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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3
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4answers
111 views

Good way to convince a young kid that $0*0 = 0$?

My little brother (6 years old) asked me a question ("What is $0*0$?") and gave an answer to his own question which I found ridiculous so I refuted it but he still thinks he is right. He says that ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Find functions with ''smart'' tangents.

This is a didactic question. Given a differentiable function $y=f(x) \;, x,y \in \mathbb{R}$, I want to construct an exercise in which we have to find a straight line that passes through a point ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Two categories sharing the same objects and morphisms

Is there a natural example of two categories $\mathcal{C}$, $\mathcal{C}'$ which have the same class of objects and the same class of morphisms, including source and target maps, but different ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Abstract/formal interest of rings

I am about to introduce first year undergrads to the concept of rings, after spending some time looking at groups; and I would like to give them more than a practical motivation (the most usual rings ...
-1
votes
0answers
49 views

Topic of mathematics with an interesting/rich history, preferably which is present in school curricula at some level

I have to write a reasonably substantial essay (8000 words) on the history of a mathematical topic or content area, including its discovery through to modern applications. The idea is that this can ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a way to prove that the order of an element in a Group divides the order of the Group, WITHOUT USING LAGRANGE'S

This is a very easy fact we use in Group Theory, But somehow, I wondered that whether there may be another way (other than Lagrange's Theorem) to prove that the order of an element divides the order ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Necessity of algebraic symbolism

We solve different problems algebraically .For example,if we add $20$ with a number and the sum is $42$.What is the value of the number.To solve we denote the number as $x$ and write like this ...
-1
votes
0answers
41 views

Geogebra - Move intersection point labels

I have some intersection points in Geogebra and the labels are right on the lines. Is it possible to move them around to make them more visible? [Increasing the font size would also be helpful]
0
votes
1answer
96 views

How to explain this question to a 6 year old

My daughter who is in 1st grade is learning to grasp he meaning of multiplication and has not yet been introduced to division. she is appearing for Kangaroo Math Competition. Following question has ...
5
votes
3answers
97 views

Explaining that $1 \cdot 3 \cdot 5 \dotsm (2n+1) = 1 \cdot 3 \cdot 5 \dotsm (2n-1)(2n+1)$

I have a few students that are having trouble understanding that $$1 \cdot 3 \cdot 5 \dotsm (2n+1) = 1 \cdot 3 \cdot 5 \dotsm (2n-1)(2n+1),$$ specifically that $$\frac{1 \cdot 3 \cdot 5 \dotsm ...
-1
votes
0answers
11 views

Need a type of function that would allow me to create “paterns” in a series of slots.

For example, lets say I have a table with 16 slots. I need them either filled or empty, and the logic behind who is filled/empty should follow a mathematical pattern. What are some functions that ...
1
vote
4answers
75 views

What is not the second derivative of a parametric equation?

1142004    Consider the parametric equations $x=f(t)$ and $y=g(t)$. To "find" $\frac{d^2y}{dx^2}$, there are three ways to go: (1) the correct one, that is, ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Help with diagram chasing

Given the diagram $\require{AMScd}$ \begin{CD} 0 @>>> A @>f>> B @>g>> C @>>> 0 \\ @. @V\alpha VV \#@V\beta V V\# @VV\gamma V @. \\ 0 @>>> {A'} ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

A good way to explain $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ for chemistry / biology students?

I feel like I have a pretty good way to talk about $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ to physics and engineering students (and possibly students in comp sci). But I am not very sure what I can do for chemistry ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Why are Fourier series important?

Are there any real life applications of Fourier series? Are there examples of Fourier series which have an impact on students learning this topic. I have found the normal suspects of examples in this ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

Find a set of minimal natural axioms, from which we construct $\mathbb{Z}$.

I am interested in this question for teaching two very different kind of students. The first (less important to me) is students in their first year in the university. I wish to construct ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Intuition behind the link between coding theory and group theory

I am trying to find an easy link between group theory and coding theory. The usual path that most of the texts follow is that they present introductory material on groups, fields, rings, etc., and ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Proper usage for term, addend, factor, multiplicand, expression, formula

The definitions and usage of the following words seem to vary, depending on the source text: term addend factor multiplicand expression formula The words are being used in the context of ...
-5
votes
3answers
80 views

Why does the author prefer function names after arguments?

As you can see above, the author prefers to write functions after elements, which is contrary to the century old practice of writing arguments after the functions. I wonder why he does that? Is ...
4
votes
2answers
365 views

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

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 ...
102
votes
43answers
12k views

What's your favorite proof accessible to a general audience?

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 ...
92
votes
11answers
6k views

Is there a domain “larger” than (i.e., a supserset of) the complex number domain?

I've been teaching my 10yo son some (for me, anyway) pretty advanced mathematics recently and he stumped me with a question. The background is this. In the domain of natural numbers, addition and ...
9
votes
1answer
448 views

How to introduce type theory to newcomer

I want to introduce (dependent) type theory to some friends having background in mathematical logic and set theory. To make this introduction easy I would like to give an informal presentation that ...
10
votes
4answers
151 views

Substitution for definite integrals

In my experience, Calculus II students dislike changing bounds in definite integrals involving substitution. When facing an integral like $$\int_0^{\sqrt{\pi }} x \sin \left(x^2\right)dx,$$ for ...
5
votes
3answers
410 views

Can we teach calculus without reals?

This question is related to another question, Do we really need reals?, and could be considered a duplicate, so I would not be surprised if it will be put on hold. But I'm especially interested in ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Materials for teaching the axioms of the real numbers to high school students

I suddenly felt the urge to teach the axioms of the real numbers (i.e. the complete ordered field axioms) to a bright Year 10 student that I tutor, with an emphasis on the consequences of the field ...
54
votes
25answers
6k views

Easy example why complex numbers are cool

I am looking for an example explainable to someone only knowing high school mathematics why complex numbers are necessary. The best example would be possible to explain rigourously and also be clearly ...
12
votes
6answers
247 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
160 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
votes
5answers
210 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
101 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 ...
15
votes
0answers
471 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
26 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
votes
1answer
102 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)?
0
votes
3answers
81 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
votes
1answer
157 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
votes
5answers
204 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
115 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
67 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
65 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
75 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
68 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
96 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
21 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 ...
24
votes
13answers
622 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
213 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
418 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
78 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
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1answer
71 views

Analytic skills in applied math [closed]

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
58 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 $\epsilon-N$ ...