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Can you recommend maths books that emphasize the application of the concept being taught? [more inside]

posted by giggleknickers on Mar 2, 2008 - 6 answers

posted by giggleknickers on Mar 2, 2008 - 6 answers

My cousin's four year old son is obsessed with things like quarks and infinity. He insists to his mother that infinity is the last number. She isn't so sure, and wants to know more about things like strangeness.
I don't want to determine this kid's future, but it seems fun to feed his curiosity. And since my wife's babysitter was Murray Gell-Mann, the responsibility has fallen partially on my shoulders to help answer his questions. What kinds of information can you recommend that I give to his mother so that she, an attorney and not a mathematician, and her son can learn more about this information. In particular, what kinds of books, games, and projects would introduce him to other neat ideas in mathematics and physics?

posted by billtron on Feb 16, 2008 - 27 answers

posted by billtron on Feb 16, 2008 - 27 answers

I heard about a book that covered philosophical questions at the core of mathematics. This interests me, but I'm really interested because if I remember correctly it used understanding of euler's identity as an example. What was this book?

posted by phrontist on Jan 6, 2008 - 9 answers

posted by phrontist on Jan 6, 2008 - 9 answers

I read online that AIDS spreads faster in societies where the women are less promiscuous. What is the best way of creating a model which will show me the development and spread of the virus in the case where women are less vs the case where women are more promiscuous? [more inside]

posted by markovich on Dec 12, 2007 - 30 answers

posted by markovich on Dec 12, 2007 - 30 answers

Teaching a university course for the first time: any tips or suggestions?
[more inside]

posted by onoclea on Dec 12, 2007 - 33 answers

posted by onoclea on Dec 12, 2007 - 33 answers

I'd like to learn about SVM, HMM and wavelet algorithms in their usage in bioinformatics. I have a somewhat rudimentary understanding of the underlying mathematics from Wikipedia and a couple other sources, but I find that a concrete demonstration of their application fleshes it out.
Are there texts, software packages (preferably free) or papers you'd recommend that: 1) includes good starter problem sets, or; 2) demonstrates how these techniques are used in research applications (beyond "we used *xyz* here"). Thanks!

posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 24, 2007 - 7 answers

posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 24, 2007 - 7 answers

E8: what's in it for me? (inspired by this post) [more inside]

posted by Quietgal on Nov 16, 2007 - 6 answers

posted by Quietgal on Nov 16, 2007 - 6 answers

I have several arrays of numbers. I want to know how they correlate to another array. I think this is called exponential growth, but I can't figure out the formula. [more inside]

posted by jesirose on Nov 16, 2007 - 15 answers

posted by jesirose on Nov 16, 2007 - 15 answers

Finding the magnitude of a complex fraction. Is it simply |num|/|denom|? Or is there more to it? [more inside]

posted by toomanyplugs on Nov 4, 2007 - 4 answers

posted by toomanyplugs on Nov 4, 2007 - 4 answers

I am a new college dropout. The whole incident behind it came as a total shock. I've messed up, I'm lost, and I'm not sure what to do. Naturally, there's a lot more inside. [more inside]

posted by*anonymous*
on Nov 4, 2007 -
45 answers

posted by

How do I make the transition, in my brain, to studying graduate/advanced mathematics? [more inside]

posted by milestogo on Oct 22, 2007 - 20 answers

posted by milestogo on Oct 22, 2007 - 20 answers

Why is it that when I solve the inequality 0 ≤ arccos(x) <> cos(π/4)? Why do the operators switch direction? [more inside]

posted by PuGZ on Oct 19, 2007 - 11 answers

posted by PuGZ on Oct 19, 2007 - 11 answers

is there a book on the mathematics of chess? [more inside]

posted by randomizer on Oct 18, 2007 - 6 answers

posted by randomizer on Oct 18, 2007 - 6 answers

If a man’s wit be wandering, let him post a question about mathematics and reasoning to MetaFilter. [more inside]

posted by jason's_planet on Sep 25, 2007 - 20 answers

posted by jason's_planet on Sep 25, 2007 - 20 answers

Maximal volume of an ellipsoid... [more inside]

posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 7, 2007 - 15 answers

posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 7, 2007 - 15 answers

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

posted by Bugg on Jul 15, 2007 - 2 answers

Ask Mathfilter: I want some good math sites to read. A math-cetric Metafilter or Cosma's notebooks. [more inside]

posted by tylermoody on Jul 2, 2007 - 11 answers

posted by tylermoody on Jul 2, 2007 - 11 answers

Books/wares to help kids think like mathematicians? [more inside]

