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visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen Jul 9 at 1:10

I'm old. I get confused. OK?


Jul
2
awarded  Curious
May
26
comment Can the square root of a real number be negative?
It appears to me that a part of the "problem" here is that the square root operation is relatively unusual in that it denotes the solution to an equation, whereas the vast majority of mathematical operations (at least the more familiar ones) do not. It's perfectly legitimate/un-scary for an equation to have multiple solutions, but we do not normally expect operators such as monadic - to produce multiple contradictory values. Thus there is some cognitive dissonance with the square root operator.
Apr
4
comment How can a piece of A4 paper be folded in exactly three equal parts?
Fold it into quarters and then tear away 1/4.
Jan
12
revised Sum of averages vs average of sums
added 80 characters in body
Jan
11
answered Pedagogy: How to cure students of the “law of universal linearity”?
Sep
10
awarded  Famous Question
Nov
27
comment Dividing a range into major and minor divisions
I tried the scheme on for size and it works pretty well, thanks. It hadn't occurred to me that the number of variations was small enough to practically enumerate, and with this scheme certain "unpleasing" combos can be eliminated if desired, just by altering the table.
Nov
27
accepted Dividing a range into major and minor divisions
Nov
27
comment Dividing a range into major and minor divisions
I'll have to think about this one. I like the idea that, since everything is precomputed, it's inherently stable and testable.
Nov
27
asked Dividing a range into major and minor divisions
Nov
2
awarded  Notable Question
Aug
30
comment matrices … why???
I agree that they're confusing, and, to the uninitiated, not at all intuitive. But the power of mathematics is that it condenses complex concepts down to (relatively) concise expressions, and those concise expressions are often easier to manipulate/solve than the more complex concepts. It's definitely a trade-off -- a "deal with the devil" -- but it's allowed civilization to progress rapidly for at least 500 years.
Aug
27
comment Why are “irrational numbers” not named “nonrational numbers”?
Because to do so would be irrational.
Aug
22
answered What does “calculus” mean in the most general sense?
Aug
22
comment What does “calculus” mean in the most general sense?
Ask a dentist and he'll tell you it's the gunky buildup on your teeth.
Aug
22
comment Is there name for arithmetic mean divided by RMS average?
CV appears to relate mean to standard deviation, and I'm taking the ratio of mean and RMS average, which is not quite the same thing.
Aug
22
revised Is there name for arithmetic mean divided by RMS average?
added 99 characters in body
Aug
22
comment Is there a reasoning behind the depiction of the numbers as they are $\{1$, $2$, $3$, $4$, $5$, $6$, $7$, $8$, $9\}$?
I was always given to understand that the Babylonians had something to do with it. But I see Wikipedia lays most of the "blame" on the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. (According to that article using zero came fairly late in the evolution of the system.)
Aug
22
asked Is there name for arithmetic mean divided by RMS average?
Aug
18
revised Need algorithm to take “max” of scores, but with “quality” weighting
Added code comments