See also the
Dr. Math FAQ:
why study math?
3D and higher
Browse Middle 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?
- How Do Lawyers Use Math? [01/26/2001]
I have to write a two-page paper on how lawyers use math.
- How Many Formulas? [11/25/2002]
How many formulas do you actually have to learn?
- 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.
- 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?
- Integers in Daily Life [05/31/2002]
How are integers (especially negative integers) used in daily life?
- Investigating Numbers is Illogical [10/15/2001]
Why do we have to be interested in maths and numbers so much?
- 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 a Sheet of Paper a 2D or 3D Object? [05/17/2008]
Our teacher said that a piece of paper is a two-dimensional object
that has no height, but some of my classmates and I disagree. We think
a piece of paper still has a height, even if it is very, very, small,
and that it is therefore a three-dimensional object. Who's right?
- Is Full Equal to Empty? [06/15/1999]
1/2 full = 1/2 empty, so when we multiply both sides of the equation by
1/2, won't we get full = empty?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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 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?
- Math Anxiety [04/04/1997]
Do you have any information about math anxiety?
- Mathematical Models [07/17/2002]
What is a mathematical model, and how would it be used?
- Mathematics As Analogy [12/16/2003]
How can the ratio of a finite circumference to a finite diameter give
an infinite value for pi?
- Mathematics, Logic, and Intuition [05/27/2003]
How is math related to logic and intuition?
- Math in Dance [09/30/2001]
Can you explain possible ways that math and dance could be related?
- Math in Everyday Life [09/22/2000]
I need to write a story about all the ways in which math relates to
everyday life over the course of one day. Could you help me with some
- Math in Everyday Life [10/17/2002]
How do you use math in your everyday life?
- Math in the Real World [2/19/1996]
I would like to know some examples of mathematical applications in the
- Math is Power? [03/13/2003]
What do people mean when they say that 'math is power'?
- The Math of Time [05/15/1997]
What is the connection between math and time?
- Math Used Every Day [11/20/2001]
What type of math do I use every day?
- Meaning of the Phrase: Divide by Zero. [01/02/1998]
I want to use 'divide by zero' to indicate a physically impossible task.
What does the phrase actually mean?
- Mod Function and Negative Numbers [04/28/2000]
What is the correct value for the function MOD(-340,60)? Microsoft Excel
returns the value 20, while Lotus 1-2-3 returns the value -40. Can you
explain the difference?
- Multiple Solutions [02/08/2002]
Why is there more than one way of doing one type of math problem?
- Multiplication's Multiple Meanings: Unified by the Distributive [01/01/2015]
Area? Matrix multiplication? Scaling and rotation? A parent seeks a global
understanding — or at least some internal consistency — as to what ties
together all the operations called "multiplication." Building up from the natural
numbers, where multiplication is repeated addition (MIRA), Doctor Peterson teases out two
- Multiplying by 1 [09/01/1998]
Why doesn't a number change when you multiply it by 1?
- The New Math [07/05/2000]
What is the "New Math?"
- Non-terminating Decimal Representations of Fractions [11/10/1997]
Why when you take a finite, limited quantity like one-third and turn it
into a decimal do you get .333... on into infinity?
- Order of Operations Dispute [09/26/2000]
The problem reads: N divided by (division sign)ml where n=12, m=6, and
l=3. I believe the correct answer should be .6666, as 12 divided by 18
- Patterns in the Perpetual Calendar [03/17/2000]
Why do years that have the same calendar repeat in a pattern of 6 years,
11 years, 11 years, 6, 11, 11, etc.? And why do leap years with the same
calendar occur 28 years apart?