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 Mar12 comment How to explain brackets to young students +1 for being the only answer here to call this thing by its proper name: Associativity. "Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing it represents" - Dumbledore. Oct3 comment Quick and painless definition of the set of real numbers Can you use a (fantasy-world ideal with no restrictions such as the width of a graphite molecule) pencil to draw a line x centimeters long? If yes, then x is a real number. Sep2 comment Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics First, you should be able to succeed in calculus even with some small gaps in your knowledge of algebra, so you need not be overly worried. Next, I assume you have have already spent many hours with speaking with your teacher, reading your textbook, doing your homework, possibly with friends or in a study group, looking up online resources, and maybe even trying your parents, all in an effort to learn this topic. Unfortunately, this community is not going to be able to add anything new to what you've already done. May24 comment Algebra: What allows us to do the same thing to both sides of an equation? @symplectomorphic: I agree 100%. But if it gets a learner started and helps with the basics before moving on to more advanced topics, what's the harm? Mar19 comment Aunt and Uncle's fuel oil tank dip stick problem @user135539: Do you have any links or other specifics of this publication, and the issue that contained your husband's problem? I would love to read and learn more about this, especially if you can lead me to the fabled and elusive solution "using only plain arithmetic" I have heard rumors about. Oct5 comment Why does my calculator show $2^{-329} = 0?$ Reminds me of this oldie but goodie: cs.bgu.ac.il/~omri/Humor/lightbulb.html (first item). Sep5 comment Why do you add +1 in counting test questions? I first noticed this phenomenon in elementary school, where the baseball field's backstop had three sections of netting between four poles. I never knew this idea actually had a name, and was related to fences. Aug15 comment Is there a term for any number that is $2^n$? This post on SO makes use of the term: stackoverflow.com/questions/9259952/…, so I'm not the only one calling it as such. Very curious that this got four down votes but was the OP's accepted answer. Jul26 comment Prove that the distance between a black and a white dot is one One could exploit a technicality in that the question fails to define "one unit." Arbitrarily select one black point and one white point. Define the distance between these points to be one unit. QED. Jul20 comment Mathematical writing: why should we not use the phrase “we have that”? If ever there was a case for being able to cross-list questions on multiple SEs, this is it. I think the English SE community would have as much to input about this as Math SE, and each would benefit from the other's insights. Jun20 comment How to solve a system of 2 equations in this form This may also help you get started: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conic_section#Intersecting_two_conics Jun20 comment intersection of two graph To put it simply, the graph of $f$ is a V shape, and each of the possible answers is a line. Choices A and B would look like $\underline{V}$, just with different amounts of space between the V and the underline, and choices C and D would look like V /, again just with different spacing between the V and the /. Only in choice E will the slash cut through the vee. May19 comment Why is 987654321/123456789 = 8.0000000729? Unrelated, but ever notice that Sqrt(9.87654321) approximates pi? The number system is full of this kind of stuff. May12 comment How to represent the floor function using mathematical notation? What do you mean by that big capital pi with all those other symbols around it? Can you describe that "without words" please? In your accepted answer, what does arctan mean? My point is, all notation was invented to describe some intellectual phenomenon, which may in turn have been based on some earlier idea, etc. until the whole thing ultimately boils down to cavemen telling how many mastadon had been successfully hunted by holding up fingers. Apr2 comment Is 1+1 =2 a theorem? The fact that I can describe a system (such as the integers modulo 2) where 1 + 1 = 0, would seem to suggest your statement cannot be a theorem. Mar21 comment Is there such a thing as proof by example (not counter example) As a teacher of mine once said: beware Merten's Conjecture! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mertens_conjecture Mar7 comment What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful? (For children's book) Or, more generally, that the ultimate result of this digital summing is the same as the remainder when dividing by 9. Jan23 comment “How I wish I could calculate pi” analogs… Citation needed? Dec31 comment How to answer a student objection to the use of “of” in pronouncing f(x)? joriki "would have told the student to keep up the critical thinking." However Ben Crowell responds "it's time to grow up to a more mature intellectual level." Very interesting. Jun22 comment Tuple definition Have you checked the old stand-by for definitions? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuple