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Mathematics for the innumerate

I'm developing a Data Design curriculum for Art college students, and I'd like to teach some basics of maths and statistics in ways that the non-numerically inclined will understand. For this, I need some simple explanations for complicated ideas. [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on Aug 22, 2013 - 3 answers

 

I'm having trouble understanding likelihood ratios and diagnostic tests.

I'm struggling to understand likelihood ratios (LR) in the context of diagnostic tests, and why a positive LR is influenced by the sensitivity of the test. [more inside]
posted by cacofonie on Aug 1, 2013 - 6 answers

Mathematics-related accessories and clothing for women

I'm learning to accessorize! I'd like to find some little mathematics-related accessories, kind of like the women's equivalent to a (relatively subtle) mathematics tie or cufflinks, that are work (think secondary school educator) appropriate. Simple and relatively understated is preferred. I'm also interested in clothing that would be work-place appropriate (not t-shirts!). I had a lot of fun with my regex skirt from XKCD a few years ago. [more inside]
posted by wiskunde on Jul 14, 2013 - 18 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

Make my child a math genius

My son is now 15 months old, and I would like for him to have the best possible mathematics education. What should I be doing now and what sort of long-term plan should I have in order to help him both to learn and to love mathematics? (He doesn't have to be a mathematician when he grows up, but really knowing mathematics is non-negotiable.) [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Jan 17, 2013 - 48 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

Pure math isn't even fun.

I have a very serious problem: I can't stop thinking about mathematics and it's interfering heavily with my sleep. [more inside]
posted by Evernix on Jun 14, 2012 - 30 answers

Approximating Natural Log By Hand

Calculating/approximating ln(x) 'by hand'? [more inside]
posted by unixrat on Mar 15, 2012 - 18 answers

Is joint parameter estimation always strictly better than individual parameter estimation?

Is it true that it is always better to estimate parameters jointly, even when they are completely unrelated? [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Feb 20, 2012 - 3 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

What can I add to my math degree to improve my job prospects?

I have a B.S. in Math, but I haven't been able to find a job in my field. What can I add to my undergrad degree to be more competitive in the job market? [more inside]
posted by ZeroDivides on Sep 21, 2011 - 12 answers

How to untie a trefoil knot?

Mathematics/Topology: how to untie a trefoil knot in four dimensions? [more inside]
posted by knz on Aug 30, 2011 - 10 answers

¡==¿ !?

What does "¡==¿" mean? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Jun 27, 2011 - 11 answers

After all these implements and texts designed by intellects we're vexed to find evidently there's still so much that hides.

I like math! I took an introductory undergraduate math course on DSP and, well, I want more. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on May 15, 2011 - 2 answers

A simple model of the dynamics of whhaaa?

Physicists, or someone who is familiar with physics or mathematical models, please help me interpret "a mathematical model of social group competition with application to the growth of religious non-affiliation". I have never heard of Sociophysics before today. [more inside]
posted by ServSci on Mar 25, 2011 - 9 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

What's the textbook for maths teachers?

Teaching filter: What's the best book or online resource for a trainee maths high school teacher, you are aware of. [more inside]
posted by 92_elements on Sep 13, 2010 - 4 answers

Careers for Pure Mathematicians

What are you, as a graduate of pure mathematics, doing? [more inside]
posted by jpcooper on May 17, 2010 - 28 answers

An awesome vector geometry teaching website

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

Regular tessellations of Euclidean spaces

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

Economics for physicists

Can anyone recommend a book which explains the basics of economic theory in a way accessible to physicists/mathematicians? [more inside]
posted by snoktruix on Apr 24, 2010 - 14 answers

ount all the ways that 15 objects can be put into four piles so that each pile has a different number of objects in it.

"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

What do you love about zero?

My favorite number is 0. I have many reasons for this, but I want more. [more inside]
posted by junipero on Apr 1, 2010 - 38 answers

What basic statistics concepts do I need to understand web analytics?

