Questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

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6
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5answers
2k views

Experiences with Rudin?

So I am trying to tutor a friend in analysis. This is her first time with proofs. We are on chapter 2 – the topology chapter – of Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis and ...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

online classes for math masters pre reqs

I'm currently getting my masters in video game development and next year want to start on my math masters. Some of the pre-reqs I need to still take are calc 3 and linear algebra, does anyone know of ...
15
votes
5answers
680 views

Definition of definition

I was wondering if there is a good way to "define" what definition means exactly in mathematics. Since the answers may be subjective or philosophical, I want to ask only for references on this topic. ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Motivating linear algebra for economics students?

I'm a tutor for the introductory linear algebra course at my school; this course is required for most upper division economics classes, so a lot of my tutees are economics majors. This is a typical ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What's wrong with me? [closed]

Over the past few days I have been pondering about this: I enjoy technical things (like programming and stuff) and try to find the patterns and algorithms in everything. My life is number oriented. ...
2
votes
0answers
197 views

How to Create a Lesson Plan with Wolfram Alpha

This will be my first post in this forum. I am so excited to see a lot of interesting posting from the community. From the FAQ, I learned that Mathematics stack exchange discussed about mathematical ...
3
votes
4answers
359 views

Mathematics necessary for a Master's degree in CS

I'm contemplating doing a Master's degree in Computer Science at night school. What sort of mathematics am I likely to encounter?
-3
votes
1answer
917 views

How to engage extremely proficient math kid who hates math? [closed]

Well hate is probably too strong, maybe "doesn't enjoy" is a better description. I have a 5 year old son who generally doesn't like math, though he is extraordinarily talented. I'm looking for books ...
7
votes
2answers
260 views

Enlightening misunderstandings of test questions

What enlightening misunderstandings of test questions have you encountered? Of course, there are jokes about this, such as literal (graphic) “expansion” of the power of a binomial, but I am asking ...
41
votes
12answers
2k views

Examples of results failing in higher dimensions

A number of economists do not appreciate rigor in their usage of mathematics and I find it very discouraging. One of the examples of rigor-lacking approach are proofs done via graphs or pictures ...
4
votes
2answers
343 views

Study program for algebra for an math-phobic person

I have a female friend (Mid 20's) who wants to get an associates degree, who has an absolute phobia of math, and algebra in particular. I'm trying to find a good program that can help her to study ...
1
vote
3answers
515 views

Distance from a point to a line in vector geometry - real world applications?

In vector geometry it is a standard example how to calculate the distance between a point and a line in space. However are there any interesting real world applications of this. I.e. where one wants ...
10
votes
7answers
8k views

practical uses of matrix multiplication

The use of matrix multiplication is usually given with graphics initially (scalings, translations, rotations, etc). Then there are more in-depth examples such as counting the number of walks between ...
16
votes
4answers
971 views

Grasping mathematics

First, I'm not trying to make this sound like a "poor-me" story. I understand fully that every decision I've made leading to this is my fault. I am genuinely looking for advice. So, I am a high ...
8
votes
3answers
586 views

Which of these courses to take if one intends to go to grad school in pure math (rank please)

could you rank these classes in terms of necessity to take if I intend to pursue a Ph.D in pure math? I don't know if I can fit everything, but I want to make sure I take the most important ones: ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Web 2.0 and mathematics for high school students

First of all, if this is not the right place to ask, I am sorry and just close this topic. I'm trying to introduce Web 2.0 into my Math class for teenagers in the range of 12-16 years old. I've ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

Links to interesting metaphors for problematic aspects of mathematics education

Can you give references to articles/books that contain interesting metaphors for what is wrong in mathematics education from the point of view of mathematicians? An example for what I am searching: ...
41
votes
9answers
5k views

How to effectively study math?

Maybe this is too general for here, but I am having a lot of difficulty studying math. Just got out of the military and I guess I am not use to this yet but when I run into a problem I have trouble ...
36
votes
6answers
1k views

Need a result of Euler that is simple enough for a child to understand

Talking to my 8 yr old about "the greatest mathematician of all time", I said it was probably Gauss in my opinion, but that Gauss was not very kind to his kids (for example, forbidding them to go into ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Interesting non-stem questions about Koch/Sierpinski fractals

Exam time and I am having a hard time finding any inspiring questions about fractals for our "contemporary math" course. We found the perimeter and area of various Koch snowflakes and Sierpinski ...
91
votes
7answers
112k views

How many sides does a circle have?

My son is in 2nd grade. His math teacher gave the class a quiz, and one question was this: If a triangle has 3 sides, and a rectangle has 4 sides, how many sides does a circle have? My first ...
3
votes
0answers
517 views

List of mathematical Summer schools (particulary in Europe)

I would like to apply for a summer school. Particulary it should take place in Europe and center on the topic numerical analysis. Is there something like a comprehensive list of summer schools?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Would it be fine to use Serge Lang's two Calculus books as textbooks for freshman as Maths major?

I'm a freshman in Maths major, but the recommanded textbook(Calculus:A Complete Course by Robert A. Adams) by Prof. of Calculus course is too much expensive, well, I found there're Serge Lang's two ...
6
votes
5answers
912 views

discrete math book suitable for younger person?

When I took discrete math as an adult I realized that this was a subject I would have enjoyed and done well at much earlier in life, even in my early teens. Does anyone know if there are good books, ...
43
votes
23answers
15k views

What is a good complex analysis textbook?

