Ask Dr. Math: The Math Doctors' Newsletter

by Sonya Del Tredici

February, 1998

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 15:06:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Sonya Del Tredici
To: All Dr. Math Doctors
Subject: Dr. Math in Feb.
MIME-Version: 1.0

Hello there math doctors!  

People are always asking me for concrete numbers about Dr. Math, so I 
thought I'd start a little monthly report with all the facts and figures, 
and any new Dr. Math news.

February was an extremely active month for Dr. Math.  We received about 3500 
questions, and answered approximately 1000 of them.  

The "We Love Being Math Doctors" awards go to Doctors Sam, Rob, Jerry,
Wilkinson, Wolf, and Anthony, who together answered about 700 of this 
month's questions. Thanks so much for all of your work!

Fifteen new math doctors joined us in February: Doctors Sorelle, Unson, 
Fox, Martin, Schwenoha, Lynda, Kersh, Jen, Porter, Griffy, White, Hauke, 
Roberta, Kurt, and Mycyk.  I'm glad you're all here!  As you can probably 
guess from the number of questions that went unanswered, we need all the 
people we can get to help.

Just in case you were wondering, there are now a total of 156 Math 
Doctors, enough to be the solution to the equation:

   x/12 + 2 = 15.  

However, we are trying to get even more doctors, so if you have any
friends, relatives, or colleagues who like math and want to help, please 
send them to our tour and application page:

As for Dr. Math news, let's see...  

Ken has made improvements in both the Holding Tank and Triage pages.
Triage now loads about four times as fast as it used to, and the Holding
Tank is arranged in reverse chronological order, like Triage and Post-Op. 

We have also been archiving like mad, and so if you haven't lately, take a
look around and see what new things are in there.  One of my favorite new
pages in the archives was written by Dr. Guy about how to show that two
triangles are congruent.  It's so clear and thorough that no one will ever
have to answer questions about congruent triangles again.  :)  You can check
it out at:
There are also some smaller changes we've made.  Two of the canned 
responses, "About Dr. Math" and "FAQ", have been revised, and 
the FAQ about why n^0 = 1 for any n has been altered.
A nice little article about Dr. Math appeared in Microsoft's Internet 
Magazine.  The cover is at:
and you can find the actual article at:

Finally, I want to thank everybody for all of their time and effort.  I'm 
constantly amazed that a service the size of Dr. Math is run completely 
by the efforts of volunteers, and you all should be very proud of what 
we've accomplished.  As a parting note, I wanted to give you a copy of an 
e-mail that was sent to me last week:


Hello there!  As someone who (unfortunately) did not take his [algebra and
beyond] math seriously, (does "what am I gonna do with
algebra/geometry/etc... after I graduate?" sound familiar?) I REALLY
appreciate having found your web site.  I just found it today, and have
already solved some questions I've had for quite some time.  Needless to
say, I wish now I'd studied harder, as not only in my profession, but in
everyday "fix-it-yourself" applications I find myself having to use the
math skills I did learn, and many more that I should have, but didn't, and
had to research.  Not having applied myself has resulted in much
unnecessary cost, using trial and error methods which sometimes prove my
math guesswork correct, but more often I wind up going out to buy
replacement stock having wasted what I had due to incorrectly guessing at
calculation methods for non-regular areas, etc...  Feel free to forward
this to whomever is responsible to providing answers within your site,
that they may have a response to those questions when asked by inattentive
students.  In my 2-plus years of browsing, this may very well turn out to
be the most useful site I've stumbled across yet!  Keep it up! 
  K. Rondeau


Once again everybody, thank you!

Sonya Del Tredici
The Math Forum