posted by O Blitiri on Jun 27, 2007 - 22 answers

posted by O Blitiri on Jun 27, 2007 - 22 answers

StatisticsFilter: Can someone explain - with examples - why R^2 (r-square) values are not appropriate for use with non-linear regression models. [more inside]

posted by jonesor on Jun 21, 2007 - 5 answers

posted by jonesor on Jun 21, 2007 - 5 answers

What is the geographical center of Polk County, Florida? [more inside]

posted by ?! on Jun 16, 2007 - 7 answers

posted by ?! on Jun 16, 2007 - 7 answers

Does anyone have any recommendations for books, textbooks, or blogs that discuss the conceptual development of chaos theory? I'd be very interested in its use in applied mathematics over abstract mathematical theory. [more inside]

posted by geoff. on Jun 5, 2007 - 11 answers

posted by geoff. on Jun 5, 2007 - 11 answers

3D Trig question: I have a 2D square in 3D space (a Face). I know the positions of the four corner vertices in form x,y,z. How do I calculate the rotation in degrees (Euler angles) as relative from the center of the face?
I want to end up with degrees of rotations around x-axis,y-axis,z-axis. Bonus if you can write it in pseudocode.

posted by pooya on May 9, 2007 - 7 answers

posted by pooya on May 9, 2007 - 7 answers

Imagine a cube-shaped building, with ten cube-shaped rooms along each side (10 rooms long, 10 high & 10 deep). Each cubular room has 4 walls, 1 ceiling and 1 floor. Each of the 6 *interior* surfaces in all 1000 cubular rooms is decorated with a different piece of art.
The rooms can be moved around the building, as if it were an enormous Rubik's cube, but they can also be spun on their axes, so all 6 walls of all 1000 cubes is capable of touching all the others (if the cube is so arranged).
How many combinations of art within the 'Cube Gallery' are possible? If you can run me through the workings of the maths I would be extra grateful. Also, what technical words/phrases/language are useful/interesting in expressing this concept? [more inside]

posted by 0bvious on Apr 24, 2007 - 25 answers

posted by 0bvious on Apr 24, 2007 - 25 answers

I've charged with adding a feature to a shift scheduler / coverage requestor that displays shift information for a given week. I've been able to display them so as to satisfy the constraints I've been given, but it's got me wondering wondering if there's a more rigorous/mathematical approach to the general problem of organizing the display of any such calendar information. [more inside]

posted by Frankieist on Apr 12, 2007 - 3 answers

posted by Frankieist on Apr 12, 2007 - 3 answers

What e-learning systems provide students with the math-related symbols they need and lets them "show their work," while still letting them submit all answers online? [more inside]

posted by ejvalentine on Mar 14, 2007 - 8 answers

posted by ejvalentine on Mar 14, 2007 - 8 answers

(Stereotype-flouting) Math Movie Suggestions Needed for a pi-day celebration. I'm looking for movies that don't portray mathematicians as schizophrenic or otherwise deranged. [more inside]

posted by ZeroDivides on Mar 7, 2007 - 30 answers

posted by ZeroDivides on Mar 7, 2007 - 30 answers

Quick help needed for my rusty calculus. Regarding algebraic functions, are the terms "no limit" and "limit does not exist" synonymous?

posted by Neiltupper on Feb 15, 2007 - 9 answers

posted by Neiltupper on Feb 15, 2007 - 9 answers

I am wondering if anyone knows where to find free ware/economical software that will
calculate the surface area of an object defined by a closed curve saved
either as a bitmap or vector image? [more inside]

posted by plumberonkarst on Jan 15, 2007 - 6 answers

posted by plumberonkarst on Jan 15, 2007 - 6 answers

How many sides does a circle have? I always assumed the answer was an infinite number of sides. My boyfriend disagrees with me and thinks that the answer is zero. My brother seems to think that it depends on your definition of what a side is. I have searched all over but can't seem to find a definitive answer.

posted by Inside Out Girl on Dec 20, 2006 - 41 answers

posted by Inside Out Girl on Dec 20, 2006 - 41 answers

Mathematicians, I've always suspected there is a real opportunity to exploit the inefficiencies of the online sports betting markets and amateur bettors and make serious money. Have you felt the same way or am I kidding myself? [more inside]

posted by vizsla on Dec 17, 2006 - 7 answers

posted by vizsla on Dec 17, 2006 - 7 answers

I remember reading an anecdote about Feynman, written by Feynman either in Surely, You're Joking or What Do You Care What Other People Think. He was describing how in his undergraduate years people were really impressed by his ability to do integrals, all because he knew this integration technique that wasn't taught very often. What was that technique?

