# IntMath Newsletter: Interactive ellipses, Wolfram Education Portal

By Murray Bourne, 17 Feb 2012

17 February 2012

In this Newsletter:

1. Interactive ellipse graphs

2. Wolfram's Education Portal

3. Puzzle

4. IntMath Poll: Feelings about math

5. Friday math movies

6. Final thought - moving slowly

## 1. Interactive ellipse graphs

New on IntMath.com! Here are some graphs that help you understand basic concepts of ellipses. It doesn't matter if you haven't studied this topic yet - it will still be useful. Go to: |

## 2. Wolfram's Education Portal

This is a new offering (free for now) from Worlfram, the makers of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Demonstrations Project.

They have developed a series of math courses using their new CDF (Computable Document Format) technology, which are basically interactive text books.

Here's the link: Wolfram Education Portal

The courses available at the bottom of that page so far include several **algebra** topics like:

- Equations and Functions
- Graphs of Equations and Functions
- Graphing Linear Inequalities
- Introduction to Probability
- Solving Systems of Equations and Inequalities
- Exponential Functions
- Quadratic Equations and Functions

Coming soon is **calculus**, and a** math question practice **feature.

You'll need to download the (free) CDF player (it's easy and quick) and sign up (also painless). In tiny font, it says:

"Wolfram Education Portal is now is avaliable for free, but it might be paid after the official release."

Certainly worth checking out while it's free! Wolfram Education Portal

## 3. Puzzle

I had many requests to bring back the puzzle feature. So here we go.

**Question: **The Egyptians used only unit fractions (that is, the numerator was 1). So they would write 3/5 as 1/2 + 1/10. How would they write 11/13?

You can only use addition (not minus) and use as few fractions as possible. You can submit your answer here.

## 4. IntMath poll: Feelings about Math

The recent IntMath Poll asked readers how they feel about math. Here are the results.

The best way to describe how I feel about math is:

I enjoy math

41%

It’s OK but I find it hard

30%

I hate math

24%

No strong opinion

4%

It's sad that 1/4 of the respondents answered with a negative view about math. Hopefully IntMath has helped some of them to like it some more!

**Current poll: **The current poll asks if you think the math you are studying will be useful for your future job.

You can answer on any page in IntMath.com

## 5. Friday math movies

How can we fix education? This is a clever animation of Ken Robinson's ideas, talking about why education often doesn't work as intended. |

Here's a story about a brain scientist who had a massive stroke at age 37 - and who lived to tell the fascinating tale. |

## 6. Final thought: moving slowly

For many students, math class goes very slowly. Here's a Chinese saying that's worth thinking about.

Don't worry about moving slowly, worry about standing still. [Chinese proverb]

Until next time, enjoy whatever you learn.

See the 25 Comments below.