In November 1994, the Math Forum, then based at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, started a service called Ask Dr. Math® (originally located at http://mathforum.org/dr.math/, and now at https://www.nctm.org/tmf/dr.math/index.htm). Over the years, the Math Forum moved to Drexel University (also in Philadelphia), and then was taken over by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), while the Math Doctors, who initially were students and faculty at Swarthmore, grew to an international collection of students, teachers, users, and lovers of math, all dedicated to helping people understand and use mathematics. We have enjoyed both helping students with specific problems (guiding them to solve the problem themselves as much as possible), and answering broader questions about what math is and how it works. The most useful answers were collected in the archives, which are still available at the original site.
In November 2017, the NCTM changed its focus and stopped accepting new questions, while still maintaining the archive of answered questions. But the Math Doctors (at this point, about a dozen regular contributors) did not want to stop. Looking for other places to answer questions, we found that no other site does quite what Dr. Math has done: forming a highly respected group of skilled mentors, chosen and trained to carry on individual conversations aimed at building a deeper understanding of math.
Because we operate as a “help desk” rather than a discussion board, there is no need to register; you give us your name (which may be just a nickname) and your email address (so we can notify you of a response), which is never seen by anyone except us. Your personal information is never used for any purpose other than responding to you.
If you have a question of any sort about math, first browse or search the old Ask Dr. Math archive to see if we have already answered it; then go to the Ask A Question page here, where you may be offered information from our Knowledgebase (new FAQ and archive), and can submit a question. We will give you a tracking ID with which you can access the discussion (called a “ticket”), and notify you by email when we have an answer, with a link to the page where you can read it and reply if necessary.
In writing to us, you are implicitly agreeing that we may publish all or part of what you write, in edited form, in our blog or archives. We try not to publish any inappropriate information about you; but if you are unhappy about something we publish, please contact us and we will correct or remove it.
Because we are volunteers, you shouldn’t expect an immediate answer; some questions may need to wait a while for the right person to see them. But we will try to respond to everyone who writes.
If you would like to join us as a mentor, contact us at join@TheMathDoctors.org and we will put you through an “internship” to ensure that you meet our standards in knowledge and in “screen-side manner”. It will be some time before we are fully up to speed on this, however.
Material on the Ask Dr. Math site on mathforum.org, now at https://www.nctm.org/tmf/, while created in large part by members of The Math Doctors, is copyright by NCTM and quoted here for the purpose of commentary. The Math Doctors make no claim of ownership, and strongly urge readers to enjoy the entire original articles on their site (as well as other features of The Math Forum).