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The IntMath Newsletter - 2 Jul 2008

By Murray Bourne, 02 Jul 2008

In this Newsletter

1. IntMath future development - survey results
2. Math tip - Solving math word problems
3. From the math blog
4. Some brain math

1. IntMath future development - survey results

Thank you to all those who completed the survey on future IntMath developments (which I mentioned in the last IntMath Newsletter).

The survey showed there is strong interest in each of the following:

  • A forum for help on homework. Also, several teachers asked for a teachers' forum.
  • Video lessons on various math topics, and also on how to use computer algebra systems.
  • e-Books on various math topics, including math anxiety.

There were some great suggestions that you gave in the written part of the survey and I will progressively develop the best ideas over the coming months.

Thanks again for your input!

2. Math tip - Solving math word problems

Most students struggle when they are asked to solve word problems. There is a good reason for this — your brain is super-busy while figuring out such problems.

This tip became a bit long for this Newsletter so I made it into a separate article. Check it out here:

Math Problem Solving and Brain Activity

3. From the math blog

1) Fractal Science Kit
Fractals are beautiful mathematical art objects. This article describes a tool for creating them.

2) Google gadgets - cool extras for your website
Google Gadgets allow you to easily add fun stuff to your Website or blog, including math games.

3) Friday Math Movie - Math Test Anxiety
This strange anime illustrates one student's nightmares about math tests. Warning - it's very strange and may be disturbing for some viewers.

4. Some brain math

To finish, I thought I'd tell you some interesting facts about the brain.

  • The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each linked to as many as 10,000 neurons
  • The brain is 60% fat
  • The brain can handle about one billion instructions per second
  • The brain weighs 2% of total body weight, it needs 15% of the body's blood, consumes 20% of total body oxygen, and requires 25% of total body glucose (sugar)
  • The brain uses up 1.5 calories per minute during crossword puzzle-solving


Summary: You have a remarkable organ between your ears. Look after it well.

Until next time.

See the 1 Comment below.

One Comment on “The IntMath Newsletter - 2 Jul 2008”

  1. Li-sa says:

    And to look after the brain well, mind your diet; avoid aspartame, trans fat and MSG!

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  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
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    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

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