posted by phrontist on Dec 4, 2006 - 10 answers

posted by phrontist on Dec 4, 2006 - 10 answers

Science and math educators, K-12 and college! What are your favourite science and math sites that you use for planning lessons and curricula, or for classroom use? And why? Thanks! [more inside]

posted by carter on Nov 16, 2006 - 3 answers

posted by carter on Nov 16, 2006 - 3 answers

If a group is said to be cyclic if it is generated by a single element (single generator), is the quaternion group an example of a finite group that is not cyclic, since it has four generators {-1, i, j, k}? Also, why is the group of rationals under addition not cyclic?

posted by Mr. Six on Oct 31, 2006 - 14 answers

posted by Mr. Six on Oct 31, 2006 - 14 answers

If you were to buy just one text on probability and statistics (and their applications) that covers the subjects in some depth (building from an introductory college level, through advanced undergraduate to a graduate level and perhaps further) and does a good job of making the basic concepts clear with solved examples (employing those drawn from actual research), which one would you choose?

posted by sk381 on Oct 17, 2006 - 2 answers

posted by sk381 on Oct 17, 2006 - 2 answers

I would like to relearn some calculus on my own. Please recommend the best book for the purpose. [more inside]

posted by perissodactyl on Sep 10, 2006 - 16 answers

posted by perissodactyl on Sep 10, 2006 - 16 answers

Is The dot product (vector operation) commutative? [more inside]

posted by I_am_jesus on Sep 5, 2006 - 12 answers

posted by I_am_jesus on Sep 5, 2006 - 12 answers

Where can I find typographic conventions for algebra? Specifically... [more inside]

posted by chef_boyardee on Aug 31, 2006 - 6 answers

posted by chef_boyardee on Aug 31, 2006 - 6 answers

What benefits will solving the Poincaré conjecture bring to mankind? [more inside]

posted by chill on Aug 24, 2006 - 17 answers

posted by chill on Aug 24, 2006 - 17 answers

What job should I get if I'm thinking about graduate school in mathematics but I still need to take some courses to prepare? [more inside]

posted by stranger loop on Aug 4, 2006 - 5 answers

posted by stranger loop on Aug 4, 2006 - 5 answers

Help me figure out a mathematical formula I need. [more inside]

posted by gummo on Jul 12, 2006 - 15 answers

posted by gummo on Jul 12, 2006 - 15 answers

How do I process user ratings of content without skewing results of items that have only been rated once? [more inside]

posted by Orkboi on Jul 10, 2006 - 19 answers

posted by Orkboi on Jul 10, 2006 - 19 answers

Philosophy-Filter: In reading a paper about mathematics philosophy I came across a reference to the term "idiotic infinity"; which Hegel used to express the unlimited accumulation of ideas, all of which become equally profound. I'd like to read more of what Hegel said about this idea, but I cannot find the term in use anywhere. Does anyone familiar with Hegel know where in his enormous corpus I might find the discussion of the "idiotic infinity"? There is also the off-chance that the math paper reference was wrong, and the term might have originated with another philosopher entirely.

posted by archae on May 20, 2006 - 5 answers

posted by archae on May 20, 2006 - 5 answers

The mathematics of experimental music - I need some help composing a piece that will give John Cage a run for his money. [more inside]

posted by Jimbob on May 5, 2006 - 19 answers

posted by Jimbob on May 5, 2006 - 19 answers

I've read that Gödel's incompleteness theorem shows that there are definite limits to what logic, mathematics and by extension computers can do. This seems to be unknown among humanists such as myself. What are the things logic cannot do? Earlier AskMe questions about Gödel here and here (this answer is especially good).

posted by Termite on Apr 5, 2006 - 50 answers

posted by Termite on Apr 5, 2006 - 50 answers

I recall reading that years after Newton and Leibniz, a school teacher slogged from the steppes to the big city with his independent invention of calculus. Apocryphal? Name, place, source? Yeah, I know about the quarrel between Newton & Leibniz, and Indian & Japanese calculus. I think this poor guy was Russian.

posted by gregoreo on Apr 2, 2006 - 7 answers

posted by gregoreo on Apr 2, 2006 - 7 answers

Looking for songs about math! My girlfriend's sister just got into a Ph.D. program for mathematics and we're making her a mix CD to help celebrate. Poppy indie rock especially good. [more inside]

posted by hydrophonic on Feb 23, 2006 - 68 answers

posted by hydrophonic on Feb 23, 2006 - 68 answers

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

posted by dmd on Feb 19, 2006 - 25 answers