Mathematics education consists in the practice of teaching and learning mathematics, along with the associated research. Research in mathematics education concerns the tools, methods and approaches that facilitate the practice of mathematics or the study of this practice.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
0answers
25 views

Can you recommend a book to learn to teach math to a child?

I am looking for a book which contains some ideas on introducing a child to mathematics. I am not particularly looking for a textbook to be used as part of the teaching (though feel free to mention ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

Basic examples of probabilistic method

I'm looking for a truly basic example of probabilistic method proof which could be presented without a board (i.e. speaking only), that is, even moderately complicated calculations are not allowed. ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Undergraduate Project Suggestions

A student of mine has expressed interest in doing an independent project next quarter with me. This would not be for credit and it is purely for her own educational stimulation. She wants to study ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Cartesian product sets

I'm preparing a lesson on the Cartesian product of two sets and I have run into the following confusion: I understand that the Cartesian product is not a commutative operation. Generally speaking, ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Fun results from modular arithmetic

I'm trying to go through various bits of neat, fun math with some junior-high-school students in my local area, and am thinking of doing a short unit on modular arithmetic/finite groups. I'm looking ...
1
vote
3answers
76 views

Applications of derivatives outside mathematics and physics

I've been teaching calculus for several years and have some doubts about whether derivatives (and integration techniques) of common functions are useful and important outside mathematics and physics. ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

How do you teach the correctness of bijections when dealing with counting in combinatorics?

Consider the problem of awarding prizes to people in a school. Let $A$ be the set of awards and $|A| = m = 3$. Let $P$ be the set of people in the school and $|P| = n$. Then in how many ways can ...
21
votes
8answers
381 views

Examples where it is easier to prove more than less

Especially (but not only) in the case of induction proofs, it happens that a stronger claim $B$ is easier to prove than the intended claim $A$ (e.g. since the induction hypothesis gives you more ...
8
votes
3answers
174 views

difficulty of accepting $i^2 = -1$ for first timers [duplicate]

While teaching complex numbers for those who are encounter for the first time (usually 10th grader and 11th grader), I get the question like "Can even squared number give negative results? How ...
7
votes
3answers
328 views

Very elementary proof of that Euler's totient function is multiplicative

Well, I know two or three proofs of this fact $$\gcd(m,n)=1\implies \varphi(mn)=\varphi(m)\varphi(n)$$ where $\varphi$ is the totient function. My problem is this: I'd like to explain this to some ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

book/exercices for a really clever studient of 14 years old

I teach some class of Math to a 14 years old boy. This boy is quite clever (and is quite bored by his math class) so i would like to give him some interesting problems in accordance with his level of ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

Why does induction procedure of Euler characteristic fail for non-convex polyhedra? What am I missing?

Euler characteristic of convex polyhedra is always $V-E+F=2$. Induction procedure reduces edges and vertices until we are down to one vertex whose $V-E+F=2$ and hence you are done. The same ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Analytic skills in applied math

I am an unexperienced undergraduate student just took few basic math classes. And I have found analysis classes really interesting, like basic analysis, measure theory and functional analysis, and ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Can I define the limit of a sequence like this?

It is well-known that a sequence has a limit if and only if it is bounded and has a unique limit point. I think this is a better definition of the limit of a sequnece, comparing with the $\epsilon-N$ ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Using Latex in classroom instead of blackboard?

Does anyone find it doable to use Latex in a classroom setup instead of blackboard? I would think it is tempting except for the input speed one can reach. But considering the messiness of chalks, and ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

How to teach Critical Thinking

I am currently tutoring a few students in an entry level physics course and had some trouble recently when it comes to helping them with problem solving. The students I am helping don't have many ...
10
votes
5answers
178 views

Algebraic topology in high school?

This winter I am planning on teaching a small seminar (20 lectures 45 minutes each) for high school students. I was was given the freedom to choose the topic of the seminar, but it is supposed to be ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Confusion on Eigenvalues of Matrix

I'm a TA with Advanced Algebra in school and teach the Jordan Form now. There are three questions about eigenvalues in this chapter: Given matrix $A$, $B$ and polynome $f$, consider the eigenvalues' ...
8
votes
4answers
560 views

How to explain to a high school student why a linear differential equation is linear?

My mother is teaching a high school course on multivariable calculus, and they were studying linear differential equations of the form $$y' + P(x) y = Q(x),$$ and the question of why this equation is ...
4
votes
0answers
72 views

Alternative introduction to tensor products of vector spaces

One of the main obstacles in understanding the tensor product is that, unlike many other algebraic structures, you cannot really get hold of its element structure. This confuses many beginners. The ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Tips on “short” math lecture presentation for compsci students

I just got interview to teach college (of applied science) compsci student math. This is the first time I get this type of interview. The type of interview is called a "hearing" where a dozen people ...
3
votes
3answers
73 views

Intuition for high school students regarding square roots and logarithms [duplicate]

These are some common mistakes high schoolers make: $$ \sqrt{a + b} = \sqrt{a} + \sqrt{b} $$ $$ \log(a+b) = \log (a) + \log(b)$$ So I can obviously show numeric examples to say why these are wrong, ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Dynamic Geometry Software for teach construction

I would like to know about a software that will help me show construction steps to the students with using a Compass/Straight Edge/Protractor/Divider. Here is example video below. ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Exercise for a possible test

This is an exercise that I would like to propose for a written exam to my calculus students: Consider the function $$ f(x)=\begin{cases} a+2x &\text{if $x<0$} \\ 2+ax &\text{if $0 ...
4
votes
6answers
108 views

When $n$ is divided by $14$, the remainder is $10$. What is the remainder when $n$ is divided by $7$?

