Questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

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50
votes
18answers
5k views

If there are obvious things, why should we prove them?

Obviously, there are obvious things in mathematics. Why we should prove them? Prove that $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty}\dfrac{1}{n}=0$? Prove that $f(x)=x$ is continuous on $\mathbb{R}$? $\dotsc$ Just ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Mathematics or physics at university

I have a strong interest in maths, and I feel that advanced physics is cool too (although I've only studied classical mechanics at high school, which is kind of boring). So I'm not sure about which ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

school exersise/ Differentiation

If $f$ is differentiable in ${\bf R}$ and for every $x \in {\bf R}$, $$ f(x+\cos x)-f(1-x) \leq x\cos x , $$ then prove that $f'(1)=1/2$. How is a school kid supposed to solve this exercise ? ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Revise high school material

Can you suggest me a comprehensive book to revise high school mathematics (up to besic calculus)? It should be extremely clear and complete and "scientific" (not like most high school books). Thank ...
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Things to do before starting math (or physics) at university

What is better to do before starting a math degree? I was thinking that maybe I should do something like: learning latex learning how to use matlab Any other suggestions?
8
votes
5answers
290 views

Why does $n^0 = 1$?

Why is it that $n^0 = 1$? I understand how $n^2 = n*n$ and how $n^1 = n$ but I can't understand why $n^0 = 1$.
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Math literature for teaching kids

If you were going to teach you kids programming and asked me what book to use as a guide, I would recommend you either Java programming for kids or Python for kids. But what if I want to teach kids ...
25
votes
3answers
699 views

Create a Huge Problem

I am wondering if any problems have been designed that test a wide range of mathematical skills. For example, I remember doing the integral $$\int \sqrt{\tan x}\;\mathrm{d}x$$ and being impressed at ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Why all games are not Potential?

A definition given in wikipedia of an exact potential game as follow: A game $G=(N,A=A_{1}\times\ldots\times A_{N}, u: A \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^N)$ is: an exact potential game if there is a ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Why optimization problems cannot be solved by simple derivative?

Let $f(\cdot)$ be a linear function. $f:\mathbb{R}^n\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ $\;\quad\;\mathbf{x}\;\rightarrow f(\mathbf{x})$. Let $\mathbf{A}$ be a matrix in $\mathbb{R}^{m\times ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Establishing fairness in test grading

Consider a group of 75 students who sit an exam consisting of 20 open questions, and are then randomly divided into 3 groups of 25 students {A, B, C} for grading by 3 different persons. Let us ...
1
vote
3answers
72 views

Which discrete mathematics book to read for a software engineer?

I'm a computer science student, but I lack a good mathematics background. So I decided to start working on that. I was searching in the topic and I found that for computer science a good knowledge of ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

What courses require multivariable analysis?

For which undergraduate and introductory graduate mathematics courses is a rigorous course in multivariable analysis an essential prerequisite?
3
votes
3answers
84 views

Why do we use $cm^2$?

I can't seem to wrap my head around why we should use $cm^2$ for area. According to my textbook we use it for converting units of area but I don't understand how $1cm$ is any different from $1cm^2$. ...
23
votes
8answers
6k views

Are there contradictions in math?

Someone told me that math has a lot of contradictions. He said that a lot of things are not well defined. He told me two things that I do not know. $1+2+3+4+...=-1/12$ what is infinity $\infty$? ...
4
votes
0answers
72 views

distance Pure Math graduate programs?

I would like to go to a graduate school for pure mathematics, but I do not live where such programs exits. Furthermore, I can not move. Question: Do any Universities have graduate program in pure ...
1
vote
2answers
372 views

Maths brain teaser. Fifty minutes ago it was four times as many minutes past three o'clock

Fifty minutes ago it was four times as many minutes past three o'clock. How many minutes is it to six o'clock..? I have got the solution online but have doubts in it : ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How to study analytic number theory?

Should i study many books at the same time? Or should i go one by one? I started with Apostol's book... But for example if i don't understand a proof, i check another book for a different proof of the ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

What test could I use to test $\mu_1$ and $\mu_2$ instead of $\bar{x}$ and $\mu$?

A single sample $t$ test is only against a sample and a population correct? Can it test against a population and itself or two populations? ie $\mu_1$ vs. $\mu_2$....if not what tests would you use ...
0
votes
2answers
28 views

Can someone very intuitively explain why the cross-product works, with respect to proportions?

Note: unrelated to matrices. I have to teach this concept, and I want to know what is the best way to show that the cross product is always equal if the two fractions are equal. Thank you so much.
5
votes
2answers
86 views

Looking for a specific female maths writer

This is going to be an annoying question, but I have to ask it as it is annoying me. I once read a book on infinity that was written by an American female maths writer. She was very easy to read and a ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

Standard Deviation of Population from Sample.

I guess I am a little confused. I am doing t test statistics in my class. I think I know but I would love some insight. I am trying to get the estimated standard deviation for the population. These ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Matrices of the form $A^p=(a_{ij}^p)$

I am wondering if there is a name for these kind of matrices and if they are interesting or not? Do they even exist? Let $A$ be a $n\times n$ matrix with elements $a_{ij}$. $A= (a_{ij})_{i,j\in\{1, ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What's the trick to re-focusing on your math studies?

If you check my history on MSE, you'll see that I was very active about 1/2 a year ago. Right now I'm working and socializing a lot, which is important, but I also have spare time to devote to my ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Classroom enhancement resources for linear algebra

My university offers small grants (in the \$100 - \$300 range) for classroom enhancement resources. In the past, I've applied for and received a grant to purchase a Zometools kit used for ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

What does $e^b$ means?

