**November, 2000**

BACK TO CONTENTSTo: All Dr. Math Doctors From: Ian Underwood Subject: Ask Dr. Math in November Hi Math Doctors, I just finished compiling the statistics for November, and they look like this: Nov Oct Sep ---- ---- ---- Questions asked: 8253 9023 8330 Questions answered: 3082 2447 1821 Percent answered: 37.3 27.1 21.0 We averaged over 100 answers per day! Which means that -- even with the distractions of a major holiday and a derailed presidential election -- a student who sent in a question during November had better than one chance in three of receiving an answer. This is amazing. I don't know what else to say about it, except thanks, and I hope we can keep this up. Special thanks -------------- As always, thanks go to every doctor who answered even one question during November. But I'd like to extend a special thank-you this month to the following doctors: * Drs. Alicia and Ezra for averaging one or more answers per day; ** Drs. Jackpo and Shawn for averaging two or more answers per day; *** Drs. Anthony, Floor, Jeremiah, and Jerry for averaging three or more answers per day; **** Drs. Fenton and Rick for averaging four or more answers per day; ***** Drs. Aileen, Douglas, Greenie, Mitteldorf, and Schwa for averaging five or more answers per day! ******** Dr. Rob for averaging eight or more answers per day; and ********** Drs. Peterson and Robert for averaging ten or more answers per day! Also, I'd like to share with you the following message, which came into triage today: DEAR DR MATH, WHEN ONLINE I TRY TO FIND SPECIFIC SITES TO HELP ME WITH MY HOME WORK YOU'RE SITE HAS BEEN THE BEST SO FAR BECAUSE INSTEAD OF JUST GIVING ME THE ANSWER LIKE OTHER SITES YOU TAKE ME THROUGH THE PROBLEM STEP BY STEP SO I WILL UNDERSTAND IT. MY COUSIN KRISTEN HAS SENT A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS IN HER MATH LESSON AND YOU AND YOU'RE FRIENDS HELPED HER THROUGH IT STEP BY STEP. THANKS~! FROM BRANDY,KRISTEN, AND MELISSA! Of course, we get lots of thank-you messages every month, some to individual doctors, some to the service as a whole. But I think this one nicely sums up the crucial difference between Dr. Math and the various homework help and 'content' sites around the web -- we're not just handing out fish, so to speak. Instead, we're helping kids learn to catch their own. Kudos ----- Congratulations to Dr. Shawn on receiving tenure. Congratulation to Dr. Jackpo on being promoted from intern to resident. Welcome to new residents Dr. Alicia and Dr. Roy, who are already in high gear, having answered more than 140 questions between them! Canned responses ---------------- By now, all of you know about the list of 'canned responses' located just below the 'Send Answer' button in the operating room. I've made a couple of changes to the way that these answers are used. The first change is that now, when you apply a canned answer to a question, the answer appears between the question and the signature, like any other answer that you would write. (Canned answers used to be inserted at the top of the response window.) The second change is that I've removed the answers to content questions (like 'What is 0^0?'), since there doesn't seem to be any special reason to elevate some of those questions over others. In their place, I've added four 'administrative' responses, which can be used in the following situations: 1. The question is more appropriate to Teacher2Teacher than to Ask Dr. Math (because it deals with math education rather than math content). 2. The question itself is missing or was truncated during transmission, and must be resubmitted if the student still wants an answer. 3. You found the answer to the question by searching the Dr. Math archives on one or more keywords. (Spaces are provided for the URL and the keywords used in the search.) 4. You found the answer to the question by browsing the Dr. Math FAQ. (Space is provided for the URL.) All of the answers provide a space for you to include the name of the person who submitted the question in the greeting. Answers 3 and 4 will be of special interest to interns, but may be used by anyone who wants to save 20-60 seconds of typing time when fielding a question that has already been asked and answered. I hope that these can save everyone a little time. If you would like to see the wording changed, or if you would like to suggest additional canned responses that should be included in the list, please let me know. That's all the news for November. Go forth, be fruitful, and teach kids to multiply... Dr. Ian Attending Physician Ask Dr. Math