 What is Combinatorics? What is Optimization?  Dept. of Combinatorics and Optimization, Univ. of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
A brief description of combinatorics, the mathematics of discretely structured problems. This field includes graph theory, enumeration, designs and polyhedra. In particular, this study is indispensable to computer science. Programs offered by the Dept.
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 whatis?com  Glossary of Internet Terms
An annotated glossary of Internet terminology, from abacus, aliasing, Altavista, and avator to zcoordinates and zipping. Also The Top Twenty (last week's most frequently consulted words); Books you like; phone numbers; and Every file format in the world,
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 What is Go?  Mindy McAdams
An introducation to the 4,000 year old Chinese board game called Go in Japan, Baduk in Korea, and Weichi in China. Teaching materials and links to many of the most popular Go websites are included. Contents: brief history of the game; professional players,
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 What is Mathematics: Goedel's Theorem and Around  Karlis Podnieks
An extended translation of Podnieks' book, published in 1992 in Russian. Contents include: Platonism, intuition and the nature of mathematics; Axiomatic set theory; First order arithmetic; Hilbert's Tenth problem; Incompleteness theorems; Around Goedel's
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 What Is Mathematics?  John M. Lawler, Dept. of Linguistics, Univ. of Michigan
Listings of links on Godel, Escher, and Bach, and other material related to Hofstadter's book by that name, from a math appreciation course.
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 What is Math?  Field Cady
Blog of "miniessays about the history and nature of math, and how it fits into the spectrum of human activity," by an applied mathematician and algorithm developer who specializes in statistics and "big data" analytics and statistical modeling. Posts,
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 What Is Scientific Notation And How Is It Used?  R. H. Logan, Instructor of Chemistry, El Centro College
A scientific notation lesson that explains how to use scientific notation for: Numbers Greater Than 10; Numbers Less Than One; Numbers between 1 and 10; Division of Exponentially Notated Numbers; Addition and Subtraction Using Exponential Notation. Includes
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 What is the best way to lace your shoes?  Burkard Polster, Nature
"The two most popular ways to lace shoes have historically been to use 'crisscross' or 'straight' lacing  but are these the most efficient? Here we demonstrate mathematically that the shortest lacing is neither of these, but instead is a rarely used
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 What Is Your Answer to That Question?  Cut the Knot!, Alexander Bogomolny, with Don Greenwell
The question  Why study mathematics?  appears in a multitude of guises and a plethora of variants... Mathematics is often compared to art. Like literature, mathematics has metaphor, ambiguity, paradox, and mystery. It has history. Mathematics has contributed
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 What kind of math? Photo Challenge  Kathryn Mann
Pictures of math graduate students with wordbubbles showing "the kind of math that's right" for them. Submit your own group snapshots and subfields. Inspired by an observation that a flyer from the American Mathematical Society (AMS) reinforced sexist
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 What on Earth is a Logarithm?  Peter Alfeld, University of Utah
An understandingbased approach to powers and logarithms, with a link to a special example: how to convert a logarithm with respect to one base to a logarithm with respect to another base; and a Java applet logarithm calculator.
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 What's Going On During Mathematics Awareness Month  Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
"This year's theme is mathematics and biology. Two important examples of how mathematics is used in biology are: in developing computer models of the human heart, which are helping us to understand how the heart works and, more importantly, how it goes
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 What's New  Terence Tao, UCLA
Updates on Tao's research and expository papers, discussion of open problems, and other mathsrelated topics. Blog posts, which date to February, 2007, have included "Riemannian manifolds and curvature" and "Sailing into the wind, or faster than the wind"
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 What's Special About This Number?  Erich's Puzzle Palace; Erich Friedman
A list of the integers from zero to 9,999, each annotated with one significant mathematical property and colorcoordinated by that property's category.
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 what's your favourite number?  Alex Bellos
Enter your favorite number and the reasons for your choice. Part of a research project concerning how humans relate to numbers, this international survey is being conducted by Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland and Here's Looking At
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 What the Heck are Logarithms?  William Park
A paper designed to help college freshmen develop an intuitive understanding of what logarithms are and how to use them. Problems to be worked without using a calculator.
