**August, 1998**

BACK TO CONTENTSDate: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 13:30:00 -0400 (EDT) From: Stacey Bearden stacey@mathforum.org To: All Dr. Math Doctors Subject: Dr. Math in August )()()()()()()()()()()() Ask Dr. Math Newsletter August, 1998 )()()()()()()()()()()() Greetings Math Doctors! You may notice that this newsletter has a new author, because one of our administrators and former newsletter author Sonya Del Tredici (Dr. Sonya) is moving on; she will be teaching math and physics at a private high school in Boston this upcoming school year. We will all miss her, but hopefully we'll still see a memo or two from her hand in the Holding Tank. Good luck Sonya! ************************************* Well, even though it is summertime, we've still been seeing quite a few questions in Triage. And I suppose some school systems start in August. So here are our August stats: 2694 -- incoming questions 1453 -- answered questions 54% -- percent answered ************************************* This month has been a little slow, with summer vacations and the changing of the guard (two new administrators, Tim (Dr. Timothy) Bretl and myself, to replace Dr. Naomi and Dr. Sonya). Therefore, we haven't been training new math doctors. But with the beginning of this school year, we will fast begin to train new doctors to help out with the flood of questions coming into triage. ************************************* We also have several new FAQs this month (not everyone was lazy!): Geometric Figures - Formula FAQ To find formulas for ellipses and ellipsoids, polygons and polyhedra, consult this Frequently Asked Questions unit by Robert Ward, a 'math doctor' and volunteer administrator for Ask Dr. Math. Learning to Factor A sampling of answers from our archives. Learning Multiplication Facts Tips for parents, teachers, and students for different ways of learning to multiply. Dividing by 0 Why can't you divide by 0? Why is 0/0 "indeterminate" and 1/0 "undefined"? Why is dividing by zero "illegal"? The above three FAQs are similar in that rather than attempting to create one answer to a question, they excerpt answers from the archives and/or assemble links, providing useful shortcuts. If any of you would like to put together a list of answers in the archives that respond to a frequently asked question, just send the URLs to sarah@mathforum.org. She can then make up similar pages for other topics. Also, as always, if you have any difficulties with an archived problem (for example, you suspect the answer is wrong), direct your concern to dr.math-arch@mathforum.org. \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ And we've received some great thank-you notes this month. Here's a sampling: For Dr. Wilkinson - oh yes!!! thankyou sooo much for answering my question!!!!!!!! it helped majorly!!!!!!! Dear Dr. Peterson, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your reply. Many high school textbook authors should sit down and talk with you. The type problem I cited in my letter appears many times in my algebra textbooks. I am a full-time math tutor with a classroom attached to my residence. My senior citizen heart goes out to the many students who come to me, some for seven successive years. Naturally, I want to give them the very best instruction.You have helped me immensely to do just that. I now know how to explain this subject. I have been on the Internet only three weeks. Your web site is a dream come true. I also appreciate the Texas Instrument references you provided. I made a hard copy of your comments and theirs. Thanks again for taking the time to research the subject. I received much more enlightenment than I expected. It feels good to be able to turn to someone else for help once in a while. - Art DeBevoise For Dr. Rick - Thank you very much for your response. It helped me see more clearly. I should have known my first thought was correct and my calculator was right when it said error... thanks for your insight! For Dr. Rob - Thanks for your help. It is wonderful to have nice people in the world! Thanks again. I think I know my answer. Great page for us who have trouble trying to remember from years gone by =) Thanks again! - Dana For everyone - Thanks for being there. I am in the process of returning to college for my nursing diploma. Math was never my favorite subject but thanks to you, you have made learning fun. I have not been in a classroom setting for several years and it is nice to know that I have somewhere to turn without feeling too embarrassed. Thank you. Doctor Pat, I just wanted to say thank you for your help on my problem with finding the general slope of a line. Your explanation was easy to follow and cleared up my confusion. I really appreciated you taking the time to answer. Thank you, Caroline &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Well folks, that's all for this month! Thanks to all doctors for the time you put into Dr. Math. Have a good September! Stacey (Dr. Stacey) Bearden Doctor Math Administrator The Math Forum