Questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

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100
votes
7answers
3k views

What remains in a student's mind

I'm a first year graduate student of mathematics and I have an important question. I like studying math and when I attend, a course I try to study in the best way possible, with different textbooks ...
19
votes
9answers
1k views

Should a high school introductory calculus class teach $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ proofs?

It seems to me that most high school students are comfortable with the intuitive notion of a limit ("as $x$ gets arbitrarily close to $c$, $f(x)$ gets arbitrarily close to $L$") and gain little ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

How To Deal With Rude Math Prof? [on hold]

I am having difficulties in math, and every time I try to go to my math professor's office hours she always seems annoyed. When I ask her a question she always says something to the effect "I don't ...
489
votes
145answers
31k views

What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful? (For children's book)

I'm a children's book writer and illustrator, and I want to to create a book for young readers that exposes the beauty of Mathematics. I recently read Paul Lockhart's essay "The Mathematician's ...
0
votes
3answers
63 views

Meaning of Math Symbols

What is the best way to learn the meaning of the math symbols beyond the alphabet or the cardinal numbers? I understand some ϵ>0 means epsilon is greater than zero ∃δ>0 means there exists delta ...
65
votes
5answers
2k views

“Advice to young mathematicians”

I have been suggested to read the Advice to a Young Mathematician section of the Princeton Companion to Mathematics, the short paper Ten Lessons I wish I had been Taught by Gian-Carlo Rota, and the ...
14
votes
13answers
2k views

How to explain the perpendicularity of two lines to a High School student?

Today I was teaching my friend from High School about linear functions. One of the exercises we had to do was finding equations of perpendicular and parallel lines. Explaining parallel equations was ...
88
votes
41answers
11k views

What's your favorite proof accessible to a general audience? [on hold]

What math statement with proof do you find most beautiful and elegant, where such is accessible to a general audience, meaning you could state, prove, and explain it to a general audience in ...
56
votes
1answer
3k views

About Euclid's Elements and modern video games

Update (6/19/2014) $\;$ Just wanted to say that this idea that I posted more than a year ago, has now become reality at: http://euclidthegame.com/ 12.292 users have played it in 96 different ...
0
votes
1answer
497 views

Determine sin cos and tan from slope? NON CALCULator

I am used to finding this by drawing the triangle and knowing the angle measurement. With the angle measurement i can find sin cos and tan. But i dont have angle all I have is line. I have put a ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Easiest and most complex proof of $\gcd (a,b) \times \operatorname{lcm} (a,b) =ab.$

I'm looking for an understandable proof of this theorem, and also a complex one involving beautiful math techniques such as analytic number theory, or something else. I hope you can help me on that. ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

An example of a great explanation or freely accessible article on a math concept

Question: Give an example of a great explanation or freely accessible article on a math concept (suitable at the undergraduate or lower level), and explain why you think it is great. Possible ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

Why do we put absolute brackets for ln?

When writing out the final answer in $\ln$ form, why is it necessary to put absolute brackets? How does it affect the answer? I have this answer of $-3\ln|\frac{3+\sqrt{9-x^2}}{x}|$, but why does it ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What class would this be covered in?

Would the material in this section of a wikipedia article be covered in a standard course on Differential Geometry, or should I look elsewhere to learn those sorts of things? Specifically, topics like ...
4
votes
3answers
284 views

What things should one know in order to enjoy their undergraduate degree?

From looking at undergraduate mathematics programmes it's quite apparent that mathematics degrees are demanding, one could even say the work load is grueling. However I'm certain that there are ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Evaluate a function along a complex curve

Well, I don't know this question is appropriate but I really need to understand it. So, please help me. In the book Love and Math, The heart of hidden reality of Edward Frenkel, chapter 15, he said ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

The definition of “Dhuruva Numbers” [closed]

From my readings I encountered this number called "Dhuruva Numbers" Dhuruva Numbers are defined as follows: Definition. The numbers which do not change when performing a single operation or a ...
23
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

Very *mathematical* general physics book

I am searching for a book to study physics. So far, I've been suggested Resnick, Halliday, Krane, Physics, but it doesn't seem to be very suited for a math major. Can you suggest some more ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Choosing a Project Topic.

I am a undergraduate student and recently i have been assigned to project (one of courses). But i have to choose my own topic. I want to work in the field of ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Where can I find simple integration problems (and other computational exercises) involving special functions?

Working lots of computational exercises in my pre-calculus and calculus classes has given me a great deal of intuition in dealing with elementary functions. Thanks to these years of practice, I can ...
7
votes
1answer
439 views

Is it possible to learn mathematics right from the source instead of reading textbooks. By studying the masters and not their pupils

I was wondering if mathematics learning process require the use of textbooks. When I was a high school student, I read as a preparation for university, Legendre book on Elements of geometry and ...
4
votes
0answers
80 views

A future in mathematics

I am a Junior in high school right now, trying to figure out what to do next mathematically. I have familiarity with real analysis (Baby Rudin, and also a bit on the gauge integral), complex analysis ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Which is a better definition of a parabola?

