Ask Dr. Math: The Math Doctors' Newsletter

by Stacey Bearden

May, 1999

Date: Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 12:00:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stacey Bearden
To: All Dr. Math Doctors
Subject: Dr. Math in May

Ask Dr. Math Newsletter
May, 1999

Greetings, math doctors!  Welcome to the month of June, and I hope 
you enjoyed May.  For those of you on the collegiate academic calendar, 
I hope your year ended well.

A big welcome to our new math doctors of May - Drs. Pukar, Jody, Jana, 
Marykim, Arthur, and Kimberly.  

And now, our stats for the month:
5364 -- incoming questions
1749 -- answered questions
32.6% -- percent answered

Wow, are we being stable! We've been hovering at 32-35 percent every 
month this calendar year. Good work everyone. My personal goal: 
let's get it up to 35% for the month of June.

Next, everyone's favorite... Tip of the Month! :-)
May Tip: In order to give proper and thorough information to the 
students, our answers are sometimes long and/or technical.  Please be 
sure that when you write long or technical answers, you emphasize 
clarity in your writing style. In addition, be sure to encourage the 
student to write back for more help, or point out that the material 
is difficult. This way, if the student does not understand, we hope
he or she will not become discouraged.

And now the word from Master Archivist Sarah Seastone...


Two new Dr. Math FAQs were contributed by Robert L. Ward
(Dr. Rob) in April-May 1999:

About e
(What is e? Who first used e? How do you find it?
How many digits does it have?)

Imaginary Exponents and Euler's Equation
(What does it mean to have an imaginary exponent?)

A special thanks to Dr. Floor for his recent help in
suggesting good answers for expedited archiving. Here's a
repeat of our March newsletter message to all math doctors
on this subject:

Several math doctors have been helpful in pointing the
archivists to answers that should be archived immediately
rather than waiting their turn in line. If you write an
answer that fills a gap in the Dr. Math archives, or one
that you'd like to have available to refer to for
subsequent answers, please send an e-mail about it to


Send us the e-mail address of the questioner, the subject
line, and the problem number, and we'll find and archive
your answer and send you the URL.

More than 200 new entries were added to the archives
during April and May of 1999.


Lots of news! So for this month, I'm going to include thank you 
notes to all of us who contribute to Dr. Math. Individual notes 
will be emailed to their respective docs within the next few days.

We DID get to logs last night and I've found:
and the wealth of information within the pages [hits] here:
To borrow a phrase from a song:  a blessing on your heads!

This is not a question, it is a thank you. My oldest daughter is
taking IMP (Integrated Math Project) Math and having all sorts of
trouble. When she asks for help, there are few if any examples in the
book and few if any equations/formulas/etc. I hate the book. Some of
this stuff I haven't done in over 20 years and I am getting tired of
deriving the answer. An example is the point-slope form of a line on
a graph. Her book did not teach it that way and I had to completely
derive the whole thing. After that little process I remembered your
site and checked my work... and your explanation was better than mine.
Keep up the good work.

Dear Dr. Math,

I would like to thank you for your help. I have two elementary
school boys who are constantly asking for help with math homework.
I was trying to help to the best of my ability but as their work
was getting tougher, I was finding that I had forgotten a lot more
than I imagined. Thanks to you now my boys and I can learn the correct 
way to solve the homework problems (their grades have improved too) 
now that dad is not teaching them the wrong way to get anwers. Thanks 
again from the Davis Family. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
I just wanted to say thank you.  I have been looking for a spot like
this with good info.  I am mathematically challenged and need all 
the help I can get. This spot will be my first reference now.
Thank you sooooo much Dr.Math... I couldn't find some math definitions
ANYWHERE! Until now! This is what I was looking for... abundant
number and I found it... and deficient number and I found that
too! THANKS again! 

Just a note to tell you what a great site this is and to thank you
for saving the day on some very difficult questions that my son had
for homework. Thanks again and good job!

Well, folks, that's it for May!  I hope that you all have a great end 
of the year, for those of you ending the school year in June. And keep 
up the great work that you've been doing. It's appreciated!

Dr. Stacey
Doctor Math Administrator
The Math Forum