Math Forum Internet News

Volume 5, Number 22A  -  May 2000 Discussions

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31 May 2000                                Vol. 5, No. 22A


  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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                        MAY SUGGESTIONS:

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

- Re: precise use of language (25 May 2000)

 "... One difficulty that many students have with calculus 
  (and other math courses) is that they don't understand the 
  difference between precise mathematical usage of language 
  and ordinary usage of language. Does anyone else have any 
  info to share on how they have attempted to help students
  understand this difference?" - Ted Stanford

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

- Outdoor math activities (5 May 2000)

 "I am interested in any activities involving math that can be 
  conducted outdoors. My primary age group is middle school but 
  I might be able to adapt activities geared towards other age 
  groups." - Tammy Muhs

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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:
- Subject: Tool Box & Academic Intensity (11 May 2000)
 "Clifford Adelman's study, 'Answers in a Tool Box: Academic 
  Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor's Degree 
  Attainment', is a recent study that educators and education 
  policy makers cannot afford to overlook. His goal was to 
  isolate the principal factors in assessing college completion. 
  Based on a long-term database, statistical analyses identified 
  'the intensity and quality of the secondary school curriculum' 
  as the best predictor." - Alfred Barron

  The entire text of the Tool Box papers is available at:

  A shorter Executive Summary is available at:

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

- Measurement of the classroom (19 May 2000)

 "We have chosen to work specifically on the Geometry and 
  Measurement strand of the Frameworks. Does anyone have any 
  good ideas for advanced lessons?" - Krystal

 "I teach math for the building trades at a Latino adult 
  education center in Philadelphia. Both measurement and 
  geometry are major subjects. I have made several variations of 
  a hands-on assignment depending on the students' experience 
  with measuring. One involves measuring the classroom and 
  computing the amount of tile we'd need to re-do the floor, 
  paint needed for the walls, measurement of baseboards, and 
  volume of the room for air conditioning..." - MathLyn

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SCI.MATH.RESEARCH, a discussion group focused on  research-level
mathematics that can be read as a Usenet newsgroup or on the Web:

- 'Distance' on permutations ??? (2 May 2000)
 "Does anyone know of a natural 'metric' on (signed)
  permutations? I ask as 'expatriot physicist' working in
  molecular biology; we are currently trying to study the
  evolutionary forces and constraints governing the shuffling
  of genes within prokaryotic genomes, and their spatial
  aggregation into clusters of functionally related genes on 
  the chromosome called 'operons'." - Gordon D. Pusch

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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

- Mathematics as Theater (28 April 2000)

- Mathematics in Literature (7 May 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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