**April, 2002**

BACK TO CONTENTSTo: All Dr. Math Doctors From: Ian Underwood Subject: Ask Dr. Math in April Hi Math Doctors, During April, we received 8383 (about 279 per day), of which we answered 3952 (about 131 per day). That's just shy of 4000 answers, and just shy of 50%. We had an unusually high number of math doctors (37) contributing this month. Thanks to all of you, with special thanks to the following: 20/day | | Peterson | | | 15/day | | | | | 10/day | | | | Rick | 5/day | Jerry, Mitteldorf, Paul, Schwa | Anthony, Tom | Douglas, Floor, Jubal, Roy | Jeremiah, Tim 1/day | Allan, Ann, Fenton, Jaffee, Pete, Shawn, White, Wilkinson / 1/wk | Achilles, Greenie, Jody, Jordi, Toughy, Twe, Wolfson Welcome to new intern Doctor Meryem! New archive format ------------------ Last month I told you about some preview pages for the new Dr. Math archives. As of yesterday, those pages are live! For a quick overview of the new functionality, take a look at http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ask6.html We've already received some favorable comments from users, and we hope that you'll find them easier to use than the old pages. Everything is reachable from the old URLs, so you shouldn't have to change any of your bookmarks. 20-questions interface ---------------------- One of the things we're working on is an additional archive interface that can be used by people who don't really have the vocabulary to describe their questions in a way that would let them use the standard browsing and searching interfaces efficiently. (A typical target user would be someone who is trying to solve a pair of simultaneous linear equations, but doesn't know how to say that.) The idea is to use a network of 'leading questions' to help patients either zero in on appropriate archived answers or FAQs, or else provide information that will help math doctors identify interesting questions more easily in triage. This work is still in the early stages, but at some point we're going to want to do some preliminary internal testing, using math doctors as subjects. If any of you would be interested in participating in these tests, please let me know so I can contact you when we're ready. That's it for April! Go forth, be fruitful, and teach kids to multiply... Dr. Ian Attending Physician Ask Dr. Math