Math Forum Internet News

Volume 5, Number 13A  -  March 2000 Discussions

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29 March 2000                              Vol. 5, No. 13A


  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.

  If you are familiar with a site we don't yet catalog, please
  use our Web form to suggest the link. Your own brief
  annotation will be much appreciated.

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                     MARCH SUGGESTIONS:                    

CALC-REFORM - a mailing list hosted by e-MATH of the 
American Mathematical Society (AMS) and archived at

- The value (or not) of trig identities in intro calc (20 March 2000)

 "Let's assume that _you_ are given the power to write the 
  new AP Calc syllabus, as you see fit... [and] that every 
  student doing the new course has a TI-89 or equivalent.
  Which functions would you expect students to be able to 
  integrate "by hand," i.e. the traditional way?" - Rex Boggs

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GEOMETRY-COLLEGE - a group for discussions of topics covered in 
college geometry, problems appropriate for that level, and 
geometry education, hosted and archived by the Math Forum at:

- Geometry and construction? (19 March 2000)

  Walter Whiteley answers the question:

 "I am doing a project for my geometry class in high school. 
  We have to build something and write a report on how it 
  relates to geometry or how they used geometry to build it. 
  I want to either build a plane or a big building like the 
  Empire State Building or something like that." - Debbie

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GEOMETRY-PUZZLES - for problems, discussions, and solutions 
that require only a knowledge of pre-college geometry, hosted
and archived by the Math Forum at:

- Triangle Area Paradox (18 March 2000)

 "I suppose most of you are familiar with the paradox of the 
  5x13 rectangle that, cut into parts and then rearranged, 
  becomes an 8x8 square, and gains a unit of area. A student 
  of mine came up with an even more surprising variation of 
  this paradox...." - Floor van Lamoen

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K12.ED.MATH - a moderated list on general math teaching 
questions, archived by the Math Forum at

- Timed Math Tests- Good or Bad? (22 March 2000)

 "I am looking for some basic imput. There are several 
  educators who are against timed drill-and-kill math tests. 
  These tests have been given to increase memorization skills 
  for addition, subtraction, and multiplication. What is your 
  opinion? Are they really beneficial?" - Cathy

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NUMERACY, for those interested in the discussion of educational 
issues around adult mathematical literacy, archived at:

- curriculum support for use of calculators on GED 2002 (16 March 2000)

 "I am interested in references for curricula and classroom 
  materials which support and enhance the use of the
  scientific-level calculators assigned to the GED 2002...."
  - Maggie Steinz

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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

- L'Hopital, Pythagoras, Ptolemy and Hilbert (16 March 2000)

 "I need some examples of results which are not named after the 
  people who derived them... Is there a difference between
  Pythagorean theorem and Pythagoras' theorem?... Where on 
  earth (!) can I find information about how man's conception
  of the size of universe has changed throughout history?...
  What progress has been made in solving the Riemann hypothesis 
  since it was first stated, way back in antiquity?  Also, 
  apart from the fact that it is still not solved, what would 
  you consider to be significant about the problem?"
  - Andrew Bowering

And see:

- Mathematics and Time (8 March 2000)

- Kant and non-Euclidean geometry (10 March 2000)

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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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