Questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

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4
votes
3answers
535 views

Need good material on multifractal analysis

I'm searching for some good reading material on multifractal analysis. Preferably something accessible that doesn't put the stress too much on mathematical proofs but rather on applications. As long ...
23
votes
1answer
492 views

How much math education was typical in the 18th & 19th century?

Was it unusual for people in those days to learn Calculus? Could a grad student take a course in differential equations or multi-variable Calculus, or did they have to learn from journals? I am always ...
17
votes
5answers
638 views

Reflections on math education

Why is there such a big difference in math education between The Americas and (Europe and Asia) ? except for a few privileged who have the opportunity to access to math much earlier than the ordinary ...
11
votes
3answers
471 views

Elementary Geometry Nomenclature: why so bad?

A long-ish wall of text, and I apologize. Some background: when I was a first-year university student, my chemistry professor was lecturing and was trying to find the word to describe a shape. A ...
9
votes
1answer
244 views

General question: What one can do to help students one is grading?

Due to unknown reason I was assigned as a grader this semester for a certain proof writing class in my universtiy. The class size is 65 and students took it usually comes from a computer science ...
9
votes
1answer
544 views

Undergrad Student Trying to Figure Out What to Study

this is my first time on stack exchange and I am seeking advice for my future studies. Some background first; I am a undergraduate student pursuing a degree in mathematics and I hope to pursue ...
5
votes
3answers
137 views

Is there a simple geometrical description of $e$? [duplicate]

Of course I am not looking for a definition through $\int_1^e{1\over x} \, \mathrm{d}x=1$ or that slope of $a^x$ at $x=0$ is $1$ when $a=e$. I am looking for something understandable by a kid who has ...
5
votes
3answers
731 views

Good way to learn Ramsey Theory

What are some good books on Ramsey theory? I have Van Lints book on Combinatorics: is this enough preparation to start reading about Ramsey theory? I want a book that includes important results and ...
4
votes
2answers
356 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
234 views

Real numbers as decimals

I'm looking for a book that develops the theory of real numbers in a rigorous way in terms of their decimal expansions. The exposition should be concrete and preferably aimed at mathematically ...
1
vote
1answer
230 views

Mathematical disciplines [closed]

Once I spoked to a mathematician about mathematics and he asked me what was my favourite area in Maths. My answer was "Chaos Theory" and he said this is not a discipline in Mathematics. What is a ...
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
343 views

Which discussion board is good for homework questions?

I'm a CompSci university student and i want some help for my math questions. Therefore i am looking for a good discussion board for math homework questions. I don't know any (good), because I come ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Common misconceptions about math

YARFMO (Yet another reposting from Mathoverflow) ;-) The more you know about math the more you find conceptions previously thought correct to be false: 1.) math is not as exact as many believe - in ...
8
votes
4answers
349 views

What's the deal with integration?

So at uni we learned tricks and techniques for integration until cows came home. But to what end? Any/All definite integrals can be evaluated using numerical methods. Most integrals in application can ...
8
votes
4answers
776 views

How To Reach The “Next Level” of Mathematics

I am a junior-high pre-algebra student. I feel that my class is holding me back, so I wanted to learn "higher-level math". So what should I learn now? What do you believe is a "next step"?
5
votes
4answers
367 views

Would nonmath students be able to understand this?

For a course, I am required to do a presentation. The topic could either be something mundane, like a career strategy report, or something more interesting, such as a controversial topic, or an ...
4
votes
3answers
505 views

Most useful books for a math undergrad

What are the most useful books an undergraduate in math should read? I found Alock's "How to study as a math major" and "how to study for a math degree" very useful. Are there any other good readings ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Prove withoui calculus: the integral of 1/x is logarithmic

It was known in the 17th century that the function $$ t \mapsto \int_{1}^{t} \frac{dx}{x} $$ is logarithmic: a geometric sequence in the domain produces an arithmetic sequence in the codomain. This ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

What textbook should I get to self-learn Calculus? [duplicate]

I did not have the option to take calculus during high school. I would like to pick up this subject during my free time. I am a software engineer. I would like to improve my understanding of maths. ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

At what education level is this “simple” problem adequate?

Given the following problem: Alice, Bob and Carl stand on a straight line. Alice is one rod away from Bob. Dana stands one rod away from both Bob and Carl. Carl is as far from Alice as Alice ...
1
vote
4answers
186 views

Looking for a simple problem for math demonstration

I'm holding a 3-5 minute speech next week on mathematical problem solving, and how it makes me happy, to 15-20 non-mathematicians. As a part of it, I had thought about demonstrating two problems, but ...
0
votes
4answers
71 views

A vector should more be thought an identity of an entity in space rathar than magnitude + direction?

Can I say that vector is more like a "unique identity" of an entity in space rather than calling it an entity with magnitude and direction ? For example a line. A vector $(10,10,0)$ is the identity ...
9
votes
5answers
204 views

The use for solving quadradic equations for high school students

I have a little brother who is in high school and he just learnt the quadratic formula for finding roots of second degree polynomials. He asked me what why we learn this and how this could apply to a ...
8
votes
2answers
258 views

Why do we want probabilities to be *countably* additive?

