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Volume 5, Number 17

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24 April 2000                                 Vol. 5, No. 17


 Census 2000 | Algebra:  Help - Mishanski / Modules - Stapel
             Exploratorium's Science of Baseball


The decennial census in the United States determines the 
number of delegates each state can send to the House of 
Representatives, provides policy-makers with information
necessary to allocate federal and state funding, and gathers
needed information for planning schools, hospitals, roads, 
and police forces.

This tour of the controversy over statistical sampling in 
the census covers topics such as:

 - A Snapshot of America
 - The Sampling Debate - in favor of and opposed to sampling
 - Multiracial Americans and the Census - in favor of and
    opposed to a multiracial box

The site draws extensively on policy statements and position 
papers by government bureaus, elected officials, 
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and citizen action
groups. With links to other population and census resources 
on the Web, and an interactive bulletin board.


                   ALGEBRA HELP - Mishanski


A comprehensive online source for help with algebra, 
offering the latest technology, lessons to teach or refresh 
old skills, calculators that show how to solve problems 
step-by-step, and interactive worksheets for testing skills. 

To be notified of updates and additions to the site, sign up 
for its announcements newsletter.


              ALGEBRA MODULES (PURPLEMATH) - Stapel

Purplemath's algebra modules give practical tips, hints, 
and examples, and point out common mistakes. They are 
cross-referenced, and some contain short quizzes.

Contents include:
 - Basic Triangle Values     - Radicals (square roots)
 - Calculators               - Scientific Notation
 - Canceling Units           - Slope and Graphing
 - Domain and Range          - Slope and y-intercept
 - Exponents                 - Slope of a straight line
 - Factoring Quadratics      - Solving Inequalities
 - Function Notation         - Straight-line equations
 - Functions                 - Translation (word problems)
 - Graphing                     "distance" problems
 - Induction Proofs             "investment" problems
 - Intercepts                   "mixture" problems
 - Percent of...                "work" problems
 - Piecewise Functions:      - Variables
    definition of            - Vertical Line Test
    graphing of 

Homework guidelines list examples, with commentary, of 
acceptable and unacceptable solutions. Also an online 
study-skills survey, and links to others' algebra sites.




Interactive (Shockwave) exhibits from San Francisco's science
museum include Fastball Reaction Time (can you hit a 90-mph 
fastball?) and Scientific Slugger (see what makes a home 
run: vary the angle of the ball, bat speed, and pitch speed, 
then watch the distance the ball travels). 

Articles include "Take Me Out to the Besuboru Game," about 
baseball in Japan; and "Biological Baseball," which offers 
some facts and reflections on human reflexes, reaction time, 
and decision-making. 

Activities include:
 - Thrown for a Curve (learn how to throw a curveball, 
    screwball, or slider)
 - Finding the Sweet Spot (of a baseball bat)
 - Bouncing Balls (how high?)
 - Handle Forces (get a grip!)
 - Basketball (about the bounce of the ball)

"How Far Can You Hit One?" examines the influence of
atmospheric conditions, particularly wind, on fly balls.

Read "The Girls of Summer" tour to learn about the first 
professional female ballplayers. "Putting Something on the 
Ball" discusses the physics of pitching, especially the 
phenomenon of transfer of momentum. With a "time machine" 
on the history of the national pastime, animations, video 
and audio (RealMedia) clips, and a bibliography. 

Project participants include Louisville Slugger, the National 
Baseball Hall of Fame, the Oakland A's, the San Francisco 
Giants, and Total Baseball.

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