For questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Note that Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange may be a better home for narrowly scoped questions on specific issues in mathematics education.

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How would you prove that the graph of a linear equation is a straight line, and vice versa, at a “high school” level? [duplicate]

This is something I've been wondering about. Namely, I've always accepted "on intuition" that the equation $$ax + by = c$$ is, when graphed, a line. You can plot the points $(x, y)$ satisfying the ...
5
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1answer
194 views

Software for basic math notes at 5th to 10th grade level (10 to 15 years old)

So I've looked around, here and otherwise, but sadly can't seem to find quite what I'm looking for. I don't know if it even exists, I figured it was worth trying to ask, though. I've found plenty of ...
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1answer
2k views

Applications of infinity in real life [duplicate]

I am writing a mathematical essay and would like to focus on the concept of infinity. I am not sure of any real life applications of infinity to write about or some way to narrow down the topics. Does ...
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3answers
641 views

How would you explain confidence intervals to a beginner with very weak algebra skills

Let us say that you are taking AP Statistics. The prerequisite is a passing grade of D or above in Algebra II. The kids that you are working with struggle with algebra and do not retain information ...
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2answers
167 views

Resources for teaching introductory course in differential equations?

The first time I was assigned to teach an introductory linear algebra course, I was able to find a number of resources which were helpful. For example, Linear Algebra Gems and Resources for Teaching ...
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1answer
37 views

Teaching School Algebra via Programming

It seems that there are ideas to teach school algebra (i.e. using variables, working with algebraic expressions and solving equations) via computer programming. I need a book or a collection of ...
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2answers
356 views

How to deduce this puzzle

Every station on the railway system sells tickets to every other station. Some new stations were added. 46 sets of additional sets of tickets were required. How many new stations have been added? How ...
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2answers
276 views

Convention verses memory: The quotient rule v product rule for derivatives

I have long wondered why the product rule is taught the way it is. ${ d(UV)=Udv+Vdu}$ Don't get me wrong, I am not a complete NOB when it comes to calc, but the quotient rule states $${d(\frac ...
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1answer
220 views

To take notes or not to [closed]

Is it really better to take notes as a maths major or are some better without them? I've never gotten used to taking notes and I've never done it. But I'm wondering if I'd improve if I'd start doing ...
0
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1answer
539 views

How to calculate the points of the triangles making up an Octahedron?

Ok guys, I'm not a great mathematician but will try to work this as accurately as I can. I hope someone can help me. I am drawing some 3D objects and I am having trouble drawing an Octahedron. I ...
1
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1answer
209 views

How to get a top-notch Math education (high school level) online?

For the past years, it is becoming more and more accessible to get college level content from many different sources, and, if one is willing can get very far with his math education (not only by ...
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0answers
86 views

What is the less confusing way to explain confidence intervals to a beginner

Let us say that you are back in high school and you have a friend who has missed class for a week. He needs information to be spoonfed to him, because its not his style to overthink. If you push for ...
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1answer
107 views

How to solve this Mystery with Mathematics

I read a mystery in a book but I can't solve it with Mathematics. The mystery is: "I have tripled my nephew's age, and 5 years ago I have 5 times from his twin brother age. What is my age now?" In ...
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3answers
111 views

Baloney detection kit for Math

There are folks who claim they proved Fermat's Last Theorem, Riemman Hypothesis offering no more than a half a dozen pages (sometimes one or two pages) of proof, very few if any citations of previous ...
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3answers
460 views

which exact integration techniques belong in a first year calculus/analysis course?

At our university we are now discussing changes to the course contents and there is some heated discussion regarding integration in the first year calculus courses. Currently, the techniques of exact ...
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1answer
63 views

How Should the First Sessions of an Undergrad. Course Be?

