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.

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Sources for mathematics outside the mathematics world

In this question I would like to ask you about material showing the uses (or occurrences) of mathematics in the everyday world. The aim is to encourage with it a group of young undergraduate ...
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1answer
130 views

Why is the axiom of choice not taught from the start to mathematics undergraduates?

I've recently discovered that the following theorems require the axiom of choice to be proven: every surjective function has a right inverse. a real-valued function that is sequentially continuous ...
7
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5answers
156 views

Why do we first introduce the open set definition for continuity instead of the neighborhood definition?

After (nearly) completing my course in topology, something weird just stuck out to me which I hadn't considered before. When first discussing continuity, we often use the following definition: Let ...
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4answers
59 views

Research Projects for 7th Grade Students

I'm going to define some math research projects for 7th grade students. The projects can be both purely mathematical and interdisciplinary. By the way, the students can write simple Pascal codes. I ...
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0answers
341 views

Which universities teach true infinitesimal calculus?

My colleague and I are currently teaching "true infinitesimal calculus" (TIC), in the sense of calculus with infinitesimals, to a class of about 120 freshmen at our university, based on the book by ...
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0answers
25 views

Determine the set of points $M$ of affix of $z\in\mathbb{C}$

Determine the set of points $M$ of affix of $z\in\mathbb{C}$ such that there exists at least one real $t$ satisfying $z^2=t(t-i)$ My attempt: We look for the form $z=x+yi$ and we want there is a ...
2
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1answer
80 views

Why is polynomial long division being taught in schools instead of Horner's method? [closed]

The Horner´s method is by a long shot easier than the Polynomial long division and serves the same purpose. Why isnt it being taught in school (in germany at least)?
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3answers
65 views

Is there an elementary “proof” that the first degree equation has only one solution?

I was asked from a student why the first degree equation has only one solution (if it has a solution) Let's consider the equation $2x+5-3x=-4x+14$ for example. How can I explain to a 13 year old ...
6
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1answer
131 views

How was real analysis & topology taught in the 70's?

What was the 'gold standard' textbook before Rudin? Furthermore, if anyone has knowledge of what textbooks Princeton or Harvard used back in the 1960's or 70's, I would highly appreciate it if you ...
6
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5answers
95 views

Topic for a lecture intended for High School students [duplicate]

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here is the situation. In about two weeks or so I will be giving a 2-3 hours lecture on some topic in mathematics to freshman and sophomore ...
8
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0answers
45 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 ...
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0answers
14 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. ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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2answers
44 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
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2answers
55 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 ...
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3answers
81 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
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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 ...
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8answers
399 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
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3answers
184 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 ...
8
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3answers
353 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 ...
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0answers
38 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 ...
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2answers
72 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 ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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2answers
49 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
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1answer
54 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 ...
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2answers
91 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 ...
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190 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 ...
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1answer
43 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' ...
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4answers
587 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 ...
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0answers
81 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 ...
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1answer
47 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
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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, ...
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1answer
50 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. ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
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6answers
111 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, ...
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4answers
146 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 ...
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2answers
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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: $$ ...
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1answer
211 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 ...
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0answers
66 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 ...
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1answer
105 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
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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 ...
64
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13answers
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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
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0answers
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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
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31answers
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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
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7answers
172 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
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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?
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0answers
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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, ...
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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? ...
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3answers
139 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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...