I'm out of college, and trying to learn complex analysis on my own. I took out Ahlfors' text from the library, but I'm finding it difficult. Any textbook recommendations? I'm probably at an ...
9
votes
2answers
481 views

Is there any way to read articles without subscription?

This is not mathematician question but I think it's related. How I can get access to some of "Software: Practice and Experience" articles without subscription? Any advice is welcome. Sorry if I'm ...
8
votes
3answers
403 views

Mathematics Style Guide - l vs 1 vs |

I had a quick look around here and google before, and didn't find any answer to this particular question, and it's beginning to really irritate me now, so I'm asking here: How is one supposed to ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Best software to take math notes?

I have read some old discussions about this topic and would like to get some up-to-date advice, if possible. How can I take math notes, write formulas and draw graphs on my pc (win 7), the easiest ...
3
votes
0answers
275 views

“Reverse thinking” exam questions-reference request

I am interested in exam questions that are "backwards" from how they are usually asked. For example: Brian and Megan have the following question on their exam: Find the volume of the solid ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Solutions to Alan Hatcher's “Algebraic Topology”

Does anyone know where I can find (if they exist) full solutions to the exercises of Alan Hatcher's Algebraic Topology? Thanks.
2
votes
1answer
493 views

Considering math or computer science

Let me start by saying I graduated High School in 2002 and have worked as a technician, a systems administrator, and a part time web developer up till now. I have started taking courses at community ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

No radical in the denominator — why?

Why do all school algebra texts define simplest form for expressions with radicals to not allow a radical in the denominator. For the classic example, $1/\sqrt{3}$ needs to be "simplified" to ...
0
votes
1answer
801 views

Accounting Question: Computing margin of Safety Ratio

Smith Company produces desk lamps. The information for June indicated that the selling price was $\$25$ per unit, variable costs were $\$15$ per unit, fixed costs totaled $\$6,000$, and the margin of ...
2
votes
2answers
369 views

Software for helping kids learn advanced mathematics?

What is the best software for helping a 10-year-old learn about advanced mathematics?
39
votes
13answers
7k views

How to effectively and efficiently learn mathematics

How do you effectively study mathematics? How does one read a maths book instead or just staring at it for hours? (Apologies in advance if the question is ill-posed or too subjective in its current ...
22
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the (mathematical) point of geometric constructions?

The ancient discipline of construction by straightedge and compass is both fascinating and entertaining. But what is its significance in a mathematical sense? It is still taught in high school ...
4
votes
2answers
244 views

Is there a online reference that chains mathematical knowledge from simple to complex?

I'm a very, very logical person -- but I've never taken any math classes; really, I know. So, on that note -- how do I teach myself math? As my question might suggest, I see the answer as being an ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

How to pick a thesis advisor?

This sort of question is probably in bad taste for math.stackexchange, but is probably in high demand. (I tried to start a site on Area 51 to house questions like this, but my request was closed due ...
10
votes
3answers
417 views

Popular general-interest math courses

I'm hoping the userbase here doesn't mind if I do a little crowd-sourcing. I'm curious to find out about popular general-interest mathematics or statistics classes that are offered universities that ...
58
votes
6answers
3k views

How Do You Actually Do Your Mathematics?

Better yet, what I'm asking is how do you actually write your mathematics? I think I need to give brief background: Through most of my childhood, I'd considered myself pretty good at math, up ...
14
votes
8answers
1k views

Elementary Papers at ArXiv

Inspired by this question, at MO i am asking this question. Can anyone list some elementary articles at ArXiv which can be understood by High-School/Undergrad Students. I am asking this because, i ...
39
votes
8answers
5k views

When to learn category theory?

I'm a undergraduate who wishes to learn category theory but I only have basic knowledge of linear algebra and set theory, I've also had a short course on number theory which used some basic concepts ...
4
votes
3answers
462 views

The elementary coordinate geometry of polynomials? Of rational expressions? Of radicals?

With a few colleagues, we're trying to design an (intermediate) algebra course (US terminology) where we stress the interplay between algebra and geometry. The algebraic topics we would like to cover ...
34
votes
21answers
2k views

Mathematics problems for very young children?

This is a tall order, but since this site is for everything mathematical, here goes: What are some nice games/puzzles/problems/problem-like activities that would be appropriate for a three-five year ...
3
votes
3answers
322 views

Is there any physical analogy to explain multiplication by zero?

This is targeted for elementary kids. One way to think is that add any number to itself zero times... Just wondering if there is a better way...
13
votes
3answers
864 views

Guidelines for learning about Ramanujan's work?

It is well known that one of the first books Ramanujan studied was "Synopsis of Pure and Applied Mathematics" and that it shaped the way Ramanujan thought and wrote about mathematics. Being interested ...
3
votes
5answers
296 views

how to explain that Prob[heads, tails] = 2 * Prob[heads, heads] to a student?

I throw two coins (simultaneously). A student (very much a beginner in both math and probability theory) thought that the following 3 outcomes are equally likely: "two heads", "two tails", "a head and ...
3
votes
4answers
320 views

Preparing for the Mathematical Contest in Modeling

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is coming up in a couple of weeks. With the idea that the competition is ultimately about teaching students to become better at mathematical modeling, I was ...
3
votes
1answer
294 views

Best Practices for Learning Mathematics (especially in the classroom)

What study practices have led you to the best success in learning mathematics (or applied math, or theoretical CS) in the classroom (undergraduate/lower graduate level), especially in courses that ...
17
votes
5answers
786 views

Fun math outreach/social activities

What are some great math social activities for students? I'm looking for things that bring people together with a "light" mathematical touch. The goal is to create a stronger mathematical community in ...