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Browse Middle School Definitions

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What is Dimensional Analysis? [11/26/2001]
What is dimensional analysis and how does it work?

What is Length in a Rectangle? [05/31/1999]
Is the length of a rectangle the longest side, whether vertical or horizontal?

What is Math? [10/04/1997]
Is math a science, an art, or some other anomaly?

What is "Relatively Prime"? [8/3/1996]
What does it mean when something is relatively prime?

What is the Difference between a Metric and a Standard Ton? [3/28/1995]
A student has a question about units of weight.

What Skew Lines Are and Aren't [01/14/2004]
A description of skew lines including diagrams and definitions.

When is the expression Q.E.D. used? [02/15/1999]
More on Q.E.D.

Who Invented the Square Root? [12/11/1996]
I've only seen long, stringy roots!

Whole Numbers and Multiples [09/11/2001]
My students and I have been trying to figure out what numbers are in the set of "Whole Numbers." Is zero a whole number?

Why Cubed? [11/27/2001]
Why do we use "cubed" for the volume of a figure?

Why Does 1 Degree Equal 60 Minutes? [07/28/2004]
In 60 minutes, the minute hand of a clock makes a full circle, which is 360 degrees. How can 60 minutes equal 1 degree when measuring angles?

Why Do We Have Leap Year ? [02/25/1998]
Why do we need to have one extra day each 4 years?

Why Is a Circle 360 Degrees? [07/01/1998]
Why is a circle defined as 360 degrees?

Why is K Used as an Abbreviation for Area? [11/29/2004]
Many textbooks use the letter K to represent area in formulas, instead of A. Do you know why that is?

Why Isn't a Kilobyte 1,000 Bytes? [03/29/2001]
If the prefix kilo- means 1000, why is a kilobyte 1024 bytes instead of 1000 bytes?

Why Is 'Pound' Abbreviated 'lb'? [03/08/2004]
Why is "pound" abbreviated lb? Is it because of its Latin roots? I know libra means pound. What is the history of it?

Why is the Word "Number" Abbreviated to "No."? [05/13/2002]
Why is the word number abbreviated to no.?

Why Use Q and Z? [09/12/2001]
Why is the letter Q used for rational numbers and Z for integers?

Why Y Rises and X Runs [12/19/2012]
A teacher seeks an explanation for why slope is "rise over run" rather than "run over rise." Doctor Peterson reveals the logic, as well as a way to investigate these kinds of imponderables, before affirming her derivation from slope-intercept form and suggesting related motivations from other applications.

Wondrous Numbers [02/07/2001]
What is a wondrous number?

Word for a 225th Birthday [07/10/2001]
This year America is celebrating its 225th birthday. As we celebrated the bicentennial in 1976, is there a term for 225 years?

Zero and One, Each Unique in Its Own Special Way [04/10/2013]
Zero is neither positive nor negative; 1 is neither prime nor composite. So how do we classify these numbers?

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