Math Forum | Workshops

Chichester High School

Ask Dr. Math service: select math questions and our discoveries

Jon: What is the probability of a dealer busting when he has 16 in a game of blackjack in an eight deck show (the dealer must hit on 16 and below)?

Linda: An Altavista search for "blackjack" led to

• FAQ about Blackjack, from the <rec.gambling> newsgroup; question ten addresses "What is the correct basic strategy for Atlantic City blackjack?"

John: In a non-base ten system, what would numbers like pi and e look like?

Cullen: The Dr. Math FAQ on number bases links to

Don: A man has three boxes of coins; one with dimes only, one with nickels only, and one with nickels and dimes mixed. However, the labels on all three boxes are wrong. Choosing only one coin from one of the boxes, how can you rearrange the labels to the correct boxes?

Richard: searching the Dr. Math archives on "label mix correct" and then just "label correct" pulled up no results and too many irrelevant results, respectively, so I browsed through the Middle School Word Problems until I found a similar problem. Judy went on to adapt Don's puzzle for the forthcoming 30 August, 1999 Middle School Problem of the Week.

Walt: You have a golf ball and a ping-pong ball that are the same size in diameter, and a ten foot board. Lean the board against a wall at a 45 degree angle. If both balls were allowed to roll down the board at the same time from the same point, which would reach the ground first -- or would they reach at the same time?

Don browsed through the physics and other categories of the Dr. Math archives, then submitted the question to the Ask Dr. Math service. Doctor Douglas replied a few days later.

Sites we shared

• In the Internet Math Library's category of data sets, Richard found Behind the Numbers (Jonathan Sills; ESPN SportsZone), a monthly column that explores the gray area between math and sports and what happens when exact calculations meet the human, unpredictable factors that make sports so entertaining.
• In the 21 June, 1999 Math Forum Internet Newsletter, John found Math Words, and Some Other Words, of Interest (Pat Ballew), a list of over 120 mostly math words, and their origins.
• In the same issue of the Math Forum Internet Newsletter, Linda found S.O.S. Mathematics (Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, Univ. of Texas at El Paso), which offers Internet courses/tutorials to help students do homework, prepare for a test, or get ready for a class.
• In the archives of the Geometry POW, Walt found Make a Square!, a puzzle that could help his students practice the verbal skills that the PA Assessment tests demand. And in the Math Forum Internet Newsletter, he found Math for Morons Like Us (ThinkQuest 1998), a site designed by students to help other students understand math concepts better.
• In a December 1998 newsletter, Bob found Daniel Scher's Geometry in Motion, which offers direct interaction with geometric diagrams, courtesy of JavaSketchpad.
• In the 27 April, 1998 Math Forum Internet Newsletter, Cullen found Suzanne Alejandre's Math Lessons, especially the tessellations unit.
• In the 9 March, 1998 Maht Forum Internet Newsletter, Don found Activities for Pi, which offers an adventure in exploring the concept of Pi, with activities, projects, applications, history, an information video, and teacher resources.
• Jon also recommended the Math Words and the SOS Math site.
• In the 8 March, 1999 Math Forum Internet Newsletter, Mark found Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics (David M. Lane, Rice University), a comprehensive interactive resource for studying statistics, in four modules.

• The Internet Mathematics Library's category of Materials Comments, especially on software, interested the group.
• The section "Setting Up Sketchpad and Cabri II as Helper Applications", on the Interactive Geometry Classroom Resources page may help to smoothe the interoperability of the web browser and Geometer's Sketchpad applications in the Chichester PC lab.

Bookmarks: how to save them onto a floppy disk

1. In the Macintosh operating system, go to the finder: click in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and release on "Finder," illustrated by the two-tone Macintosh smiley face (in the Windows environment, click in the lower left-hand corner of the screen to raise the "Start" menu)
2. Pull down the "File" menu, and let go on "Find..."
3. Type "bookmarks" (just the words, not the quotes), then hit the "find" button
4. In the results, click on the "date modified" column so that the various bookmark files arrange in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent -- the one you have been adding to
5. Click the most recently modified bookmarks file and drag it onto the floppy disk icon (if you haven't already inserted the disk, do so now)
In some versions of some browsers, you can actually "import" or "export" bookmarks from the browser's "File" pull-down menu.