Search found 301 matches

by SimonM
Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:09 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math Books
Replies: 379
Views: 280221

Re: pre-university mathematical readings

Imperial and Bristol are both good - I'd recommend you look into Warwick and Southampton as well, especially Warwick (I've heard it's second only to Oxbridge). I heard Warwick > Oxford for maths. Also, by Gold in the Maths Olympiads, do you mean in the SMC or in BMO 1? I'm intending on mentioning a...
by SimonM
Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:50 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Age of Consent in US
Replies: 297
Views: 26813

Re: Age of Consent in US

Someone has to realize that a law that is ineffectual I'm not the man with the statistics on American sexual child abuse cases, but in my opinion the law is only ineffectual if it stops child abuse. The fact that teenagers are still going to have sex is to some extent irrelevant. The only point whi...
by SimonM
Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:15 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Teaching a freshman all of high school math in a short time
Replies: 32
Views: 3436

Re: Teaching a freshman all of high school math in a short time

nope i didn't do further maths, just pure maths and mechanics (this was in the late eighties though so it may have changed a bit since then), but anyway further maths is still high school maths surely? Ah, I see. Maths has become much more dumbed down since then (as I'm sure you will be aware every...
by SimonM
Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:57 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Roll all 6s
Replies: 12
Views: 2870

Re: Roll all 6s

Tentative method (I've never done anything like this before) Let P n (X) be the probability of needing exactly X rolls to "get rid" of n. Let F n (X) be the sum of P n (x) for all x <= X Consider the one die which which last out the whole time before being removed T...
by SimonM
Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:07 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: two-one function
Replies: 41
Views: 5073

Re: two-one function

What function were you always told to be careful of at school

Spoiler:
Sqrt


Why did you have to be careful of it?

Or, what common functions have a similar graph to that?
by SimonM
Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:50 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Teaching a freshman all of high school math in a short time
Replies: 32
Views: 3436

Re: Teaching a freshman all of high school math in a short time

evilbeanfiend wrote:i certainly recall doing second order DEs in A level maths, in fact pretty much all we did in mechanics classes was DE's. i also recall the mechanics exam having far trickier DE problem then i came across in my entire physics degree.


I'm going to predict that was in further maths though
by SimonM
Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:24 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Teaching a freshman all of high school math in a short time
Replies: 32
Views: 3436

Re: Teaching a freshman all of high school math in a short time

Hmmm... I think you're being slightly generous with your definition of a DE. Simple variable separation barely scratches the surface of DEs. Its not until further maths that you actually do anything serious with them
by SimonM
Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:05 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do people dislike maths so much?
Replies: 258
Views: 28897

Re: Why do people dislike maths so much?

I wonder if people who write textbooks and determine curricula actually disagree with Lockhart. Err?? If they agreed, wouldn't the curriculum look slightly different? That isn't necessarily clear. In the simplest example, the curricula and textbooks for different levels of education could be create...
by SimonM
Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:28 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do people dislike maths so much?
Replies: 258
Views: 28897

Re: Why do people dislike maths so much?

ErrantBit wrote:I wonder if people who write textbooks and determine curricula actually disagree with Lockhart.


Err??

If they agreed, wouldn't the curriculum look slightly different?
by SimonM
Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do people dislike maths so much?
Replies: 258
Views: 28897

Re: Why do people dislike maths so much?

mudge wrote:
SimonM wrote:I think that Lockhart's Lament gives a very detailed analysis of why people don't like maths (mainly relevant to the american system)

http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_03_08.html


That was fantastic! Thanks!


It is rather good, I've been using it for so much recently.
by SimonM
Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:05 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Integration tips and tricks
Replies: 25
Views: 12155

Re: Integration tips and tricks

OK, well, I have to do STEP papers in July, and in practices I have frequently come across integrals which have been real bitches to do.... so, I guess my question is, does anyone have any good tips and tricks on tackling hard integrals? This may be a bit vague, but I guess it gets my question acro...
by SimonM
Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:26 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Jobs with a Math degree
Replies: 27
Views: 4041

Re: Jobs with a Math degree

margeman2k3 wrote:All? Okay, I'm going to assume for a second that you live in North America.


