Math Forum Internet News

Volume 4, Number 21A  -  May 1999 Discussions

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26 May 1999                                 Vol. 4, No. 21A


  This special issue of the Math Forum's weekly newsletter
  highlights recent interesting conversations on Internet 
  math discussion groups.

  For a full list of these groups with links to topics covered
  and information on how to subscribe, see:


  Replies to individual discussions should be addressed to
  the appropriate group rather than to the newsletter editor.

______________________________ + ______________________________

                       MAY SUGGESTIONS:

HISTORIA-MATEMATICA - a virtual forum for scholarly discussion 
of the history of mathematics in a broad sense, among 
professionals and non-professionals with a serious interest in 
the field, archived at

- the importance of notation (10 May 1999)

 "...notation has helped the progress of mathematics. Consider, 
  for example, the limitations of the Roman number system, the 
  importance of the invention of a symbol for zero, etc. Which 
  were, in your opinion, the notations that have permitted the 
  greatest advances in mathematics?" - Emmanuel Attard Cassar

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MATH-TEACH, a list established to facilitate the discussion of 
teaching mathematics, including conversations about the NCTM 
standards (although not officially sponsored by or affiliated 
with the NCTM); open to subscription, unmoderated, and 
archived by the Math Forum at:
- Multiple Choice Tests: Constructing Responses (19 May 1999)
 "I'd like to construct a 20-question multiple choice test for 
  use as an instrument to determine any gaps in the basic 
  mathematical background of the students... I can rough in 
  a set of appropriate questions, but how does one go about 
  constructing wrong responses?" - Timothy P. Keller

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MATHQA - a list for math discussion at the college level and
above, also available as the alt.math.moderated newsgroup and
now archived by the Math Forum at:

For examples of MATHQA topics, see:

- Help with Algebraic Topology problem about triangulation of 
  manifolds" (19 Apr 1999)
 "I'm studying Munkres' Elements of Algebraic Topology on
  my own and I'm having trouble with a problem... We are
  given an m-manifold with boundary, M, and a triangulation
  h:|K|->M of M, where K is a simplicial complex. This forces 
  some constraints upon K and the problem asks for proofs of 
  some of these constraints...." - Jeffrey B. Rubin

- Hawaii puzzle (18 May 1999)

 "Suppose there is an accurate map of Hawaii spread out on a 
  table in Honolulu. Prove there is exactly one point on the 
  map lying directly over the point it represents."
  - Nick Halloway
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AP-CALC - the Advanced Placement Calculus mailing list, hosted 
by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and archived at:
- Summer reading (20 May 1999)

MATH-HISTORY-LIST - an unmoderated group dealing with the 
history of mathematics, archived by the Math Forum at:

- Summer Reading (10 May 1999)
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  We hope you will find these selections useful, and that you
  will browse and participate in the discussion group(s) of
  your choice.  

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