**August, 2000**

BACK TO CONTENTSFrom: Ian Underwood To: All Dr. Math Doctors Subject: Dr. Math in August Hi Math Doctors, I just finished compiling the statistics for August, and they look like this: Questions asked: 3935 Questions answered: 1812 Percent answered: 46.0% So we're answering about as many questions as we were at the end of the previous school year. On the other hand, the number of questions per day more than doubled between the beginning and end of August, to about 250 questions per day, or about 7500 questions per month. Which is a terrific vote of confidence from math students and teachers all over the world... and a reminder that summer vacation is over! New doctors ----------- We have more than a dozen new recruits who will begin the tenuring process during the next week. During the early stages of their training, these 'interns' will be focusing on finding and responding to questions for which answers already exist in the archive. This will give them a chance to become familiar with the archives, while at the same time increasing the density of 'interesting' (which is to say, unusual) questions in the triage listing. 'New' resources --------------- Remember how NBC used to advertise their summer re-runs? "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!" It's tempting to rely only on the Dr. Math archives and FAQ when answering questions, but the Math Forum has collected together a wealth of online resources that shouldn't be overlooked. For example, http://mathforum.org/web.units.html contains an ever-growing number of 'web units', which can be just the thing for those students who have very general questions (e.g., "How do graphs work?") that seem impossible to answer in a single email message. I encourage everyone to take an occasional break from the Doctor's Office to look around the rest of the Math Forum, to say nothing of the rest of the Internet. And don't be shy about sharing what you find! If you come across a resource or a search technique that you find yourself using again and again, let the rest of us know about it by starting a thread in the Doctor's Talk area, http://mathforum.org/discuss/dr.math-talk/ Behind the scenes ----------------- We've made some internal changes to the software -- nothing that you'll see reflected yet in the interface, but they should make it easier to implement some of the suggestions that were offered in the discussion on 'improving the math doctor experience' at http://mathforum.org/discuss/dr.math-talk/t/7939 I want to thank those doctors who have participated in this discussion, and invite those who haven't to come share their thoughts. And that's all the news for this month. Go forth, be fruitful, and teach kids to multiply... and divide... and exponentiate... and so on! Dr. Ian Attending Physician Ask Dr. Math