Ask Dr. Math: The Math Doctors' Newsletter

by Sonya Del Tredici

July, 1998

Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 14:56:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sonya Del Tredici <>
To: All Dr. Math Doctors
Subject: Dr. Math in July
MIME-Version: 1.0

 Ask Dr. Math
 News in July

Brought to you by The Math Forum, a proud sponsor of the Ask Doctor Math 
1998 Word Tour, who reminds you to integrate and derive responsibly.

Total questions:  2230
Total answered:   1230
Percent answered:  55%

Hello everyone. I hope you all have had a nice lazy month. As some 
of you may have noticed, (especially those of you waiting for the 
administrators to get to your answers in the Holding Tank) July has 
been rather slow for us.  The students have been on vacation and the 
administrators all went to the beach, where we promptly got sand in 
our laptops and couldn't even check our e-mail.

The most recent administrator gossip is that our own Naomi (Dr. Naomi) 
Michlin has joined the private sector and is now doing public policy 
research for Abt Associates in Cambridge, Mass. This has prevented her 
from getting the sand out of her computer, but she claims that she'll 
be back on-line any day now to post those ever-helpful memos in the 
Holding Tank.

This month's golden equation awards for work above and beyond the call 
of duty go out to Doctors Anthony, Erra, Floor, Jaffee, Jerry, Margaret, 
Mike, Pat, Peterson, Rick, Rob, Schwa, and Wilkinson. Thank you, thank 
you, thank you!

Despite the slowness, we did manage to sign on six new volunteers, 
Doctors Jose, Jenn, Rick, Andrew, Jas, and Teeple.  Welcome to you all!


Lots of behind-the-scenes work has been going on at the Math Forum this 
summer.  Some of you may have heard allusions to the new Dr. Math 
software, and it is no longer just a rumor! We have had several people 
working feverishly on it all summer, and they tell me that it will be 
up and running soon.  :-)  Since we are rewriting all of the software, 
this is the best time for suggestions for improvements. I've discussed 
several interesting ideas with some of you over the year, including a 
foreign language option, making it easier to include graphics, and 
sending new doctors an automatic e-mail when their answers in the Holding 
Tank have been reviewed. If you have more great suggestions (or even if 
you don't), the place to go is our survey, at:


As for FAQ/Archives news, a new Math Forum staff member, Betsy Teeple, 
has been doing a lot of work with Elizabeth Li reading over your answers 
and choosing ones for the archives. Then they are passing the answers to 
our newest Master Archivist, Richard Tchen (some of you may already know 
him as our Webmaster).  

Sarah Seastone and Dr. Rob are also working hard on a new FAQ that we 
desperately need, with the formulas for the most common planar and solid 
geometric figures. It's still unfinished, but it really is a work of art, 
and so keep your eyes and ears out for its completion.


Finally, here is my favorite thank-you note excerpt from this month.  
That warm glow you feel is not radiation from your computers but rather 
the knowledge of a job well done.

"Many thanks for your great circle explanations. That bright light you 
saw in the east today was not the sun but the light bulb above my head 
that just turned on! Perhaps you noticed the unusual luminescence."


Have a great August, everyone. Remember to use plenty of sunscreen.

Sonya Del Tredici
The Math Forum