Questions tagged [education]

For questions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Note that Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange may be a better home for narrowly scoped questions on specific issues in mathematics education.

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Is most of the GM-AM Inequality in its codicil?

Let’s define the codicil of the Geometric Mean – Arithmetic Mean Inequality to be the statement that if the means are equal, then all the terms are equal. Then: I conjecture that most of the GM-AM ...
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What are good elementary examples for teaching/introducing/learning about Intuitionistic Logic or Heyting Algebras?

For example, I have heard of a topological one wherein negation means the interior of the complement (but still would like a reference).
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Is “locally linear” an appropriate description of a differentiable function?

In this answer on meta, Pete L. Clark said: I think the question concerns the idea that a differentiable curve becomes more and more like a straight line segment the closer one zooms in on its ...
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What are some deep questions that are applicable to first graders in regards to adding zero?

I'm trying to come up with some math problems (word or otherwise) that get to the meaning of adding zero, but I'm getting stuck because it seems just too simple to me. I have come up with questions ...
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How to assess a non-natively english speaking high-schooler's mathematical ability?

I'm a math PhD who has been asked to interview a high school student and determine what he/she is interested in and how strong the student is. Usually I would want them to talk as much as possible ...
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How to show every subgroup of a cyclic group is cyclic?

I'm teaching a group theory course now, and I wanted to give my students a proof that every subgroup of a cyclic group is cyclic. The easiest way I could think to do this is to say that any cyclic ...
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9answers
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Elevator pitch for a (sub)field of maths?

When I first saw the title of this question, I forgot for a moment I was on meta, and thought it was asking about quick, catchy, attractive, informative one-or-two-liner summaries of various fields of ...
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Alternatives to arxiv

I am an amateur mathematician (but I do have degree's in computer science (with mathematics)). Anyways, I have written this paper, where I have proved that for $\zeta(\rho) = 0$ if $\Im(\rho) \to \...
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GRE past papers [closed]

As it is required for most students who wish to do a Ph.D in maths in the US to sit the GRE subject specific mathematics exam, I hope this question will be of interest to the mathematical community ...
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What concepts were most difficult for you to understand in Calculus? [closed]

I'm developing some instructional material for a Calculus 1 class and I wanted to know from experience for yourself, tutoring others, and/or helping people on this site where is the most difficulty in ...
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11answers
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Vivid examples of vector spaces?

When teaching abstract vector spaces for the first time, it is handy to have some really weird examples at hand, or even some really weird non-examples that may illustrate the concept. For example, a ...
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8answers
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Where to go after calculus?

Ok this is a bit of an unanswerable question, but hopefully someone will answer. As I have been going through college & high school there has been a kind of "path" through which you learn math. ...
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3D software like GeoGebra

Does it exist a free interactive geometry software, like GeoGebra, which works for 3D geometry? I would be able to draw spheres, great circles, and so on.
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How to explain Real Big Numbers?

Mathematicians, and esp. number theorists, are used to working with big numbers. I have noted on several occasions that lots of people don't have a clear understanding of big numbers as far as the ...
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What should the high school math curriculum consist of?

"Life is open book." With the advent of widely accessible, inexpensive (or even free) computational tools and Computer Algebra Systems (TI-89, Wolfram|Alpha, etc.), much of what traditionally ...
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Can this standard calculus result be explained “intuitively”

Recently I stumbled upon someone who said he wanted to understand why $\arctan x = \int\dfrac{dx}{1+x^2}$ At first I was confused. This is an easy result in any integral calculus course. But then he ...
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Free introductory resources for learning algebra?

I have a non-mathematician friend who is interested in re-learning algebra. I am more than happy to help, but I am in no position to judge what is a good introductory text --- only to identify when a ...
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Best intuitive metaphors for math concepts (of any level)

Frequently, we introduce a new concept with a formal definition, then immediately say "Intuitively, what this means is..." What are the absolute best metaphors you've seen (for concepts of any level)? ...
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Sources of problems for teaching/tutoring young mathematicians

I am tutoring several talented students, middle school level and early high school level, in mathematics. I am always looking for new sources from which to draw questions. Can anyone recommend books, ...
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1answer
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undergraduate courses emphasizing theory building?

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with an undergraduate course that emphasized the building of mathematical theories or if they'd ever heard of this being done? How did the class work (did ...
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Educational Math Software

What is the the most educational software for high school and college math? Not the one that just gives you the answer, but has any of the following: Edit: Software mentioned in answer added in ...
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10answers
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How do you define functions for non-mathematicians?

I'm teaching a College Algebra class in the upcoming semester, and only a small portion of the students will be moving on to further mathematics. The class is built around functions, so I need to ...
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7answers
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Why is Euler's Gamma function the “best” extension of the factorial function to the reals?

There are lots (an infinitude) of smooth functions that coincide with f(n)=n! on the integers. Is there a simple reason why Euler's Gamma function $\Gamma (z) = \int_0^\infty t^{z-1} e^{-t} dt$ is the ...
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What's the most effective ways of teaching kids - times tables?

I'd like to help a $6$ year old who already has a pretty good grasp of $2$, $5$, and $10$ times tables.
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Usefulness of Conic Sections

Conic sections are a frequent target for dropping when attempting to make room for other topics in advanced algebra and precalculus courses. A common argument in favor of dropping them is that ...
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Online Math Degree Programs

Are there any real online mathematics (applied math, statistics, ...) degree programs out there? I'm full-time employed, thus not having the flexibility of attending an on campus program. I also ...
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Good Physical Demonstrations of Abstract Mathematics

I like to use physical demonstrations when teaching mathematics (putting physics in the service of mathematics, for once, instead of the other way around), and it'd be great to get some more ideas to ...
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5answers
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Where can I find a review of discrete math

I'm looking for course notes and assignments and hopefully some example exams for Discrete Math, I'm taking a placement exam in the subject after having taken it 4 years ago.
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Do complex numbers really exist?

Complex numbers involve the square root of negative one, and most non-mathematicians find it hard to accept that such a number is meaningful. In contrast, they feel that real numbers have an obvious ...
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What are some good ways to get children excited about math?

I'm talking in the range of 10-12 years old, but this question isn't limited to only that range. Do you have any advice on cool things to show kids that might spark their interest in spending more ...