 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 Collaborative Classroom? (NCREL)  M.B. Tinzmann, B.F. Jones, T.F. Fennimore, J. Bakker, C. Fine, and J. Pierce
New learning and thinking curricula require collaboration. An article that addresses shared knowledge and authority among teachers and students; teachers as mediators; heterogeneous groupings of students; teacher and student roles; interactions; challenges
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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 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 Should I Look For in a Math Classroom?  Mathematical Sciences Education Board (MSEB)
A set of practical guidelines, with explanations of their relevance. From the Mathematical Sciences Education Board of the National Research Council.
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 What's Noteworthy on Learners, Learning & Schooling  Midcontinent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL)
"The major challenges for educational reform today are putting the pieces together to create sustainable systemic change and scaling up systemic reform to encompass all schools, all programmatic areas, all levels of schooling and diverse social contexts."
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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 the City Mileage of a Typical American Car? (MSTE)  Ed Malczewski; University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign (UIUC)
Analyze the data and find an average for the mileages of American cars. A
problem like this can sometimes involve difficult and timeconsuming statistical analyses, but in this lesson you will explore a method of analysis called the bootstrap that will
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 What's the Problem? Geometry & Art through the Ages  Indianapolis Museum of Art
An exhibit exploring how some artists have used geometry as a creative tool. The site is divided into three topics: lines, polygons, and volume. Also provided as links from the left sidebar are a glossary and a list of references for further reading.
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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 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 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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 What Works Better than Traditional Math Instruction  Alfie Kohn
Chapter 9 from Kohn's 1999 book The Schools Our Children Deserve contains the subsections "Why the Basics Just Don’t Add Up," "Math Worth Doing," and "Inventing Facts," as well as an appendix entitled "The Hard Evidence: Math Results."
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 What Works Clearinghouse
Reviews of the effectiveness of educational intervention programs, products, practices, and policies. Among other curricula, the WWC has reviewed studies of the Middle School Math Curricula interventions Cognitive Tutor, Compass Learning, Connected Mathematics
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 WhelkCome to Mathematics: Using Rational Functions to Investigate the Behavior of Northwestern Crows (iMath Investigations)  Illuminations; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
An online, interactive, multimedia math investigation in which students use rational functions to explore the possible reasons behind the observation that northwestern crows consistently drop a type of mollusk called a whelk from a height of 5 meters.
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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 Is Easter?  Jim Loy
"Easter is my favorite holiday, because of the bizarre way in which its date is determined. When is Easter? Here is how you can answer that question..." (Easter is the next Sunday, after the Paschal Moon date.)
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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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 Where to Start?  Cut the Knot!, Alexander Bogomolny
A discussion of math education: the intent of the NCTM Standards, reflections on the history of constructivism, classroom practices (with a link to Marilyn Burns' Math Solutions page), and a simple applet for solving linear equations. An interactive column
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 Where Will the New Millennium Begin? (Math Chat)  Frank Morgan; Christian Science Monitor
Assuming the third millennium arrives on January 1, 2001, where on Earth should the celebration begin?
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 Which Countries Are Most Like Stars? (Math Chat)  Frank Morgan, MAA Online
Which countries in the world have a point such that the shortest line from
every other point in the country stays inside the country? (ignore mountains and valleys). Mathematicians call such countries starlike. Are there any countries such that the shortest
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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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 Which Polygon Sides are Parallel?  NASA Lewis Learning Technologies Project
Which of these line segments are parallel? Two adjacent sides of a triangle; Two adjacent sides of a pentagon; Two opposite sides of a rectangle; Two radii of a circle. A diagram and a detailed answer are provided. From NASA's 9th Grade Math Proficiency
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 Which Problem Equals 25 Percent?  NASA Lewis Learning Technologies Project
Which problem has an answer of 25 percent? 1) 10 is what percent of 50? 2) 25 is what percent of 75? 3) 25 is what percent of 125? 4) 20 is what percent of 80? A detailed answer is provided. From NASA's 9th Grade Math Proficiency Test.
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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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 Whistler Alley Mathematics  Paul Kunkel
Kunkel's Geometer's Sketchpad lessons convey a conceptual understanding, usually without rigorous proof, with questions and suggestions for extensions: Buffon's Needle (an old probability exercise); Chinese Handcuffs (questions with applications for geometry,
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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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 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 Mathematician  American Mathematical Society
In the game show "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician," high school students compete for cash and prizes by answering multiple choice mathematics questions. Read about past performances of the game; view videos of games played in Danvers, MA, at Danvers High
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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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 The Why Files  University of Wisconsin
An electronic exploration of the issues of science, math, and technology that lurk behind the headlines of the day, presenting those topics in a clear, entertaining and accessible manner. Provides a bimonthly feature on the science of everyday life, archived
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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 is the Area of a Circle Pi*r^2?  Eva Thury
An explanation of the formula for the area of a circle, based on "slicing" and rearranging the circle.
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 Why is the Mathematician So Messy? (Math Chat)  Frank Morgan, MAA Online
A physicist and a mathematician can clean a house in 6 hours; an engineer and the mathematician in 3 hours; and the physicist and the engineer in 1 hour and 12 minutes. How long would it take the physicist alone?
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 Why is the Product of Negative Numbers Positive? (Question Corner and Discussion Area)  University of Toronto Mathematics Network
A short essay and a description of a practical demonstration.
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 Why It Is Important to Learn Algebra  EdSource
This PDF document is a parent/student guide explaining why Algebra I is a required subject, how it helps prepare students for the future, how Algebra I fits into the student's high school math program, and what parents can do to support their student's
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 Why It's Hard to Fold a Triangle in Half (Math Chat)  Frank Morgan, MAA Online
For a circular piece of paper, the lines along which you can fold it "in half" (with half the area on each side) are precisely the lines through the center. What other shapes work the same way? This works for lots of shapes, such as rectangles, parallelograms,
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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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