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 What the Media Look for in a Math Story  Kathleen Holmay
A summary of comments by Shirish Date, Reporter, Orlando Sentinel; Samantha Eaddy, Public Information Officer, U. of Central Florida; and Keith Devlin, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA. A discussion organized by Richard H. Herman and Kathleen Holmay of
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 What Will Be the Effect of a Standardsbased Education on College Students?  Judith Roitman
This article, by Judith Roitman of the University of Kansas, appeared in the April 1995 FOCUS, the newsletter of the MAA. Among other things, Roitman discusses the need for dialog between K12 teachers and their college counterparts, and difficulties
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 What Work Requires of Schools  Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)
The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) was asked to examine the demands of the workplace and whether today's young people are capable of meeting those demands as they enter employment. In carrying out this charge, the Commission
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 When Am I Going to Use This?  Column Five Media
This graphic plots popular career choices on axes of "number of math concepts" and "median average salary" to illustrate the basic math, algebra, geometry, or trigonometry required of athletes, cosmetologists, carpenters, pilots, psychologists, lawyers,
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 When mathematics has to be theater  Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
A mathematician's entry into the world of commercial multimedia  the creation of an interactive calculus textbook on CDROM.
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 When mathematics is plain sailing  Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
In the ocean waters off New Zealand, an intense mathematical olympiad has just begun: The America's Cup  a yacht race, the premier international event in
ocean sailing. Competition is fierce. The technical challenges are enormous. And the costs are
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 When The Counting Gets Tough, The Tough Count On Mathematics  Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles, Alexander Bogomolny
A discussion by William A. McWorter, Jr. of the application of the recursion formula for the Fibonacci sequence to counting and vector problems.
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 Which One Is Older? (Math Chat)  Frank Morgan, MAA Online
Creative solutions to the challenge: how can two people determine which is older without revealing their ages? Math videos available from the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute via the MAA. "Mathematics in Arcadia," "Fermat's Last Theorem," as seen
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 Whips and Dinosaur Tails  Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
The loud crack of a deftly flicked bullwhip is a small sonic boom, generated when the whip’s thin, highly flexible tip exceeds the speed of sound. Sauropod dinosaurs of the family Diplodocidae have enormous tails that gradually narrow to thin, delicate
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 White Narcissus  Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
The elegant, swooping forms carved out of wood by sculptor Robert Longhurst often resemble gracefully curved soap films that span twisted loops of wire dipped into soapy water. Alhough these abstract sculptures bear an uncanny resemblance to mathematical
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 WhizGraph  a program for data analysis and graphic presentation on your Mac  Hans Timm
WhizGraph is a data analysis and graphic presentation shareware program for the Macintosh. It combines professional graphing and versatile layout options with clear data management and comfortable macro calculation. The website provides more specifications,
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 Wholemovement  Bradford HansenSmith
Bradford HansenSmith presents the art and geometry of folding circles. As he explains, "Everything we know about geometry, mathematics, and all spatial arrangement and organization of matter is demonstrated by cutting into the wholeness of the sphere.
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 Who Likes Homework
Tutors and homework helpers in math, chemistry, physics and more.
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 Who's Counting  John Allen Paulos
Columns by Prof. John Allen Paulos, the author of Innumeracy, Mathematician Reads a Newspaper, and other popular books. Humorous and enjoyable articles by a keen observer of the world around him whose mind has been sharpened by mathematical practice.
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 Who's Really Ahead?  Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
The winding down of the current baseball season seems an appropriate time to take a look at a curious inconsistency that sometimes appears in team standings... Once in a while the team with the higher winning percentage may be at least onehalf a game
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 Who's Really No. 1?  Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
It happens every fall. Fierce arguments erupt over which U.S. college football team is the best in the nation. As the season progresses, this frenzy of head scratching and navel gazing mounts until the climactic bowl games at the end of the year (more
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 Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (Math Chat)  Frank Morgan, MAA Online
Answering the challenge: On ABC TV's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," to maximize your expected winnings how sure should you be of your answer to the $500,000 question to answer? Somewhere from about 22.5% to about 46.5%, probably closer to the latter.
