (most important: a "matrix" function that is easy to punch in data).
posted by Taft on Nov 8, 2010 - 34 answers

How do I fairly assign partial credit?

How do I assign partial credit consistently? [more inside]
posted by madcaptenor on Nov 2, 2010 - 24 answers

The math of noise

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

Formula to mesh two gears of arbitrary tooth count/position?

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

Textbooks on data mining techniques / statistical analysis on large data sets?

Textbooks on data mining techniques / statistical analysis on large data sets? [more inside]
posted by wooh on Oct 22, 2010 - 5 answers

WHEN is best time to do homework with 6 year old?

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

Is it possible that an English speaker learning Chinese would develop problems with math?

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

Formula for figuring poker winnings

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

online MBA ASU Penn State

How math intensive are the online MBA programs from ASU and Penn State? [more inside]
posted by gibbsjd77 on Oct 7, 2010 - 6 answers

Why doesn't the OED have better coverage of mathematical terms?

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

Problem with permutations

MathFilter: Problem with permutations [more inside]
posted by rottytooth on Oct 4, 2010 - 23 answers

Calculus problem involving the disk method

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

Cosine of 30?

this isn't homework filter, I promise: what is the cosine of 30?
posted by pipti on Sep 24, 2010 - 16 answers

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