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Ask Dr. Math: The Math Doctors' Newsletter

by Ian Underwood

August, 2003


To: All Dr. Math Doctors
From: Ian Underwood 
Subject: Ask Dr. Math in August

Hi Math Doctors,

In August, the number of contributors remained high, at more than 40. 
We averaged 164 questions and 92 answers per day (56%), up from 147
and 90 (61%) respectively in July.  

But school is back in session, so things are picking up: In the first
two weeks of September, we've averaged 305 questions and 117 answers
per day, considerably below our usual percentage.

Special thanks to the following:

  Avg/
  day

  15 | Peterson
     |
     |
     |
     |
  10 |
     |
     |
     | Fenton
     | Rick, Roy
   5 | Anthony, Douglas, Greenie
     | Jerry
     | Jeremiah, Warren
     | George, Jaffee, Jacques
     | Achilles, Doodles, Edwin, Mike, Paul, Rob, Stephanie, Tom
     /
  1/ | Allan, Barrus, Dotty, Jodi, Mario, Marshall, Mitteldorf,
  wk | Nitrogen, Pete, Robert, Samus, Shawn, White, Wilkinson   


Site Slowdown
-------------

Many of you have noticed that the site has been slow lately,
especially in the mornings.  This is a site-wide problem, and we're
working to identify and remedy the causes.  Until that happens, there
are a couple of things you can do to minimize the effects of the
slowdown:

1) Once you've loaded up a triage or clinic listing, leave it 
   unrefreshed while you open questions in separate windows.  This
   will minimize the number of times the listing needs to be reloaded.

2) If you know you're going to be in the office for a while,
   open a few questions that you want to answer, each in its 
   own window.  This will allow you to move immediately to a new
   question once you've submitted an answer, instead of waiting 
   around for confirmation to show up.  

In addition, we can all help each other out by using quick-memos
to expand on particularly non-descriptive subject lines.  For example,
if you see a question with a subject line like 'Math' or 'How do I 
solve this?' or the ever-popular '(no subject)', you might consider 
adding a quick-memo like 'Order of operations', so that other doctors 
won't (1) have to open the question up to see what it's about, or 
(2) be inclined ignore it out of hand to save time. 


Chameleon Graphing
------------------

For those of you who haven't seen Ursula Witcher's 'Chameleon
Graphing' pages, you might want to take a look:

   Chameleon Graphing
   http://mathforum.org/cgraph/

In addition to units on basic coordinate graphing, and lines and slope
(which are great places to send patients who are just starting to
learn about these concepts), she's just added a unit on the history of the
coordinate plane.  


That's it for now!  Go forth, be fruitful, and teach kids to
multiply...

Dr. Ian
Attending Physician
Ask Dr. Math
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