Math Forum Internet News

Volume 5, Number 17A  -  April 2000 Discussions

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26 April 2000                              Vol. 5, No. 17A


  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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                      APRIL SUGGESTIONS:

EMT - a list established to facilitate conversation started in 
the videopaper "Encouraging Mathematical Thinking - Discourse 
around a Rich Problem," by the Math Forum's Bridging Research 
and Practice Group (BRAP), hosted and archived by the Math
Forum at:

- Discourse in Mathematics (3 April 2000)

 "I am a junior in mathematics education... working on an 
  honor's project, researching discovery and reception teaching
  methods. I'm finding your site very interesting but I am 
  wondering if your use of discourse is the same as the
  Socratic method, and if not how does it differ?" - Pam Cockrell

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APSTAT-L - a list for prospective teachers and others involved 
in the development of the Advanced Placement Statistics 
Examination, archived at:
- AP Exam & Calculators (19 April 2000)

 "Now that the exam is almost upon us, I have a rather 
  important question. What are students permitted to have 
  stored in their calculators? For example, can they use a 
  program that generates a stem-and-leaf plot, etc., or 
  will this be considered cheating?" - Chris

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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:

- The aesthetic beauty found in mathematics (5 April 2000)

 "I am an architecture student in England. I have an enormous 
  interest in the underlying mathematical structure inherent 
  in all natural objects which are popularly considered as 
  beautiful and elegant in form... I would be interested to
  know of good books on the subject..." - Stephen Pitt-Francis

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MATHEDU, a mailing list set up to discuss issues in Mathematics/
Education at the post-calculus level, and archived at
- Regulating Collaboration (10 April 2000)
 "... Judging by the work my students turn in, I have not been
  completely successful in communicating the policy I have in
  mind. Are there others on this list who wish to permit a
  limited amount of collaboration on homework and who have
  succeeded in laying clear ground rules for such 
  collaboration?" - Chris Grant

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SCI.MATH.NUM-ANALYSIS, a discussion group focused on numerical
analysis that can be read as a Usenet newsgroup or on the Web:

- Finite Difference vs. Finite Element (11 April 2000)
 "I have been reading a lot of literature on the finite 
  difference and finite element methods and have found a great 
  variety of opinions regarding which is best for this or that 
  problem. In programming both types I have found that both 
  can produce nice results. I would like to hear more opinions
  on the matter however..." - John Hernlund

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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

- Fundamental Theorem of Algebra (7 April 2000)

 "Is there a proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra that 
  can be understood by students with only a calculus background?"
  - John Dawson

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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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