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The IntMath Newsletter - 17 Jun 2008

By Murray Bourne, 17 Jun 2008

In this Newsletter:

1. Math tip - Improve your math grades — during summer
2. Recommendation - Math videos on DVD
3. Latest IntMath Poll
4. From the Math Blog

1. Math tip - Improve your math grades — during summer

Many of you are about to start your well-deserved long summer vacation. How will you use the break? Will you increase your chance for success in school or will you spend the whole time chilling out?

No, I'm not going to suggest that you spend your whole holidays with your head stuck in a math book. But you must admit that you do become very rusty during the break and cannot remember much when school starts again. Am I right?

So my tip is this. Set aside some time each week to keep last semester's learning fresh, and also to learn more about what is coming up next. Two mornings a week (say) will make a huge difference to your success in math problem solving next semester.

Find out from your school what math topics will be covered next semester and plan to read over those topics. Don't worry if you only understand some of it — that's fine. The point is that you will have a better foundation for future study, and that will make it much easier for you. That's got to be worth it, surely?

How to find out what topics to read over? Your school's website probably has a list of your topics for next semester. If not, your state's (or country's) education ministry will have a list.

Where to find those topics to read over? On Interactive Mathematics, of course! And if you have any problems, feel free to ask me questions.

Another (painless) way of learning new topics before your teacher does them in class is through math videos. I recommend the following math videos because they are clear, easy to follow and have proved to be very popular. There are thousands of positive comments on these videos in eBay and

2. Recommendation: Math DVDs

A reader asked for a recommendation on Math DVDs. has easy to follow math lessons in a large range of math subjects, from pre-algebra to calculus.

MathTutorDVD gets excellent reviews and high ratings on user satisfaction. You can check out sample videos on the site to see if they suit you or not.

Check out MathTutorDVD for excellent math tutorials, on DVD.

Excellent math DVDs

3. Latest IntMath Poll

The most recent IntMath Poll asked readers about their fears and stresses. It's nice to know that teachers are not the main cause of stress for most of you!

Poll Results:
What stresses you?

Taking exams: 45%
Completing homework: 29%
Relationships: 17%
Being bullied: 6%
Teachers: 3%

Total votes: 1400

The latest poll asks about your study intentions over summer. You can vote on any page in Interactive Mathematics.

4. From the Math Blog

1) The locus and the ellipse
A reader from Chile provides an explanation of the locus of the center of an ellipse which moves such that it is tangent to the positive x- and y-axes.

2) It's obscene when...
Ronaldhino, the footballer, earns around $14,000 per hour, while a Cambodian teacher earns around 20 cents per hour. There is something very wrong with this.

3) Dubai - math and science
Dubai's current direction is reminiscent of how the Islamic world operated 1,000 years ago. Science and technology are strongly emphasised and learning is at its core. Here are some examples of science and math that I saw on a recent visit to Dubai.

The Secret - revisited

I got some feedback on the last Newsletter regarding what I said about The Secret. To set the record straight, I don't believe all that the book says, for example, if we just have positive thoughts then suddenly our life gets better and we solve all our problems (and we will win the lottery πŸ™‚ ).

What I do believe is that if we have a positive attitude towards others and towards ourselves, we are more likely to attract other positive people and have a better chance at solving our problems — including our math problems! — and have a happier life.

Have a good week.

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