As I have said above, I am not in the US. And secondly, those are the qualifications to join a company who I would work for whilst they put me through the actuarial exams.
by SimonM
Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:24 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Jobs with a Math degree
Replies: 27
Views: 4041

Re: Jobs with a Math degree

I think it has quite a bit to do with it. I was told it would be VERY exceptional to get hired to an actuarial department without a degree (even with several exams passed). Personally, I think it's a bit silly, and I'm glad you found an opportunity. Although, college is pretty fantastic. Err. Unive...
by SimonM
Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Jobs with a Math degree
Replies: 27
Views: 4041

Re: Jobs with a Math degree

Hey Simon I was trying to do a similar thing, just to learn everything I would need to become an actuary just for the fun of it, but when I asked around they said I had to take the degree for it. Care to PM me with how you did that? I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that he's not in North Ame...
by SimonM
Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:11 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Jobs with a Math degree
Replies: 27
Views: 4041

Re: Jobs with a Math degree

It's pretty difficult to become an actuary, but it pays rather well. I would beg to differ. It depends entirely on the situation. By the end of this year (at 17) I will have amassed all the qualifications in order to work for a large Actuarial firm and would have little trouble getting a job (since...
by SimonM
Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:37 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do people dislike maths so much?
Replies: 258
Views: 28897

Re: Why do people dislike maths so much?

Apart from the high school geometry, it all pretty much applies across the pond. As far as I can remember of GCSEs (all those many months ago) there was some Geometry in it. You have to look a way back before you see proper Geometry in the British syllabus (I've been looking at a few old books whic...
by SimonM
Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:52 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do people dislike maths so much?
Replies: 258
Views: 28897

Re: Why do people dislike maths so much?

I think that Lockhart's Lament gives a very detailed analysis of why people don't like maths (mainly relevant to the american system)

http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_03_08.html
by SimonM
Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:07 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: AMC 12(B)
Replies: 10
Views: 1890

Re: AMC 12(B)

For anyone who's moving on, here are some AIME practice problems . Here's a question that really stumped me (from AMC 12A): 15. Let k = 2008 2 + 2 2008 . What is the units digit of k 2 + 2 k ? Possible answers are 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8. Hi fora! I actually know this one (iirc): The units digit of 2008^...
by SimonM
Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:57 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Tips for doing fast calculations
Replies: 9
Views: 1557

Re: Tips for doing fast calculations

skeptical scientist wrote:I'd like to see someone prove a theorem in 15 seconds in a competition setting.


Don't be silly, we couldn't have real mathematics in schools! (We wouldn't want children enjoying themselves) (OK, I've just read Lockhart's Lament so am in a funny mood about that at the moment, but still)
by SimonM
Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:25 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: AMC 12(B)
Replies: 10
Views: 1890

Re: AMC 12(B)

Did anyone take it? If so, how'd you do? I think I did really well, compared to my peers, but I def didn't get into the AIME :(. Anyways, I have a question: Define f(z)=(4+i)z 2 +(alpha)z+(gamma) where alpha and gamma are complex numbers If f(1) and f(i) are real, what is the smallest value from |(...
by SimonM
Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:46 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Human-directed mathematics research
Replies: 3
Views: 1080

Re: Human-directed mathematics research

Could it be that because of our humanity we keep concentrating on one specific type of mathematics? We start with a few simple, intuitive things (for example very basic group theory and calculus) and then expand from there. But how much expanding do we do in the directions that are hard*? When I wa...
by SimonM
Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:28 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Weierstrass Infinitesimals
Replies: 7
Views: 1913

Weierstrass Infinitesimals

Hi, I was reading Bertram Russel's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, and it says ... It has been thought since the time of Leibniz that the differential and integral calculus required infinitesimal quantities. Mathematicians (especially Weierstrass) proved that this is an error; .... Can some...
by SimonM
Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Voting age
Replies: 62
Views: 5644

Re: Voting age

Belial wrote:
Any indoctrination or manipulation or extortion that can be applied to a child at say, sixteen, could also be equally applied to a child at 18 or 21 that's still living with their parents.


A child of 18 or 21 can leave.


Can't 16 year olds?

(At least, I can't see anything stopping them)
by SimonM
Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math = Philosophy
Replies: 11
Views: 1841

Re: Math = Philosophy

Well, the references to theology are claiming that theology is an essential part of philosophy (an idea which I do not subscribe to). There are certain philosophical parts to mathematics (like, "What is a number" (which don't rely on responses like "an element of a ring")), but i...
by SimonM
Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Voting age
Replies: 62
Views: 5644

Re: Voting age

d3adf001 wrote:how is that any different than only showing obama?


Sorry, but could you explain what you mean, thanks
by SimonM
Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:30 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Mathematical Economics
Replies: 7
Views: 1106

Re: Mathematical Economics

Hmm.. if I'm going to be extremely damning of this idea (which I think is rather good as an investigation), I would say that it is an interesting generalization of Ricardo's 'margin of superiority'. It is well accepted to be a poor model because the number of assumptions made are too numerous. Howev...
by SimonM
Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Comments needed in my plan of life on math
Replies: 9
Views: 1615

Re: Comments needed in my plan of life on math

"No mathematician should allow himself to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man's game." Math does not need to be done professionally - I couldn't agree more. Most of the math studied at higher levels as far as I have gathered is much less exciting tha...
by SimonM
Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:13 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math bloopers heard in math classes
Replies: 252
Views: 35382

