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Intmath Newsletter - Graphs, pharmacokinetics, color blindness

By Murray Bourne, 02 Feb 2010

02 February 2010

In this Newsletter

1. Math tip (a) – Graphs using free math software
2. Math tip (b) – Math of drugs and bodies (pharmacokinetics)
3. Latest IntMath Poll - math applications
4. Latest from the Math Blog
5. Final thoughts

1. Math tip (a) – Graphs using free math software

The latest IntMath Poll asked readers how they normally draw math graphs.

The response from 1900 users was interesting:

65% said they use paper; 20% said graphics calculator and 15% said computer software.

There are many free online and downloadable graphics programs out there and it surprises me so few people use them to draw their math graphs.

In this tip, I show how to avoid some of the pitfalls of using software to draw graphs. Go to:

Graphs using free math software

2. Math tip (b) – Math of drugs and bodies (pharmacokinetics)

Several people have written asking me to write an introduction to pharmacokinetics. This is the process where the body absorbs and metabolizes drugs (or food, or any chemical).

The math involves diffrential equations, but I think everyone will find it an interesting read. Go to:

Math of drugs and bodies (pharmacokinetics)

3. Latest IntMath Poll - Math applications

One of the most common questions from math students is, "When are we ever going to use this stuff?"

This month's IntMath Poll asks readers whether they feel they get a good understanding of how math is applied in the "real world".

Please add your vote - you can do so on any page in:

Interactive Mathematics.

4. Latest from the Math Blog

A) Math and color blindness

What's the best way to present math so color blind people can read it? Are you color blind? I'd love to hear your reaction to this article.

B) Camera purchase decisions - how math helps
A site selling electronics uses math concepts to help customers decide.

C) Friday math movie - George Dyson at the birth of the computer
The story of one of the most important inventions ever.

D) Math graphs on the Web without images
Here's one way to plot good looking graphs on the Web - use ASCIIsvg.

5. Final thoughts

a. Practice

Everyone tells us to practice math and you will become an expert. Here's another take on that advice.

Practice does not make perfect.
Only perfect practice makes perfect. [Vince Lombardi.]

b. Biodiversity

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. The rise and decline of populations is a very interesting math topic.

What can you do to study - and help - endangered species in your area?

Until next time, enjoy whatever you learn.

See the 1 Comment below.

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Comment Preview

HTML: You can use simple tags like <b>, <a href="...">, etc.

To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can mix both types of math entry in your comment.


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