Form a teaching perspective, the first sessions of an undergraduate mathematics course are of a great importance. They can make clear the aims of the course, and point out to the main problems and ...
4
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1answer
91 views

Natural discontinuities

As I stare at a cube-shaped building whose side has length $100$ meters, while walking westward parallel to its north wall at a location $100$ meters north of the building, the distance to farthest ...
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2answers
871 views

Math Riddles #10 - Car Meter Riddle

Today my car meter reads as 72927 kms. I notes that this is a palindrome. How many minimum kms I need to travel so my car meter find another palindrome?
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1answer
73 views

Figuring out deficiencies in math education.

I'm mostly self-taught and while I know (and use) many advanced mathematical topics, I often enough find holes in my understanding of lower level math. Is there an exam (or series of exams) I could ...
2
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1answer
139 views

What is the contribution of group theory to topology?

An answer for a question on MathOverflow.net which asked for some recommendations on textbooks for books in topology received the following comment: "It's a great book to introduce applied ...
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1answer
64 views

What are some helpful pre-requisites/hints/encouragement for going through Theodore Frankel's “Geometry of Physics” in a self-study?

I plan on working through "Geometry of Physics" by Frankel. I keep on running into little snags here and there, and I am wondering if that's just part of the process, or whether I am ill-prepared. ...
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0answers
111 views

Why are hyperbolic trigonometric functions avoided in (my) high school and early post-secondary school?

I remember seeing hyperbolic trigonometric functions (sinh, cosh, tanh, etc.) in my precalculus textbook back in high school and see them today in my calculus textbook. However, I have not had a ...
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2answers
311 views

How to introduce category theory to a high school audience?

I am a mathematician with background in Category Theory. I have been asked to give a 20 minute talk about my area of research to an audience of talented high school students and school mathematicians ...
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1answer
47 views

Get sides of triangle with only angle as given?

Can someone tell me how to get the sides of triangle(opposite,adjacent and hypotenuse) if i only have an angle as given? I got the angle by getting using atan2(y-y,x-x); Now i want to get the sides ...
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1answer
684 views

What pure mathematics foundations should an applied mathematician have?

I'm studying mathematics, with some statistics also, and I've always chosen applied courses. I'm getting to the point where I'm studying 3rd year undergraduate to graduate level material. My first ...
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4answers
261 views

How do I convince someone that $\mathbb{R}^2$ and its copy inside $\mathbb{R}^3$ are different?

One of my friends is taking a first course in linear algebra now, and one of the problems on his latest homework was to explain why $\mathbb{R}^2$ and $\{(a_1,a_2,a_3) \in \mathbb{R}^3 \mid a_3 = 0\}$ ...
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4answers
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Why study quadrilaterals?

My niece is in the 10th grade, and they have to do lot of theorems related to quadrilaterals. And, I was surprised to know that they have to learn by rote some theorems. This has made her feel that ...
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1answer
352 views

Darboux's Integral vs. the “High School” Integral

The definition of the integral below is what I usually call the "High School definition," because that's usually where I've seen it in use. Take a partition $\Delta = \{ x_0, x_1, x_2, \ldots, ...
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3answers
143 views

What is trigonometry? [closed]

I am going to learn trigonometry next year. I am an advanced student and I like to get a head start on things. So, How do you describe and introduce Trigonometry to the advanced secondary school ...
10
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1answer
451 views

How often should math students take day breaks and longer breaks or vacations? Any research?

John Edensor Littlewood wrote in page 197 of Littlewood's Miscellany "For a week without teaching duties - and here I think I am preaching to the converted - I believe in on afternoon and the ...
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19answers
18k views

How do I convince my students that the choice of variable of integration is irrelevant?

I will be TA this semester for the second course on Calculus, which contains the definite integral. I have thought this since the time I took this course, so how do I convince my students that for a ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Teaching irrational numbers?

I'm interested in teaching the irrational numbers to high-school students, and I need your ideas on how to do this in an 'optimal' and innovative way. And my question is: What should the teacher know ...
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0answers
143 views

Exercises or courses to improve logical rigor and reasoning skills

There is plenty of math that is beautiful without needing much explanation of theory, such as fractals, geometric patterns and the Game of Life, that may interest beginners in mathematics. However, if ...
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2answers
159 views

Question about secant and cosecant.