Re: Math bloopers heard in math classes

Maths and mental arithmetic aren't two skills which always go together. Indeed. I often will screw up some arithmetical calculation. Upon correction, it's fun to muse "Well, I was never any good with numbers." Here's a funny blooper of my own. I once was doing a torque example in a basic ...
by SimonM
Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Voting age
Replies: 62
Views: 5644

Re: Voting age

An intelligence test seems to me to be defeating the point of voting. Why should someone who is more intelligent have any more rights than someone who is less so? The votes cast by a more intelligent audience may plausibly be more beneficial, but does that make it acceptable for them to vote? Not on...
by SimonM
Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:50 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Voting age
Replies: 62
Views: 5644

Re: Voting age

TheStranger wrote:16 seems a tad young to me. Is that also the age of majority (able to drink, smoke, enter into a contract, serve in a military, etc)?


You can enter into a contract, but you can't drink (not that is enforced strongly) you can smoke, but can't drive (until 17).

I am not sure WRT the military.
by SimonM
Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Voting age
Replies: 62
Views: 5644

Voting age

In Guernsey (an island population 65,000 app.) has just decided to give 16 year olds the vote (me being amongst them). Of 600 eligible, 100 of the new people have signed up (last stats Monday, registration ends today)).

So, what do we think, too young, too old?

Discuss
by SimonM
Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:05 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math bloopers heard in math classes
Replies: 252
Views: 35382

Re: Math bloopers heard in math classes

I'm not doubting your knowledge or experience at all, skeptical. I am honestly curious about why there's a different "rule" in pronunciation. We have words like "euphemism" and "European", so I would expect "Euler" to be said the same way. We don't have many ...
by SimonM
Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:54 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Looking for Maths problems
Replies: 28
Views: 6024

Re: Looking for Maths problems

try solving the equation ab+3a+6b=2007 with natural numbers. I hope no-one else has solved this and hidden in in those damn spoiler tag things ab+3a+6b=(a+6)(b+3)-18 Therefore 2025 = (a+6)(b+3) The factor pairs are 3, 675 5, 405 9, 225 15, 135 25, 81 27, 75 45, 45 Hence the solutions in Z are, (a,b...
by SimonM
Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:39 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Why do people dislike maths so much?
Replies: 258
Views: 28897

Re: Why do people dislike maths so much?

Also, some people's minds just aren't geared for that sort of thinking, so they find it incredibly difficult (pretty much regardless of how it's taught). I'm not sure, at least the author of this disagrees. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematical-Brain-Brian-Butterworth/dp/0333735277
by SimonM
Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:03 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Explain a concept to a human 2000+ years ago!
Replies: 39
Views: 3963

Re: Explain a concept to a human 2000+ years ago!

superglucose wrote:Natural Selection:

Things that are weaker are less likely to live.

NEXT!

P.S., I think I cheated >.>


Yeah, you'd also have to explain to them that traits such as the strength are passed on by parents.
by SimonM
Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:12 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Favorite math jokes
Replies: 1452
Views: 489462

Re: Favorite math jokes

pkuky wrote:or:
"a double negative is a positive, but a double positive is not a negative"
"yeah, sure"


I hate that saying, the way I hear that is "2 . (-x ) > 0" which is obviously false.

edit for clarity
by SimonM
Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:12 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math bloopers heard in math classes
Replies: 252
Views: 35382

Re: Math bloopers heard in math classes

I'm going to pretend mikek didn't say that for fear of cutting my wrists. Cut your wrists, man.* It's a valid statement. A more appropriate definition for i is the number whose square is -1. There are two of these numbers, but they're indistinguishable so we can call them i and -i without loss of g...
by SimonM
Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:32 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math bloopers heard in math classes
Replies: 252
Views: 35382

Re: Math bloopers heard in math classes

scalziand wrote:11/4 = 1


(-1)2 = 1
Does that not mean that 11/2 = 1 OR -1?
by SimonM
Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:51 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: infinite choises
Replies: 14
Views: 1584

Re: infinite choises

Well, you'll probably die before you guess it, so I think the chance is, um, the smallest positive real (1/infinity?). It isn't 0, because if they choose, say, 392839283, there is a chance you'll guess it randomly on your first try. (but isn't it 1/infinity?) ow, my brain. owowowow. I don't know ca...
by SimonM
Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: urgent math help - integrals and derivatives
Replies: 25
Views: 2255

Re: urgent math help - integrals and derivatives

int cos 3 x sinx dx let u=cos x . Take the differential. du=-sinx dx Now look at the integral again. int{ cos 3 x sinx dx } look, the blue is u 3 and the green is -du! so substitute, integrate and substitute back in u=cosx. -the answer I get is cos^4/4 +C is this correct? I get - cos^4(x) /...

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