I'm registered for a Web Analytics class. A prerequisite is "Familiarity with basic concepts of statistics." I'm not a math person and never studied statistics. Which basic statistics concepts should learn before this class? Are there any comic books, videos, or fun resources that would help me learn? [more inside]
posted by valannc on Feb 3, 2010 - 11 answers

What is the next step of this Kenken?

What is the next step of this Kenken? [more inside]
posted by johnofjack on Jan 30, 2010 - 23 answers

What are the top academic journals in various fields?

What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
posted by ollyollyoxenfree on Jan 30, 2010 - 49 answers

Help me learn to typeset equations like it was my job. (Why? Because it is.)

I am looking for a math typesetting style guide. By this I don't mean the kind of stylesheet for journal submissions that says "Be sure to use the blah-blah-blah LaTeX package and the XYZ equation environment, and our army of editorial assistants will tie up the loose ends and knock off the rough edges." (Why not? Because my advisor is involved in starting a new journal, and suddenly my labmates and I are that army of editorial assistants.) [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone on Nov 4, 2009 - 11 answers

Rates of success?

Statistics question: is it possible to test sets of cumulative data for significant differences in rate? [more inside]
posted by rollick on Nov 4, 2009 - 9 answers

Math Symbol Mystery

I've never seen this mathematical symbol used this way before. Can anyone tell me what it means? [more inside]
posted by mazniak on Oct 25, 2009 - 8 answers

Calculating Probability Over Several Attempts?

How do you multiply probability across multiple chances? Let's say that every time you roll a die, you have a one-in-six chance of having five come up. What math would you perform to come up with the probability of five coming up at some point with the dice being rolled two times? Three? Five? Ten? (I'm using dice as a shorthand here: the actual probability figure I'm working with is 24%.)
posted by WCityMike on Sep 16, 2009 - 15 answers

You ate ALL MY PIZZA!

Is there a mathematical, economic, logical or game-theory name/description for the following scenario? [more inside]
posted by contessa on Sep 4, 2009 - 11 answers

What can I do with a Master's in math?

I have been attending graduate school in mathematics for the last 3 years, in hopes of getting a Ph.D. It hasn't exactly worked out - I'm taking my Master's and getting out of here. What can I do now? [more inside]
posted by Earl the Polliwog on Aug 9, 2009 - 13 answers

The science of suckiness

I want to calculate the mean of a matrix, but I don't want a value, I want co-ordinates. The following math question has lots of terminology that I'm not qualified to use i.e. most of it is wrong. I hope you can see through this and help me. I will be using the words matrix, mean and transformation without fully understanding them. For this I apologize. [more inside]
posted by handybitesize on Jun 8, 2009 - 6 answers

How to keep material organized while teaching?

How do I keep track of things I want to cover in the future in the course I'm teaching? [more inside]
posted by madcaptenor on May 15, 2009 - 11 answers

Maximizing a function over orthogonal matrices

Maximizing a function over orthogonal matrices, or: solving polynomial order 2 systems. Help me out or point me to a better forum / listhost. [more inside]
posted by a robot made out of meat on Oct 26, 2008 - 15 answers

Picture a Venn diagram with 3 circles: LaTeX, Emacs, Mac. I'd like to live in the intersection.

Mac users who write LaTeX documents in Emacs (with or without AucTeX), please tell me about your workflow. [more inside]
posted by gleuschk on Oct 4, 2008 - 10 answers

Seeking reading material before jumping into a master's in applied math...

Starting this fall, I plan on taking some preparatory undergrad coursework with the intention of eventually applying to a master's program in applied mathematics. I am seeking suggestions for reading material concerning the field of mathematics in general, both as a refresher and as insight into current focus areas and work being done. As a working engineer, my situation and background might be a bit different from most considering this route... [more inside]
posted by Bugg on Jul 15, 2007 - 2 answers

Postscript code for epicycloid?

I want a true vector-based (i.e., not merely a series of thousands of line segments) Postscript or Illustrator file of an epicycloid where a=5, b=2. [more inside]
posted by dmd on Feb 19, 2006 - 25 answers

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