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 Who was Marin Mersenne?  Luther Welsh
It was not until the mid 20th century that Mersenne became known primarily for his Prime Number Conjecture. Historically, he was much better known for his correspondence with leading scientists of the day. Interested in optics, he also been called the
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 Why 2001 Won't Be 2001  Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
"It's a good story... But how realistic is the behavior of HAL? We don't yet have computers capable of genuinely independent thought, nor do we have computers we can converse with using ordinary language. True, there have been admirable advances in systems
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 Why Does BacktoSchool Imply Back to Math?  Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
...in a world where everyone can afford a pocket calculator and a great many people seem to be successful in life with little or no mathematical ability or knowledge of science, why do we place so much emphasis on math and science?
Whatever the answer,
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 Why Do Math?  The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
A showcase for exciting mathematical and computational science topics at an introductory collegiate level. Short popular science articles that illustrate the innovative uses of math in yachting, cochlear implants, neuroscience, space travel, tomography,
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 Why Isn't There a Nobel Prize in Mathematics?  Peter Ross
Ross writes that Garding and Hormander state, "The true answer to the question (of the title) is that, for natural reasons, the thought of a prize in mathematics never entered Nobel's mind." Nobel's final will of 1895 bequeathed $9,000,000 for a foundation
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 Why major in Mathematics?  Department of Mathematics, University of Georgia
Seven reasons to pursue, or applications of, the major in mathematics: because you like it, because professional schools realize it develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem solving environment, because employers highly value those
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 Why Not Geometry?  Cut the Knot!, Alexander Bogomolny
An exploration of the validity of teaching algebra at the middleschool level, testing, mathematics ewducation reform, the goal of education, and a suggestion that geometry might be a more important starting point.
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 Why Study Math? How to Study Math  Math Forum, Ask Dr. Math FAQ
Why do we need to learn math? When are we ever going to use it in real life? Math study tips.
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 Width, Diameter, and Geometric Inequalities (The Geometry Junkyard)  David Eppstein, Theory Group, ICS, UC Irvine
An extensive annotated list of links to material on width, diameter, and geometric inequalities.
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 Wikipedia Mathematics
The free encyclopedia's entries on mathematics. A wiki is a collection of interlinked web pages, any of which can be visited and edited by anyone at any time. Many pages also available in a range of foreign languages.
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 Wild About Math!  Sol Lederman
Math posts, which date back to October, 2007, have included "10 ways to get wild about Math," "How to square large numbers quickly (part 1)," "26 tips for using learning styles to help your kids with Math," "The algebra of crossmultiplication," "Flexagon
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 Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem  Paul Hewitt; University of Toledo
An overview, following Glenn Stevens' article in Modular Forms and Fermat's Last Theorem (SpringerVerlag, 1997). Notes from a series of three 1998 lectures.
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 Wiles, Ribet, ShimuraTaniyamaWeil and Fermat's Last Theorem  Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, The University at Albany
An archive of FLT material from conferences, lecture, meetings, newsgroups, and Web sites. Much of the material that seeded this archive was copied from the former gopher archive pertaining to "Fermat's Last Theorem"at emath.ams.org.
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 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition  The Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
The examination tests originality as well as technical competence. Questions cut across the bounds of various disciplines, and selfcontained questions that do not fit into any of the usual categories may be included. Announcement of winners, description
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 Will it rot my students' brains if they use Mathematica?  Theodore W. Gray and Jerry Glynn
Excerpts from the introduction to The Beginner's Guide to Mathematica V4. Jerry: "I have young students who reach for their calculators to get the answer to 5×6. My response, when I see that, is to explain that such behavior is socially unacceptable,
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 Will the real continuous function please stand up?  Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
A description and a more rigorous CauchyWeierstrass definition that "forms the bedrock of modern real analysis and any standard 'rigorous' treatment of calculus," with a discussion of how the formal definition involves a major shift in conceptual model
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 Wilson's Inversive Geometry with CabriJava  Wilson Stothers, University of Glasgow
An introduction to inversive geometry, with explanations and illustrations using
CabriJava. Many of the results and ideas are Greek, largely due to Apollonius of Perga. The approach is from the Klein viewpoint, using a group of transformations of a
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