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- Origin of the Terms Sine, Cosine, Tangent, etc. [10/27/1999]
Can you tell me the origin of the terms hypotenuse, sine, cosine, and
tangent? Can you tell me how the trigonometric formulas for sine, cosine,
and tangent came about?
- Origin of the Term Vertical Angles [04/04/2005]
Why do we call them "vertical angles" when many of them are "horizontal" (extending left and right)? Where did that name come from?
- Origins and Originality [1/12/1995]
I have always wondered how the great mathematicians derived their
formulas based on nothing more than logic and tedious devotion. What are
the origins of math?
- Origins of the Fahrenheit Scale [11/20/1998]
Why did Fahrenheit choose 32 as the freezing point of water? Where did he
get his scale?
- Perpetual Calendar [10/21/1998]
How do you figure the perpetual calendar?
- Peter Lax [1/31/1996]
I am researching Peter Lax for a math project. Do you know of any Web
sites where I could find information about him?
- Plus and Minus Signs [08/14/2002]
What is the difference between the two signs ± and minus over the plus
- Polygon Names II [12/11/2003]
Why is the triangle named "triANGL"', unlike all the other polygons, which have names like "quadriLATERAL" or "pentaGON"?
- Polynomials of the Fifth Degree and Above [07/28/2001]
I know how to find the root of a polynomial of the form: ax^2+bx+c=0. But
what about a polynomial of the third degree?
- Probability in the Infinite Plane [03/29/2003]
Three randomly drawn lines intersect so as to form a triangle on an
infinite plane. What is the probability that a randomly selected point
will fall inside that triangle?
- Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem [12/10/1996]
Can you tell me how Fermat's Last Theorem was proved?
- Proving Fermat's Theorem [6/22/1995]
Is Fermat's Last Theorem already proved?
- Questions About Math [07/31/1999]
Why was the Cartesian plane invented? Were the more abstract branches of
math developed just for fun? What is chaos theory? Why isn't Einstein's
equation e = mc^3?
- Ramanujan and a Formula for 1/Pi [04/06/1998]
Who is the man who knew infinity?
- Reverse Polish Notation [06/26/2002]
Where does the name 'Reverse Polish Notation' come from?
- Rhind Papyrus Problems [03/23/1999]
What equations were on the Rhind Papyrus?
- Riemann, Mayan Math [5/20/1996]
Math projects: A. Riemann - a German mathmatician; B. The Mayan number
system and calendar; C. Probability.
- Roman Numerals: Division [11/05/2001]
I have found information on how to add and multiply Roman numerals, but
have not found any information on how to divide or subtract.
- Rosetta Stone and the Rock at Behunistan [1/25/1995]
I am in a mathematics history class and I am looking for any information
relating to the Rosetta Stone used in Egypt and the Rock at Behunistan,
of the Babylonians.
- Rounding Pi [06/01/1999]
Can you prove that the value of Pi cannot be rounded down to 3.0? Is there an error in the Bible?
- Rule of Three [01/23/2002]
How high above the surface of the earth must a person be raised to see
1/3 (one third) of its surface?
- The Second Millennium [11/29/1999]
Does the second millennium begin with the year 2000 or the year 2001? How
does this relate to the math of counting numbers and subtraction?
- The Seven Bridges [8/28/1996]
What is the problem from the 1700s about a town with seven bridges, where
you want to cross each bridge exactly once?
- Short History of Geometry [09/15/2001]
Were there any people who helped to develop geometry besides Euclid?
- Simple Example of Ramanujan's Work [03/28/1999]
Ramanujan's contributions to the divisibility properties of partitions of
- Sine of 36 Degrees [11/18/2001]
Ptolemy calculated the sine of 36 degrees geometrically using the
construction of a regular pentagon. How did he do it?
- Sonya Kovalevskaya [11/19/1995]
Could you please advise me on where I can find information on a
mathematician by the name of Sonya Kovalevskaya?
- Sphere Surface Area Precision [04/22/2003]
How can the formula 4*pi*r^2 for the surface area of a sphere be
- Stokes-Greens-Gauss Theorems [03/25/1997]
Are the Stokes-Greens-Gauss) theorems related? What is their
- Subtracting Roman Numerals [03/14/1999]
What are the rules for the "subtraction components" in writing Roman
- Sum of Two Cubes [01/12/2002]
Find the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cube
numbers in two different ways.
- Terms of the Cartesian Coordinates [12/01/1998]
In addition to abscissa and ordinate, is there a third name of the Cartesian coordinates for the z value?
- Theta [04/14/1997]
What is Theta? Does it have a constant value?
- Tower of Hanoi Problem [1/3/1995]
I gave my class the Tower of Hanoi problem and legend and, as a project,
with the aid of many towers we discovered the patterns for the tower and
when the world would end according to the legend. Where and when did the
- Trachtenberg Mathematics [12/08/1996]
I've been looking for a book I had a long time ago on the Trachtenberg
System of mathematics.
- Trisecting a Right Angle [12/16/1996]
An explanation of how to trisect a 90 degree angle, plus some
- Trivia about Famous Mathematicians [05/21/1998]
Interesting facts you might not know about 18 famous mathematicians.
- Unsolvable and Unsolved Problems [02/19/1998]
What's the difference between problems like Squaring the Circle and
Goldbach's Conjecture or the Collatz Problem?
- Was 1 Ever Considered to Be a Prime Number? [02/29/2004]
I learned that a prime number was one divisible by only itself and 1,
but my 4th grader says that per her book a prime requires 2 different
factors. I note your Greek reference for 1 not being prime, which
would indicate that I'm wrong and there was no change in definition.
However, Ray's New Higher Arithmetic (1880) states, "A prime number is
one that can be exactly divided by no other whole number but itself
and 1, as 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc." Can you tell me when this change
happened and why?
- Was Mathematics Invented or Discovered? [5/17/1995]
Was mathematics invented or discovered? Seems like mathematicians ponder
and invent, and yet, the book of nature...