Ok so if we take a right triangle and consider an angle $\alpha$ we get the following: From here we can define the fundamental trigonometric functions sine and cosine where ...
2
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0answers
68 views

What is a sound curriculum for exponent rules in freshman algebra in high school?

We all know the the rules of exponents covered in freshman algebra. The question is, what is the best way to approach these topics as most 9th graders struggle in this area? I work as an after school ...
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2answers
278 views

Explaining how to simplify a quotient with negative exponents?

I work as an after school tutor at my high school. I've had kids come up to me asking how to do these types of problems: $\left(\displaystyle \frac{5xy^{-2}}{3z^{-1}} \right)^{-2}$ My approach is ...
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8answers
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How to maintain enthusiasm and joy in teaching when the material grows stale

I recently finished my third semester of teaching calculus to freshman college students. This means I was drawing the same pictures, solving the same example problems, and discussing the same ...
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6answers
2k views

Self studying math, how can I learn the most?

I am currently studying Pre-Calculus on my own. I have a few texts I am working with but feel like I could learning a lot more than I am. When people typically ask these kind of questions the common ...
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1answer
1k views

Line Drawing Using Bresenham Algorithm

Indicate which raster locations would be chosen by Bersenham’s algorithm when scan converting a line from screen co-ordinates (1,1) to (8,5). First the straight values (initial values) must be found ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Philosophical side of MATH. knowing the path then walk it. [closed]

Can I find a book that gives me the purpose of theorems and definitions without going deep into proofs. It's just like knowing the path then walk it. That's will me the understanding reach the next ...
2
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2answers
952 views

Fundamental theorem of linear algebra

When I studied linear algebra we (our books, our professors) used to call Fundamental theorem of linear algebra the theorem that says: Fundamental theorem of linear algebra: A linear ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Standard deviation: When to use which sum-coefficient?

I'm wondering when to use $\sigma = \sqrt{\frac{1}{n-1} \sum_{i=1}^{n}(X_{i}-X_{mean})^2}$ and when to use $\sigma = \sqrt{\frac{1}{n} \sum_{i=1}^{n}(X_{i}-X_{mean})^2}$ which I have both seen in ...
0
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1answer
290 views

Relative Percentage vs Percentage Change

If I have a number say "500" and I say that it spiked 4 times (400%) of the original value i.e. "2,000". Does that make sense mathematically and grammatically because I'm talking about relative ...
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1answer
1k views

Teaching engineers mathematical thinking skills

In my experience, many introductory engineering mathematics textbooks these days tend to skip proofs and discuss logic only in the context of digital electronics. On the other hand, I can imagine that ...
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3answers
425 views

Teaching algebra in a culturally relevant way while fitting Common Core standards

I've been assigning algebra textbook and worksheet problems (from the publishers and my own) that look like this: Simplify the following expressions. $x^{- 3} y^2$ $c^2 d^{-5}$ ...
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5answers
1k views

$\epsilon, \delta$…So what?

Over the course of my studies I often encounter phrases in reference material of the type "and this avoids the need for using $\epsilon$, $\delta$ definitions" or "by this we can omit those ...
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2answers
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Examples of open ended calculus “class project” ideas

I have instructed calculus I an II, each once, at the college level and would like to emphasize that math is not just about memorizing formulas and concepts for a test and that applied math is not a ...
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2answers
443 views

Examples of groups in the real world

I'm looking for some examples of groups in the real world to show students in a liberal arts math course. For example the Rubik's cube. Keep in mind these students have only a college algebra ...
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31answers
13k views

Stopping the “Will I need this for the test” question [closed]

I am a college professor in the American education system and find that the major concern of my students is trying to determine the specific techniques or problems which I will ask on the exam. This ...
6
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1answer
219 views

How to combat memorization

As a student in high school, I never bothered to memorize equations or methods of solving, rather I would try to identify the logic behind the operations and apply them. However, now that I've begun ...