Math Forum Internet News

Volume 5, Number 9A  -  February 2000 Discussions

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29 February 2000                              Vol. 5, No. 9A


  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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                     FEBRUARY SUGGESTIONS:                    
AMTE - the mailing list of the Association of Mathematics 
Teacher Educators, archived by the Math Forum at:

- Substitution (29 Jan. 2000)

 "The common element I find in most if not all of the problems 
  that students have that I find most baffling is some kind of 
  substitution... It seems like if I could understand this one 
  problem that it might shed light on a lot of other things. 
  Can anyone help?" - Shelley Walsh

  The thread references an essay by Ralph Raimi, "On Solving 
  Equations, Negative Numbers, and Other Absurdities," at

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AP-CALC - the Advanced Placement Calculus mailing list, hosted 
by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and archived at:
- DE MOIVRE'S THEOREM (2 Feb. 2000)
 "Can someone provide a motivator for studying de Moivre's 
  theorem either (1) because the student will need it in a 
  future math course he/she is likely to take, or (2) because 
  of its application to real world problems?" - Norman Mikalac

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MATHEDU, a mailing list set up to discuss issues in Mathematics/
Education at the post-calculus level, and archived at
- The Real Numbers (17 Feb. 2000)
 "I have used this construction of the reals in my Real 
  Analysis course for half a dozen years now, and it has 
  tremendous pedagogical benefits...." - Mark Bridger

  And see other recent related threads about the reals and

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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

- Indian astronomy and mathematics (14 Jan. 2000)

 "Indian 'tables' of planetary parameters are lists first 
  appearing in treatises of the middle of the first millennium 
  CE. The suggested re-datings of the Vedic texts to the
  fourth millennium BCE or earlier, which have been proposed
  in various forms over the past couple of centuries, are 
  based on attributing a very high degree of precision to some 
  statements in them about the relation of star positions to 
  direction and seasons...." - Kim Plofker

  Astronomical event-dating of the Vedic texts, Indian 
  mathematicians after 1000 A.D., the heliocentric model of
  Aryabhata, Ptolemy and Copernicus, and more.

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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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