**September, 2003**

BACK TO CONTENTSTo: All Dr. Math Doctors From: Ian Underwood Subject: Ask Dr. Math in September Hi Math Doctors, In lieu of the regular numbers for this month, I'll just point out one very interesting one: In September, we received our 500,000th question! Have we been making a difference? Here are some thank-you messages that came in last month: ----- Thank you for helping me solve the equation. No more being stuck, and hopeless at math. I've always been scared of asking for help, not anymore. I now look forward to being challenged. Thank you. ----- Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. I understand it now! I am happy that I found the Ask Dr. Math website because nobody in my house can answer my math questions! ----- Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. You provided far better documentation than any of the lecture notes given out at my university. Like you said, the problem seemed easy enough; the most difficult part is deciphering the notation and understanding the underlying theory. Your answer has provided me with a new motivation and vigor to get back into my mathematics course with real enthusiasm, now that I know there are people out there like you that can help when I get stuck. ----- Wow! I'm stunned! I really didn't think you would spent so much care with this! You guys are really an amazing website! When I asked my mom what an integral was, she started blabbing on about something I didn't get a word of. When you explained it to me, it's like WHAM, and I know it there and then! Thanks. I hope your site never fails. ----- Dr. Math is the most impressive thing I've found on the internet to this day - and I've been on it a very long time. I'm amazed at the quality and promptness your answers, and you do it without asking for anything in return. You are a true credit to society, thank you! ----- Welcome to new math doctors Jason, Justin, and Riz. Coping with server slow-downs ----------------------------- No doubt you've all noticed periods when pages are being served very slowly. As I mentioned last month, the Math Forum servers are currently stretched beyond capacity. We're working on short-term fixes to speed things up while we pursue a long-term solution. In addition to the tips I mentioned last month, http://mathforum.org/dr.math/office_help/mathdoc.news/mathdocnews.aug03.html those of you who are still using the Triage page might consider using the Clinic page instead: http://mathforum.org/dr.office/clinic.pl You can use this to call up smaller numbers of threads (e.g., 50 instead of the default 200), which will make loading time tolerable, if not exactly speedy. You can also use it to zero in on threads whose subject lines contain specific words (e.g., 'geometry' or 'group'), or questions that have been marked 'thumbs up' but remain unanswered. That's all for this month. Next month, I hope to have a preview of a new set of office scripts, which will incorporate most of the improvements that y'all have been asking for over the last couple of years. Until then, go forth, be fruitful, and teach kids to multiply... Dr. Ian Attending Physician Ask Dr. Math