Month: December 2018

Why I Became a Math Doctor

While I was setting up The Math Doctors site a year ago, I ran across the following email I received in 1998 inviting people to become Math Doctors. It illustrates well the ethos of the team: In the fall of 1994 the Math Forum at Swarthmore College (then the Geometry Forum) started an email program …

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Tangents Without Calculus

I always like solving advanced problems with basic methods. For example, many problems that we usually think of as “algebra problems” can be solved by creative thinking without algebra; and some “calculus problems” can be solved using only algebra or geometry. Using simple tools for a big job requires more thought than using “the right …

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Zero Divided By Zero: Undefined and Indeterminate

Back in January, I discussed the issue of division by zero. There is a special case of that that causes even more trouble, in every field from arithmetic to calculus: zero divided by zero. I’ll look at several typical questions that we answered at different levels. Conflicting rules for division? Let’s start here: Zero Laws …

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