Based from reading Math books I have this question, hope you can help me Sirs/Madams Which is a better definition of a simplified parabola A locus of an equation $Cy^2+Dx=0$ or $Ax^2+Ey=0$. (In ...
1
vote
3answers
123 views

Help on French Math Education Paper

I am looking for very basic (probably I should say very elementary) papers in french designed for elementary school teachers and elementary school educators. I would appreciate if someone can provide ...
510
votes
46answers
312k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
273 views

How to learn problem solving (IMO and IPhO)

I'm not interested in IMO and IPhO actually, but one of the most prestigious universities in my country admits students using a test which is composed by 5 IMO and IPhO questions (or slighly lower). ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

Tricky question (physics) [migrated]

I know this may not be the place for this question, by stackexchange physics has banned homework questions :( A piece of hair taken from a goat has a radius of $3.1\times 10^{-5}\text{ m}$. What is ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

What is the most appropriate book for teaching, not the content but skills of mathematics

Hello Everyone I am a high school student currently doing Extension 1 Mathematics at my school. I am currently looking for a high quality mathematics book. Although I am not looking for a book, like ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Obtain distribution of mid-range in uniform

I want to obtain distribution of mid-range, $(x_{(1)} + x_{(n)})/2$, of an uniform(a, b) random variable. One can use the following transformation. $M = \frac{X_{(1)} + X_{(n)}}{2}$ and $W = ...
4
votes
0answers
45 views

Algorithm for finding “fact families”

My friend's 3rd grader encountered the following question regarding "fact families" on her math homework: I was in 3rd grade sometime in the 1980s, so I don't believe I ever encountered this term ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 : ...
17
votes
8answers
868 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. ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
159 views

Does taking courses in mathematics give any help for mathematical logic?

I'm undergraduate student of philosophy department and I think I'll major in mathematical logic. For studying mathematical logic, I thought studying math lectures would give help to logic. So I ...
2
votes
1answer
453 views

Linear algebra and Multivariable calculus prerequisites for Stochastic Calculus

Which topics are considered "graduate-level" for the following subjects: Linear algebra Multivariable calculus On Internet, it is said that you need "graduate level" Linear algebra and ...
2
votes
1answer
365 views

The NES mathematics accredidation test

I have to take the NES mathematics test to get accredidation as a High School teacher to become highly qualified to teach mathematics. I have a PhD in physics so I thought that I wouldn't have to ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Educational Math Software

What is the the most educational software for high school and college math? Not the one that just gives you the answer, but has any of the following: Edit: Software mentioned in answer added in ...
2
votes
3answers
136 views

Resources for kids education

Most of the questions on MSE about educational resources are for high school. At least I haven't found questions which deals with sites on very elementary mathematics. I will be grateful if someone ...
0
votes
1answer
488 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 views

factor and simplify $x^{7/8} - x^{1/8}$ [closed]

I do not know how to factor this AND simplify after I factor. I need help please and as soon as possible. I've been trying to figure it out for the past 3 hours and I don"t know how to get the answer. ...
9
votes
3answers
276 views

Examples of useful, insightful, and interesting hand-waving [on hold]

It seems to me that some hand-waving (by which I mean some arguments that aim at giving some form of intuition on the problem even at expenses of complete rigour [and not mnemonics for high-schoolers ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Why do some accept zero as a natural number but others don't? [duplicate]

I have had many teachers who have told me that zero is a natural number but then there is those teachers who say its not. why is that ?
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Math or Physics

I'm a Master Math Student And I'm very interested in Some fields in Physics Like Cosmology. I even Considered Changing my field and Apply for physics(Cosmology) but wasn't really possible (my ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

question on Stieltjes-Lebesgue Measure [closed]

I began learning Real Analysis last year and always couldn't find someone to answer my questions till I found this site recently. Hope can find some answer here :) And...BTW, how to display LaTeX ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Which topics in maths should I know before I dive into programming for image processing?

I am a student who wants to start out with programming for Image processing but as I do not have a good mathematical background(I haven't studied A-level Maths) I would like to know what are the ...
13
votes
11answers
6k views

Which 4 maths courses to take as an Economics PhD student?

I am doing a PhD in economics and I have the chance of taking one subject a semester in the maths department (I would like to do more, but "unfortunately" I have to work on my thesis). I want to have ...
86
votes
17answers
7k views

What parts of a pure mathematics undergraduate curriculum have been discovered since 1964?

What parts of an undergraduate curriculum in pure mathematics have been discovered since, say, 1964? (I'm choosing this because it's 50 years ago). Pure mathematics textbooks from before 1964 seem to ...
13
votes
1answer
216 views

Collections of undergraduate research projects

I would like to compile a "big list" of undergraduate research projects in the following areas of mathematics: calculus; analysis; abstract algebra; linear algebra; number theory; geometry; ...
14
votes
1answer
313 views

Anecdote about mathematicians leaping to tops of problems and then building a staircase down?

I've run across this cute little story before, and now for the life of me I can't find it anywhere. It goes something like: Two people are looking out onto a mathematical landscape, and there are ...