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I use the Ask Dr. Math archives because my students REALLY read through them. Letters are engaging for middle schoolers! It's as if they are reading some other kid's note -- there is a buy-in right away. Then as they continue they start realizing that they understand the question and sometimes they are surprised that they understand the answer. The math doctors have a way with the inquiry method that leads the reader through the problem, so that the students learn new problem-solving methods. -S.A.



I like showing kids the site and looking at the kinds of questions people send in and what answers are given. It gives me ideas for problems to give my students, with some background info provided by "Dr. Math" that helps me ask appropriate questions to probe thinking. In other words, it teaches me some mathematics that supports my teaching. (Elementary teachers don't generally enter the classroom well prepared to teach math, and we need all the help we can get!)

When I look at the archives with small groups of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th graders, they never want to stop! They clamor for me to click on one more topic to see what is there. The site serves to broaden their horizons from school math to seeing math as a rich, varied topic. ...It is very interesting to see what kids ask. There is a lot to be learned right there, since we assume they think in certain ways and their questions reveal quite a different story. Who would expect primary students to wonder who made up zero, or who invented the plus sign! -V.R.



Many thanks for your help tonight with my sixth grade daughter's homework question, "What is an eleven-sided polygon called?" She had been sent home with instructions not to ask her mother, me, a high school math teacher, and frankly, the magic of searching your site was just as good as finding the answer. After all, we all know that finding an elegant solution is the true beauty of mathematics! She tells me that the Ask Dr. Math site was as close to asking me as she could get. Many thanks for your help. By the way, my husband was very impressed that we were talking to the Math God, John Conway. -J.H.



I am an engineer with a bunch of kids, and I typically teach a class for each of them once or twice a year. I was asked this time to teach multiplying and dividing fractions. I stumbled across your Web site, and will be using some of your solved problems in my lesson. I'm used to dissecting frogs and building small bridges, and was concerned that this would be a mighty dry lecture. Your material will be a very big help. Thanks for your help, and for your commitment to educating kids. -P.S.



The cylinder in the sphere problem made its way into Ask Marilyn but her answer was really difficult to interpret. Your explanation is far clearer... Thanks. -R.W.



I just want to take a moment to thank all you great people out there who dedicate your time to help out frustrated kids like me. Your great site has helped me more than once, and almost our whole math class uses your site to help us, too. I like the variety of questions you keep in your archives that save time for everyone. I hope you people continue to do this for a long time. THANK YOU! -M.



I think that what you are doing is great. In NY state we take a test at the end of the year called a "regents" exam. This one test determines if we pass or fail the course. Well, I have a math regents in 9 hours, and I really needed help with permutations and combinations, and you helped me. -M.



Thanks for helping me renew my 10-year-old daughter's faith in finding answers to educational subjects on the Internet. Tonight we both were stuck on the proper way to add and multiply fractions. We have it down pat now. Thanks once again. -L.C.



I am a full time single father with two little girls eleven and four. It has been many years since I learned or practiced sixth grade math so when I am aproached by my eleven-year-old about math homework I can't always help. I stumbled upon your website by accident and would just like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I have found the answers to all of her questions (so far) on this web site. You are making raising my children easier and for that I can not thank you enough. Now if I could only find a website that would help me talk to her about boys. -A.B.



I'm a trig teacher who was out browsing and found your site. What a fantastic resource! My students are going to be deluged with printouts tomorrow to questions that I have forgotten to answer or that I have found absolutely fascinating. Wonderful job you are doing there! -A.S.



In April you answered a question about how to use latitude and longitude to calculate distances. This was exactly the question I needed an answer to today. I have included a little Excel spreadsheet that implements exactly your calculations, for your or anyone else's interest... -M.B.


I recently submitted a question to Dr. Math about a problem I was having with i. Within a couple of days I received a response that helped me. Dr. Math explained enough for me to understand the solution, yet left enough unexplained to make me rethink the problem. You have managed to answer more for me in two days then my teachers could in two years! I just wanted to thank you and I hope you will continue helping students like me for a long time to come. -J.M.



I would like to thank you for putting this site together. As a person who scored a ONE on my ACT (ouch), I find it a daunting task to help my 5th grade daughter with her math problems. Today it was labeling triangles. I needed definitions and this site proved to be a blessing. Thanks! -J.B.



Thank you for the wonderful information. I was assigned a project about proving the Pythagorean theorem and your site gave me all the information that I needed. I really appreciate the help and wanted to express that. Thanks again! -E.F.



I would just like to tell you guys what a great site you have here. I see many questions (both on your pages and in life) as to why math is important. I myself once thought that "I will never use this stuff." Now I wish I had paid closer attention in class during high school. As an Economics senior at Radford University, I find a greater use for math with every passing day. Whether it is integrals, statistics, or whatever, math plays a very important role in my studies.

I just wanted to let you guys know that yours is the first site I have found that is so complete. I use this site often. It is interesting to go back and brush up on some of the things that I have forgotten, as well as learn new things and applications from the questions of others. Again, I salute your efforts and they are very much appreciated. It is my opinion that yours is the best math-related site on the Internet. -H.D.



I've used a good number of lessons from your site and have found them really great! Keep up the great work. You help me feel "connected" to a larger mathematics community - which is important for high school teachers! Thanks again, -T.E.



I'm 52 years old and find myself back in college struggling with mathematics. Thank god I have stumbled onto this site. Just reading the questions and your answers has already been a great help to me. Thank you again. -T.B.



Thank you so much Dr. Math! I am a college student at Illinois State University majoring in Elementary Education, and I ran into a problem that you helped me with. In my math methods class I have to explain why invert and multiply works when dividing fractions. I had no idea until I checked your website and there was an explanation. I'm so glad that you take the time to help people with their math questions (even college students!) Keep up the great work. -L.H.



I would like to thank you for a wonderful web site! The problems not only made my students think, but gave them practice in articulating their thinking processes. Keep up the great work! -A.B.



I recently discovered the 'Math Forum' pages and I've been especially amazed at the loads of interesting questions and answers. I'm currently studying mathematics at a university here in Germany, but I never quite realized how many interesting problems there are even on the elementary school level. I can only congratulate you on your choice of problems and on the imaginative and well written solutions you provide! -S.L.



I really appreciate your help! As a home school teacher, I visit this site often. It has been a big help - sometimes I just get stuck! Thanks! -C.



I am a calculus student and am using this site for the first time. I found the archives very helpful. All my questions were answered including a few I have wondered about but never thought to ask. Thanks! -J.J.



I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I write teacher's editions for K-12 science texts, and got called by my publisher yesterday. Seems they'd lost my references for a bit about Descartes and spirals. I'm not nearly knowledgeable enough about math to have written this bit off the cuff, so I knew it came from SOMEWHERE. Off I went to the library on a search for the elusive I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it book. No luck. Surely, I thought, one of these other 427 books will have SOMETHING about Descartes and spirals. Hah! So I hit the Net, thinking, of course, that this would take HOURS. Instead, I found what I was looking for right here, right away. THANK YOU! -C.D.



After reading your directions for subtracting mixed numbers I have learned how to do these problems and now everyone asks me where I learned math so quickly. I just tell them Dr. Math helped! -G.H.


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