EppsNet Archive: Math

Competitive Programming: POJ 1426 – Find The Multiple

Description Given a positive integer n, write a program to find out a nonzero multiple m of n whose decimal representation contains only the digits 0 and 1. You may assume that n is not greater than 200 and there is a corresponding m containing no more than 100 decimal digits. Input The input file may contain multiple test cases.… Read more →

Competitive Programming: POJ 2084 – Game of Connections

Description This is a small but ancient game. You are supposed to write down the numbers 1, 2, 3, . . . , 2n – 1, 2n consecutively in clockwise order on the ground to form a circle, and then, to draw some straight line segments to connect them into number pairs. Every number must be connected to exactly one… Read more →

Competitive Programming: POJ 2242 — The Circumference of the Circle

Description To calculate the circumference of a circle seems to be an easy task – provided you know its diameter. But what if you don’t? You are given the cartesian coordinates of three non-collinear points in the plane. Your job is to calculate the circumference of the unique circle that intersects all three points. Input The input will contain one… Read more →

Are You Smarter Than a Common Core Algebra Student?

You can test your Common Core algebra skills against a 5-question sample test courtesy of the the New York Times. For all the controversy about Common Core, the questions seem pretty basic even for a person with an aging brain (I frigging CRUSHED it with a perfect 5 out of 5), the one exception being a graphing problem that should… Read more →

If Math Was Taught Like Science

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When is Diversity Not a Dilemma?

I just read yet another brief — Solving the Diversity Dilemma — regarding lack of diversity in the STEM workforce. If members of Group X are underrepresented in some professions, they must be overrepresented in others. For example, I used to work with a nursing organization . . . women far outnumber men in nursing but for the five years… Read more →

A Mega Millions Lottery Ticket is a Good Investment

Mega Millions uses 75 numbers for the first five selections and 15 numbers for the Mega ball. The number of unique combinations of five numbers selected from a pool of 75 is Multiply that times 15 possibilities for the Mega ball and the odds of winning come out to 1 in 258,890,850. BUT THE CURRENT MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT IS OVER… Read more →

The Hardest Available Challenge

One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade. Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement… Read more →

We’re Still Smarter Than You Are

Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading, according to test results released Tuesday. — Why Asian teens do better on tests than US teens – CSMonitor.com Why am I not shocked by that? Because Americans on the whole… Read more →

Fast Work

A junior high school math teacher posted this on Facebook: That makes perfect sense to me. Work gets done a lot faster if the results don’t have to be correct. Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →

Screw Economics

One of the classes I’m taking on Coursera is Principles of Economics for Scientists, taught by Prof. Antonio Rangel at Cal Tech. First of all, it’s a great class. Rangel has a real passion for the material and he’s provided extra resources to accomodate online students, many of whom probably don’t have the math background of the average Cal Tech… Read more →

“Keep it Simple,” Nobel Prize Winner Advises

I soon was taught that [Linus] Pauling’s accomplishment was a product of common sense, not the result of complicated mathematical reasoning. Equations occasionally crept into his argument, but in most cases words would have sufficed. The key to Linus’ success was his reliance on the simple laws of structural chemistry. The -helix had not been found by only staring at… Read more →

Tips for Test Takers

My son has a math test today. He was up till 3 a.m. studying for it. In my experience, a positive mindset is essential to successful test-taking, so on the drive to school, I give him a piece of advice. “Walk into the classroom,” I say, “look at the teacher and lay down a challenge, like ‘Let’s do it.’” “It’s… Read more →

Things I Love to Do on a Hot Summer Evening

My son’s going into 11th grade next week. He’s got a couple of honors classes, a couple of AP classes, Spanish 3 and a music class. It looks like a very tough schedule to me — he’s also got college entrance exams this year — but that’s where his academic history has brought him and he says he wants to… Read more →

Americans are Mathematically Illiterate

If anyone ever told you there’s no reason to learn math in school, they are absolutely right! Americans are so mathematically illiterate that you’re better off learning to speak Klingon if you want anyone to understand you. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve walked through a mathematical demonstration of some concept and gotten back a reply… Read more →

Homework Follies

My son just came downstairs for a visit . . . “‘What’s due tomorrow?’” he says in his Dopey Dad voice. Then back in his normal voice: “Math and Spanish. (Dopey Dad voice) ‘Are they done yet?’ (Normal voice) Spanish is done. I still have a little bit of math. (Dopey Dad voice) ‘Do you need me to check anything?’… Read more →

Dinner Conversation

“The boy I started tutoring in algebra a couple weeks ago,” I say, “his mom told me he got a C on his last test.” “You’re fired,” my son says. My wife stares at me in disbelief for a few seconds. Finally she says, “That’s not your fault. You can only do so much in one hour a week.” “Actually,”… Read more →

Mrs. Bryant Throws the Gyroball

My son’s having some trouble with 8th grade Algebra. When I work with him on it, I can see that he knows the material and he can do the calculations . . . his biggest problem is a fatalistic, let’s-get-it-over-with, I’m-no-good-at-math attitude, which leads to careless errors, and frustration if his first approach to a problem doesn’t work. I encourage… Read more →

The Geometry of Politics

On the heels of my kid’s discovery that his tour group will not be break dancing their way across our nation’s capital, comes another disappointment — his tyrannical math teacher has been added to the list of chaperones. “She’ll probably say, ‘Oh, Casey, I’m glad you’re here. Why don’t you calculate the volume of the White House?’” Read more →

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