What does it mean $a^b$ where $a$ and $b$ are real numbers not integers, not rationnals (I do not know the name of this set). Real numbers means $\mathbb{R}$ but $1\in \mathbb{R}$ So, what does it ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Where to begin my Math journey

I apologize if this is not the correct forum for this, but I felt it appropriate. I want to start getting into more mathematics and learning all I can to step up my programming career. I know plenty ...
2
votes
5answers
338 views

What area of Abstract Algebra do you find most interesting? [closed]

For my Abstract Algebra class, we will be doing small presentations (2 class periods) covering some topic in Abstract Algebra. Thus far, I have studied groups, rings, fields, modules, tensor ...
7
votes
1answer
115 views

why is that most of the books in mathematics don't include answers?

I am currently going through the " Topics in Algebra" By I. N. Herstein. The problems are pretty good. But there are no answers on the back. Same is the case with "Mathematical Analysis" by Rudin. I ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Power calculation for simplification?

I have this simple question I saw here: ±(2 - 2^(-23)) × 2^128 = ±6.8 × 10^38 How did they get to ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Parabola problem. How far from the vertex is the focus?

A spotlight has a parabolic cross section that is 8 ft wide at the opening and 2.5 ft deep at the vertex. How far from the vertex is the focus? I'm getting 8/5 ft. Is this correct? Appreciated!
5
votes
2answers
137 views

Why the $\log$ is so special?

When I first learn about the logarithm function $\log$ or $\ln$. My professor said that $\log x$ is a function that when we derive we get the inverse function $1/x$. This $\log$ becomes very popular ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

Is an undergraduate in engineering sufficient preparation for a masters in mathematics?

I'm a high school student who is considering doing an undergraduate in engineering. However my the long term plan is to pursue math at a higher level. I want to do engineering at undergrad because I ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Max value - Mantissa calculation clarification?

I've been reading this article about floating point representation floating point representation is : Where mantissa is : All understood. But they also say : How did they get to ...
78
votes
20answers
13k views

Visually deceptive “proofs” which are mathematically wrong

Related: Visually stunning math concepts which are easy to explain Beside the wonderful examples above, there should also be counterexamples, where visually intuitive demonstrations are actually ...
-2
votes
1answer
31 views

Null Hypothesis and Confidence Intervals

I was told that If I reject the null hypothesis than my CI will not include the population mean. However the problem that I just did has a population mean of 2.72 and a lower CI of 2.5 and an upper CI ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Upper and Lower Bounds for Confidence Intervals on a one tail hypothesis test.

CI(99) = xbar ± Zcv( σ / √ n -1 ) My question is if the test is a one tail hypothesis test, do I still do two separate equations + and -. Here is the formula filled in (if it is the correct ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Why am I getting 84.25 instead of 97.68 for my Confidence Interval?

Why am I getting 84.25. I am doing 97.96*(6/sqrt[50-1]) = 97.96*(6/7) I am obviously not doing this correctly please help. It has been sometime since I have done any math.
8
votes
6answers
996 views

Should I do all the exercises in a textbook?

The problem sets that you usually get in a university course is a small fraction of the exercises in your textbook. Which raises a question: do you need to solve all the exercises from your textbook? ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Move Hill equation curve horizontally without changing its shape?

I have a normal Hill function of: $y = \dfrac{x^\lambda}{h^\lambda + x^\lambda}$; where $\lambda$ is Hill coefficient, and $h$ indicates the infection point. I am concerning if we could add another ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Looking for mathematics teaching article

Some time in the last month, I read a great article somewhere on the web that discussed the sorry state of secondary school math education in the U.S. One of the examples in that article was a ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Can I use order of operations (BIDMAS) on any question?

Does BIDMAS only apply to simple calculations, or can you use them in algebra etc?
0
votes
1answer
22 views

return a number between 3 to 5 by get a number between 1 until 10000! [closed]

I want to have a math math formulas to do this operation: A:get a number between 1 to 10000 B:reteun a number between 3.00 until 5 for example 3.89 for greater number return greater number too! ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

I'm stuck with rounding decimals and have been for years

I'm in year 10 and have a B grade - yet still manage to mess it up when I face a question regarding decimals. For example: Round 8.647 to one decimal place. Would this be 8.7 or 8.6 as I have never ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

A Ferris Wheel Word Problem (Trigonometry)

Please help, will give me an idea how to do more of these. A Ferris Wheel called Colossus has a diameter of 158 feet. Using the figure as a model, find the distance traveled by someone starting at ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

Linear Homogeneous Recurrence Relations and Inhomogenous Recurrence Relations

I'm having some difficulty understanding 'Linear Homogeneous Recurrence Relations' and 'Inhomogeneous Recurrence Relations', the notes that we've been given in our discrete mathematics class seem to ...
366
votes
42answers
167k views

Visually stunning math concepts which are easy to explain

Since I'm not that good at (as I like to call it) 'die-hard-mathematics', I've always liked concepts like the golden ratio or the dragon curve, which are easy to understand and explain, but are ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Finding an exam grade average

Someone else got a 68% on their first account and an 83% on their second account. At a minimum, what value do they need on the third account so that their overall bank dividenda (mean) is at least an ...
10
votes
4answers
618 views

Why would you expand a square wave in a Fourier series?

The periodic square wave $$ f(x) = \cases{ 1 \text{ if } 0 \le x \le \pi \\ 0 \text { if } -\pi \le x < 0} $$ seems easy enough to work with. Why transform it into a series of sines and cosines? ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Necessity of writing Math in a patent?

I don't know if its appropriate question here...but I anyway want to try... I have an algorithm in which I have a finite data in which each element is assumed as an element of a metric space with a ...