In probability theory, it is (as far as I am aware) universal to equate "probability" with a probabilistic measure in the sense of measure theory (possibly a particularly well behaved measure, but ...
8
votes
4answers
955 views

Learning math: still paper and pen

Is it, from an educational perspective, still sound advice to recommend people to use paper/a notebook (of the traditional sort, not the device) and pen/pencil? I wonder if computers are a ...
7
votes
2answers
100 views

Information on crucial results concealed as exercises or neglected in a textbook

First, where can students find lists, information, or resources on the crucial results, inequalities, theorems, etc... which a textbook might not explictly feature or even bring up at all? Second, ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

how to see the logarithm as the inverse function of the exponential?

I saw here in math.stackexchange some proofs of how the log and exp functions are related to each other, but I want to get an intuition for that. In layman terms, how would you explain the connection ...
6
votes
3answers
842 views

How to fill gaps in my math knowledge?

Just finishing highschool, even though I am doing "well" (in the context of the math course itself), I have significant holes in my actual math knowledge. As I think many people who explore math ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

When should I start learning Set Theory?

I started to learn a few disciplines on my own over the break after my first year in college and one of them was Real Analysis. In the process I came across many issues in Analysis texts concerning ...
5
votes
1answer
695 views

Quickest way to understand Kruskal's Tree Theorem

I came across the Kruskal Tree Theorem the other day and thought it looked pretty interesting (especially the stronger finite form due to Friedman). I'm currently a first year mathematics ...
5
votes
1answer
405 views

Is it ever really Pi Time?

Walking with my son at 3:14pm the other day, I mentioned to him, "Hey, it's Pi Time". My son knows 35 digits of $\pi$ (don't ask), and knows that it's transcendental. He replied, "is it exactly ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Why learn abstract mathematics? What is the point? [closed]

I'm a mathematics college lecturer and have an mphil degree in the subject. But I often wonder why I'm learning this senior undergrad level mathematics---analysis, topology, functional analysis, ...
4
votes
1answer
300 views

Online classes/books in multivariable calculus?

So does anyone know of any good online courses in multivariable calculus? (Or in a possible alternative leap of curriculum, if said path has proven to be better/moar interesting.) I'm coming straight ...
4
votes
5answers
309 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
0answers
110 views

Do expressions like $(-1)^{2/3}$ show up naturally in pure or applied math?

Let $x$ denote an arbitrary real number. Then $x^n$ makes sense for arbitrary $n \in \mathbb{N},$ via the obvious recursive definition. We can extend this definition by asserting that if $x$ is ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Functions that generate “easy” matrices of full rank

While explaining how to invert matrices I once used this ill-fated example $A=\begin{pmatrix} 1&2&3\\4&5&6 \\7&8&9 \end{pmatrix}$ which can not be inverted ($\det(A)=0$). That ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Teaching the Concept of Infinity to Children.

I was recently out with the family and we left it up to the children where we ate lunch (11 and 9 years old). They couldn't agree and were going back and forth calling each other names. This ...
2
votes
3answers
389 views

Is it possible to learn abstract algebra no precalculus or calculus?

See above. I am trying to re-teach myself mathematics in a different manner than is formally taught (i.e., set theory, number theory, mathematical logic, abstract algebra, discrete math and then ...
2
votes
3answers
94 views

Do users of RTL languages adopt an LTR standard for mathematics (in the same way they often do when using LTR words or phrases in RTL text)?

Non-mathematician here. There is a discussion on this forum titled "Is “applying similar operations from left to right” a convention or a rule that forces us to mark one answer wrong?" I found it ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

What's the right moment to learn Set Theory?

I've seen a question in which the OP asked when is the right moment to learn Category Theory, it seems this moment comes a little after a course of algebra, and indeed some books on abstract algebra ...
2
votes
3answers
64 views

Why do I see i and k as the indices of summation?

I'm working on linear algebra and just wanted to clear up an uncertainty regarding whether there is a difference in the use of i and k as the dummy variables for the index of summation? ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Looking for online matlab-based differential equations course/text.

I am looking for an online ODE course that would be matlab/project-oriented. A full online text/course in the spirit of this linear algebra text is preferred. I know about the following CODEE and ...
1
vote
4answers
99 views

Explaining multiplication of fractions

The best way I've been able to describe multiplication is as $$ a\times b = \sum^a_{i=1} b$$ But my definition does not account for things such as $2.99792458\times8.987551787$ and ...
1
vote
7answers
3k views

Explain why perpendicular lines have negative reciprocal slopes

I am not sure how to explain this. I just know they have negative reciprocals because one one line will have a positive slope while the other negative.
1
vote
3answers
718 views

A round table probability question

Hi guys I am writing my P exam for the second time and I remembered two question that confused me when writing the exam. I asked my prof. but it confused him as well. For simplicity I will ask one ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

GRE Probability question

How many 3-digit positive integers are odd and do not contain the digit 5 ? My attempt: 100-999 3 -digit integers, 900/2=450 odd numbers. Now how to calculate odd numbers which do not contain digit 5 ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Complexity of graph radius algorithm

I am a bit new so I hope I don`t break any rules. I have an algorithm: Given H = (V, E) a graph. If v ∈ V and r ∈ N, we will note with SH(v, r) the sphere of radius r with the center in v: SH(v, r) ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Imaginary roots and Real values when using Newton-Raphson Values

I am studying Newton-Raphson Method but I am facing questions in my head. How do I know if I have an imaginary number or imaginary numbers? and What to do when I have them when using Newton Raphson ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

linear congruence questions

A: For the two systems of linear congruences, one system has integer solutions while the other does not. For the system with integer solutions, write down 2 of them whose difference is less than 192. ...