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Browse Middle School Definitions
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or
good places to begin browsing.
 Algebra Terms: 'Evaluate' and 'Simplify' [7/30/1996]

What do the terms "evaluate" and "simplify" mean in expressions like
"evaluate 3{23(27)}" or "simplify 3x{7(3x5)}"?
 All About Functions [11/06/1996]

Could you please explain functions?
 Are Negatives Factors of Other Numbers? [07/16/2003]

Are negative numbers factors of other numbers? Is 3 a factor of 3?
Is 3 a multiple of 3?
 Common Difference, Common Ratio [04/21/2003]

Differences in arithmetic and geometric sequences.
 Definition of Ratio [08/21/2003]

How is 'ratio' defined by mathematicians?
 Explementary Angles [05/29/2003]

What do we call two angles that add up to 360 degrees?
 Finding the Next Number in a Sequence
Given Its Geometric Mean ... Which Is a Square Root [09/24/2009]

A student who knows how to calculate geometric means gets rattled when
trying to determine a sequence from its square root geometric mean.
 Fraction Bar Name [12/14/1996]

What is the name of the little line that separates the divisor from the
dividend in a standard division question?
 Measurement: Precision vs. Accuracy [01/07/2003]

Using a metric ruler student A measured the length of an object to
the nearest tenth (0.1) of a centimeter, while student D measured its
length to the nearest centimeter. Which measurement is more accurate?
 Millimeters, Inches, Feet, Miles [07/10/2003]

The conversions given for millimeters to inches is 25.4, and for feet
to miles is 5280. Are these numbers exact?
 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
common threads.
 Nomographs [06/12/2003]

What are nomographs used for? How does one use them? Are they still in
use? and last but not least, How are they constructed?
 The Number e [6/3/1996]

Is "e" a number like Pi? How does "e" relate to continued fractions?
 On Polygons, Polygons within Polygons, and Definitions [07/22/2010]

If we cut one polygon out of the interior of another, is the resulting shape a polygon?
Doctor Peterson gives a curious student a better definition than he found in his book,
pointing out the importance of separating polygons from their interiors  and of
experimenting with definitions.
 Percent vs. Percentage [08/17/2002]

What's the difference between percent and percentage?
 What is a Quadratic Equation? [08/04/1997]

What is a quadratic equation? What is it used for? How can we use it to
solve everyday problems?
 What is Calculus? [05/06/1997]

What is calculus and how does it work?
 What is Slope? [9/2/1996]

What is a slope, and if given a slope = n equation, how do you apply that
slope number to another graph problem?
 2 Square Feet vs. 2 Feet Square [11/22/1998]

What is the difference between 2 square feet and 2 feet square?
 Abbreviation of Ounce [04/27/2002]

Why is the abbreviation for ounce oz.?
 Additive Identity and Other Properties [01/03/1999]

Can you explain the identity of zero and the commutative and
multiplicative properties? Why are they special?
 Adjacent Angles [09/19/2001]

What is the definition of adjacent angles?
 Adjacent Primes [11/26/2001]

What are adjacent primes?
 Age Classifications [08/24/2001]

I'm trying to complete a table for age classes (octogenarian = 80s,
nonagenarian = 90s, etc.).
 The Algebra of Complements and Supplements [01/25/1999]

What are complements and supplements? How do you translate these concepts
into algebra?
 Alternate Exterior Angles [06/03/2002]

What is an 'alternate exterior angle'?
 Angles: Acute, Right, Obtuse, Reflex [06/06/2001]

How can I remember what the names of angles mean?
 Are Angles Dimensionless? [08/31/2003]

If you look at the dimensions in the equation arc length = r*theta, it
appears that angles must be dimensionless. But this can't be right.
Or can it?
 Arithmetic vs. Exponential Increases [05/06/1999]

What does "....the work produced... will increase exponentially rather
than arithmetically" mean?
 As Big As vs. Bigger Than [09/05/2015]

Fifth graders misinterpret the wording of magnitude comparison questions —
or do they? Doctor Peterson discusses the ambiguity before proposing a way forward.
 Associative, Distributive Properties [9/5/1996]

Please explain the associative and distributive properties.
 Average [05/10/2001]

Is it true that the average of a set of data is always computed by adding
all the numbers together and dividing by the total number?
 Barycenter [08/30/1997]

I need to know the definition of barycenter and how to find it.
 Basic Real Number Properties [07/31/1997]

I need information about basic real number properties: associative,
commutative, closure, identity, inverse, distributive.
 Benchmarks [03/25/2001]

What is a benchmark? Could you please give me an example?
 Bits (Money) [02/26/2001]

In the cheer: Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar; All for (school),
Stand up and holler! what are bits?
 British Thermal Units [7/8/1996]

What is the formula for converting BTU (British Thermal Units)?
 Can a Circle be a Polygon? [5/22/1996]

Could a circle be considered a polygon with an infinite number of sides?
 Can a Rhombus Be a Square? [01/15/2004]

General strategy to determine if one geometric shape definition also
applies to another geometric figure.
 Can Negative Fractions Also Be Proper or Improper? [03/31/2004]

Is a fraction like 3/4 considered a proper fraction? Is 8/3
considered an improper fraction? I've generally thought that all
proper fractions lie between 0 and 1 on a number line, but how do the
negatives fit in?
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