Ask Dr. Math: The Math Doctors' Newsletter

by Ian Underwood

September, 2003

To: 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,

those of you who are still using the Triage page might consider using
the Clinic page instead:
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

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

Dr. Ian
Attending Physician
Ask Dr. Math