I need to explain this to someone who hasn't taken a math course for 5 years. She is good with her algebra. This was my attempt: Here's how this question works. To motivate what I'll be doing, ...
4
votes
4answers
139 views

Simple examples of math problems illustrating a basic epistemological point.

Instructor: In fact this expression is equal to that expression. Let us see how we can convince ourselves that that is true. Student: I'm more than willing to take your word for it! You're the ...
35
votes
2answers
3k views

When does L' Hopital's rule fail?

This thought jumped out of me during my calculus teaching seminar. It is well known that the classical L'Hospital rule claims that for the $\frac{0}{0}$ indeterminate case, we have: $$ ...
0
votes
1answer
168 views

“Real world” applications of rational functions

I need a rational function/equation beyond the contrived d=rt and work problems typically given in beginner algebra. I am teaching such a class and would like to motivate the study of techniques for ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Teaching determinants

I am writing a first handout on determinants. The intended audience is confident with basic matrix algebra and the basic definitions of vector space theory. I just wondered if someone would comment on ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Polynomial identities

When I was about 17 our teacher showed us how polynomial identities had equal coefficients. I remember him showing that this was so by moving one polynomial "over to the other side" and showing that ...
2
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
64
votes
13answers
10k views

In calculus, which questions can the naive ask that the learned cannot answer?

Number theory is known to be a field in which many questions that can be understood by secondary-school pupils have defied the most formidable mathematicians' attempts to answer them. Calculus is not ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Where to post a Calculus review guide?

I created a PDF document (using LaTeX) in which I wrote relevant review materials and Calculus problems for Calculus 1, 2, and 3. Is there an appropriate forum where I could try to post this to ...
70
votes
31answers
7k views

What are some conceptualizations that work in mathematics but are not strictly true?

I'm having an argument with someone who thinks it's never justified to teach something that's not strictly correct. I disagree: often, the pedagogically most efficient way to make progress is to ...
4
votes
7answers
163 views

Classic Counting Problems

Does anyone have some good, classic, counting problems? I want things that are interesting, as well as instructive- more than just compute the number of way to get a flush, etc. (Not that those aren't ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

$2^{1/4} \times 4^{1/8} \times 8^{1/16} \times 16^{1/32} \times \ldots\to2$

$2^{1/4} \times 4^{1/8} \times 8^{1/16} \times 16^{1/32} \times \ldots\to2$ How can I explain this to a school student who doesn't know what a limit is?
4
votes
0answers
131 views

Mathematics teaching positions in the UK

crossposted to http://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/24065/mathematics-teaching-position-in-the-uk I hold a PhD in pure mathematics and am looking for mathematics teaching positions in the UK, ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is $ 5 $ nearer to $ 0 $ or $ 10 $?

My 6-year-old’s homework was “to find the nearest $ 10 $.” For example, $$ 42 \to 40 \quad \text{and} \quad 28 \to 30. $$ For $ 55 $, she answered “$ 50 $” and was marked wrong. How is this wrong? ...
2
votes
3answers
136 views

Questions for first year students at the University. [closed]

I will help teach in a introductory class in mathematics for engineers in applied math at the University. Anyone have any good and cool favorite questions or know where I can find some? Anything is ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What are real applications of factorization of integers?

Why is factorization of integers important on a first number theory course? Where is factorization used in real life? Are there examples which have a real impact? I am looking for examples which will ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Binomial expansion for any n

I teach A-Level maths, and in the second year we do the general binomial expansion, which is even provided for the students in the formula book. For values of $n$ that are not positive integers: (I ...
51
votes
16answers
6k views

Interesting “real life” applications of serious theorems

As a student one sometimes encounters exercises which ask you to solve a rather funny "real life problem", e.g. I recall an exercise on the Krein-Milman theorem which was something like: "You have a ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

How is addition on N formally defined in textbooks on real analysis?

This is a follow-up question to Why does the definition of addition require proofs? In Landau's Foundations of Analysis, his definition of addition on the natural numbers seems a bit strange to me -- ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Using math to help people [duplicate]

So I am currently a graduate student at the University of Colorado. I love math. From calculus to category theory to everything in between, I have tried and, for the most part, loved it. However, I ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

A basis in the $k$-th exterior power of a vector field

Definition: Let $\mathbb R^n$ be the $n$-dimensional real vector space. An exterior $k$-form call any skew-symmetric tensor on $\mathbb R^n$ of rank $k$. Denote the set of exterior $k$-forms by $E^k$. ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Instructive video content for High School kids?

I need some math Youtube channels (or any other visual media, movies maybe...) that I can recommend to High School students, not solely as a method of learning math but more to illustrate the beauty ...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

Measure Theory or Set Theory?

Having taken Real Analysis I before (the seven first chapters of baby Rudin) I have the option to take Measure Theory now. However I am torn between that and Set Theory. Which course would you go for ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

One and Two Tailed Independent T Test Questions

The city council for a small town has been receiving complaints from local law enforcement that citizens have been extremely uncooperative when pulled over for minor traffic violations. To remedy ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Are there 3 trig functions or are there 6 trig functions?

In my algebra class we are being taught that there are only the 3 basic trig functions (cosine, sine, and tangent). But my friend who is 2 math grade levels ahead of me is saying that there is 6 trig ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Motivating convex sets.

I am kind of TAing for a class of real analysis, and I would like to speak a little about convex sets tomorrow, and explain why they are important. What kind of examples could I give? I was thinking ...