Math Forum Internet News

Volume 2, Number 2

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13 January 1997                             Vol. 2, No. 2


NCTM Standards Discussion | Russian Math Olympiads | Vectors


On December 21, Kim Mackey posted a message to NCTM-L entitled
"De Jure and De Facto Standards," calling on the mathematics
education community to take seriously the opinions offered
by critics of the NCTM Standards.

This ongoing thread addresses such topics as traditional
exams vs. portfolios, the need for a parent education
component, calculators in the classroom, and the anticipated
reshaping of the Standards.

You can follow this and other lively discussions on the
NCTM-L mailing list in the Math Forum archive, updated daily:

For more information about subscribing to the mailing list or
reading NCTM-L as a local newsgroup, see


                   RUSSIAN MATH OLYMPIADS

Twenty problems from the Russian Math Olympiad competition
of St. Petersburg and 28 from Vologda, Russia, are recent
additions to the Math Forum.

- from St. Petersburg:

    In a country there live 'knights' and 'knaves.'
    The 'knaves' always lie and the 'knights' always
    tell the truth - unless they make a mistake.
    1995 knights and knaves are sitting around a table.
    Each says that he is sitting between a knight and
    a knave, but two knights are mistaken. How many
    knaves are seated at the table?

- from Vologda:

    A chess tournament involves only experts and grand
    masters. The number of experts is three times the
    number of grand masters. Only one game is played
    between each pair of players, with 1 point being
    awarded for a win, 0 points for a loss, and 1/2
    point for a draw. The sum of the points of all the
    experts is 1.2 times greater than the sum of points
    of all the grand masters. How many participants
    does the tournament have?

               Are you up to the challenge?
   Test your math skills with these creative problems!

MATH FORUM TIPS & TRICKS, including these Math Olympiads,
Math Number and Math Line Puzzles, and Calculation Tips,
can be found at



  From the Emailbag...

      "What are vectors?  I have searched all over
       the Internet for an answer and my project
       is due in less than two weeks!"

                                      - Justin

Hi Justin!

Gene Klotz, the Director of the Math Forum, has written a
Web unit called INTRODUCTION TO VECTORS, featuring sketches
and pictures designed to help students in their first
encounter with this subject.

Web-based text and graphics are enlivened by the use of
The Geometer's Sketchpad, as Dr. Klotz explores Sketchpad's
possibilities for unveiling, animating, and tabulating,
in addition to its dynamic capabilities.

Directions for downloading and setting up a demo version of
the software are provided so that students can enjoy
 exploring this interactive presentation.


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