Ask Dr. Math: The Math Doctors' Newsletter

by Ian Underwood

November, 2001

To: All Dr. Math Doctors
From: Ian Underwood 
Subject: Ask Dr. Math in November

Hi Math Doctors,

In November, we received 7601 questions (about 245 per day), and were
able to answer 3954 of them (about 127 per day), which comes to a hair
over 52 percent!  So I've received my Christmas present early, and for
that I'd like to thank all 36 of the math doctors who contributed
answers this month, with special thanks going to the following:

  20/day  | 
          | Peterson
  15/day  |
          | Tom
  10/day  |
          | Greenie
          | Rob
   5/day  | Jerry
          | Anthony, Jeremiah, Mitteldorf, Roy
          | Fenton, Rick
          | Floor, Jubal, Paul, Shawn
   1/day  | Achilles, Douglas, Jodi, Pete, Schwa, White
   1/wk   | Ann, Byron, Budrow, Code, Mike, Wallace

This month we welcome new math doctor Mihir. 

Changes to the Office

As of yesterday, Ask Dr. Math is no longer accepting submissions by

This means that questions can only be submitted at

More importantly, it means that every answer that goes out is tagged
with a unique URL that the patient can use to follow up with a
question, complaint, suggestion, thank-you, or other comment.  

In the near future, we should still be seeing follow-up questions and
comments from patients who received answers without the relevant
URLs.  (If they respond via email, they will receive messages asking
them to use the submission page.)

But over time, emailed replies should stop coming in, and the vast
majority of follow-ups should be added to the proper threads
automatically, without our having to generate all those memos.

Apart from saving us all some work, the ultimate purpose of this
change is to increase the likelihood that a patient who writes back
with a follow-up question will get an answer to that question, since
these questions should normally take precedence over new questions. 

You can use the clinic to search for threads in triage that include
answers that you've written, and you might want to get into the habit
of doing this when you log into the office.

I'm also thinking of providing optional email notification, for math
doctors who come and go at irregular intervals.  If anyone has
thoughts on how they would like that to work, I'd love to hear them. 

That's all the news for November.  Enjoy the holidays, and go forth,
be fruitful, and teach kids to multiply...

Dr. Ian
Attending Physician
Ask Dr. Math