See also the
Dr. Math FAQ:
why study math?
Browse High School About Math
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or
good places to begin browsing.
Selected answers to common questions:
Art and mathematics.
Law and mathematics.
Medicine and mathematics.
Music and mathematics.
Poetry and mathematics.
What is mathematics?
Was math invented or discovered?
- Do We Really Need to Learn Math? [11/19/2002]
Why do we need to know math if we can have a calculator do it?
- Duotrigesimal (Base 32) Numbers [06/11/1999]
A unique and interesting use for base 32 or "duotrigesimal" numbers.
- Employee Turnover Rate [09/19/2002]
What is the formula to calculate employee turnover rate?
- Etymology of the Word Mathematics [12/10/2001]
Why do you call maths maths?
- The Fairness of Democracy [09/16/1998]
What are some ideas to think about with regard to the fairness of
- Fourier Transforms [09/17/1998]
What is a Fourier Transform and what is it used for?
- Geometry for Police Officers [02/24/1997]
How is geometry ever going to help me in my career as a police officer?
- Godel's Incompleteness Theorem [01/18/1999]
What does Goedel prove in his incompleteness theorem?
- How Can a Set Be Empty? [09/29/2003]
Why is the empty or null set called a set when it has no elements?
- How Does Math Relate to Economics? [02/20/2007]
Economics has to do with the consumption and production of goods, so
how else besides simply using numbers does math relate to it?
- How Do I Learn Basic Math as an Adult? [08/02/2004]
I'm an adult hoping to take a statistics course, but I haven't thought
about math in 20 years and was never very good at it. How can I learn
all those basic things I missed back then?
- How Do Lawyers Use Math? [01/26/2001]
I have to write a two-page paper on how lawyers use math.
- How Numbers Will Change in the Future [10/29/2003]
I'm asking my students to develop new number systems. I was hoping to
show them what other people are speculating about future number
systems, but I was unable to find anything.
- How to Motivate Students to Learn Math? [03/06/2008]
Dr. Ian replies to a question about motivating students to learn about
special quadrilaterals with some excellent general advice on
motivation, math education, and real life application of mathematics.
- The Importance of Geometry Constructions [12/29/1998]
Why are geometry constructions important? What do we learn from them?
Where have they appeared in math history?
- The Importance of Math [08/23/2000]
Why is math a core subject?
- Impossibility of Constructing a Regular Nine-Sided Polygon [04/07/1998]
Can you construct a regular 9 sided polygon with just a compass and
- Impossible Problems [08/07/2001]
Are there prizes for finding solutions to impossible problems?
- Inverse Hyperbolic Cosine in Terms of ln [05/27/2003]
What is t in the equation ln(e^0.1t + 9e^-0.1t) = ln10 ?
- Is Algebra Useful in the Real World? [10/27/2002]
We are having a court trial about why we do or do not need algebra.
- Is Geometry a Language? [01/28/2002]
I have to write an essay to defend or criticize the statement, "Geometry
is a Language."
- Is Math a Science? [03/18/2001]
Is mathematics considered a science?
- I Solved It. Now What? [10/16/2003]
I can solve an equation like 12 = 5x + x + 6 to get x = 1, but I don't
know what it means, or what I'm supposed to do next.
- Is Zero a Perfect Square? [08/01/2001]
I have been told that zero is not considered a perfect square, yet the
square root of zero is zero...
- Julian to Calendar Date Conversion [02/24/2001]
Can you show me an algorithm to convert Julian date values to calendar
date values? For example, Julian date 2451964 = 02/24/2001.
- Larger Than and As Large As [08/01/1999]
If the percussion section has 6 people, does the expression "the brass
section is three times larger than the percussion section" mean that the
brass section is 3*6 = 18 people or 4*6 = 24 people?
- Laws of Arithmetic [02/12/1999]
The Distributive Law, Associative Law, Identity, and Commutative
- Learning Math Formulas [02/22/2001]
Why is it important to develop math formulas, and why is it important to
- Learning to Like Math [12/04/2002]
I cannot concentrate in math, no matter how hard I try. How can I pay
better attention in math?
- Making Math Interesting [08/15/2000]
Do you have any tips for how I can stay focused in math going into the
7th grade this coming year?
- Making Math Seem Easy [3/8/1996]
How can you make math seem more easy to do?
- Math and Fashion [01/27/2003]
How is math used for fashion?
- Math and Music [4/10/1996]
I need information on how math is involved in music.
- Math and the Bible [01/24/2002]
How can I integrate math and the Bible?
- Math and the Law [11/24/1998]
Examples of how mathematics is used by lawyers to win cases.
- Math and the Piano [09/27/1998]
How is math is related to the piano? What about tempo, pitch, and tuning?
- The Math Behind Music: Pitches, Scales, Geometry [12/03/1997]
Connections between music, physics, and math.
- Mathematical Models [07/17/2002]
What is a mathematical model, and how would it be used?
- Mathematics and Philosophy [6/5/1996]
I was wondering if mathematicians viewed mathematics as being
'transcendental' of the universe.
- Mathematics As Analogy [12/16/2003]
How can the ratio of a finite circumference to a finite diameter give
an infinite value for pi?