# math

## Translating math problems into the real world (video)

Why do many students struggle in math when they enter middle school?

SRI researcher Phil Vahey has been studying just that. He's found that by using visualization techniques and storytelling to translate complex math problems into the real world, kids can perform better.

SmartPlanet visits the research organization and gets a tutorial on a more visual approach to learning math.

This video originally appeared on SmartPlanet with the headline "How SRI aims to improve middle school math skills."

Stanford makes virtual reality more lifelike Can a smartwristband make you healthier? Print 3D models out of your picturesRead more

## Pi Day 2012: Geeks' siren song sung in a round

Pi Day is on its way and it's time to let that geek flag fly.

If you don't spend a lot of time in the nerd-o-sphere (pun totally intended), you may not realize that March 14 (3/14) is a beloved day to the mathematically aware.

I shouldn't have to tell CNET readers, but pi is a mathematical constant--the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. The actual ratio is fairly close to 22/7--though pi to 12 places is 3.141592653589, not 3.142857142857--and comes in handy for calculating the area of a circle and other activities that even the nerdiest of writers like myself try to avoid on a daily basis.

My colleague Gina Smith, a contributor to CNET sister site TechRepublic, has a little less shame about her love for pi. She posted a long list of her favorite pi facts acquired over the years at aNewDomain (disclosure: I am a contributing editor for that site). Here are a few of my favorites:… Read more

## Haptic app helps visually impaired learn math

For the blind and visually impaired, it can be nearly impossible to follow along when a math teacher spends most of a lecture in front of a blackboard or projector drawing shapes, parabolas, X-Y planes, and other visuals.

It's about time there's an app for that, thought mechanical engineering grad student Jenna Gorlewicz, who'd spent a few years at Vanderbilt's Medical and Electromechanical Design Laboratory miniaturizing endoscopic robotic capsules and was looking for a more people-oriented project.

So Gorlewicz, who says she loves both teaching and math, set out 18 months ago to try to develop a tablet app that uses haptic (or tactile) technology to help the visually impaired learn math and other subjects with a strong visual component.… Read more

## Teacher allegedly gives kids gruesome math problems

All the children I know seem to enjoy a good horror movie.

Not all, though, may enjoy that horror being transmitted to their math classes. For a teacher who allegedly downloaded some colorfully horrific math problems with which to fascinate her third-graders, has been fired.

WUSA9 TV offered a very spooky tale of a teacher at Trinidad Center City School in Washington, D.C. who allegedly presented this problem to his kiddies: "I took a nap in a bog one day and woke up screaming. 3,796 leeches, 2,910 fleas and 1,044 vampire bats were stuck to … Read more

## Meet the FedEx math whiz who predicted Linsanity

Those who use numbers to define life frighten me. Especially when they're right.

How, then, might Ed Weiland be feeling this week when his numerical analysis-- one that no one believed-- came true over the last two weeks? Yes, this is man who had a feeling--no, a certainty-- that Linsanity was going to happen.

Should you have been an unusually devoted fan of the Charlotte Bobcats lately, you might not have noticed that the NBA has gone all Lin, all the time.

Jeremy Lin, the Harvard-educated Taiwanese-American, has brought things to the New York Knicks that were in short … Read more

For those who have misplaced their TI-83 graphing calculator, Google has introduced a graphing tool that plots mathematical functions on the search results page.

Students and lovers of all things math need merely to type in a function to the Google search bar, and the tool will render an interactive graph, Google explained today in a company blog announcing the new tool.

"You can zoom in and out and pan across the plane to explore the function in more detail. You can also draw multiple functions by separating them with commas," Google engineer Adi Avidor wrote. "This … Read more

## \$4.23 a day: On the timing of a Black Friday iPad 2 purchase

Apple released the first iPad, the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model for \$499, on April 4, 2010. The \$499 iPad 2 came out 342 days later, on March 11, 2011.

Another way to look at it is that you paid \$1.46 a day for the original iPad before it was obsolete.

We lack the proper sample size for true statistical accuracy, but based on the number of days into a new year Apple released its first two iPads, we can take the average of April 4 (92 days in) and March 11 (69 days in), and guess that the iPad 3 will arrive 81 days into 2012. That would be March 22. That would also mean a 377-day life cycle for the iPad 2.

If you agree to play along with that projection, then the \$499 iPad 2 comes out to costing \$1.33 a day before obsolescence. That's a relative bargain compared with the first iPad.

But what does that mean for the value of an iPad 2 purchased this holiday buying season?

Let's take Black Friday--November 25. There are 118 days between November 25 and our March 22, 2012 guess for the debut of an iPad 3. That translates to \$4.23 a day, or more than three times the daily cost of an original iPad during its life cycle as a new product. For an iPad 2 purchased (or opened) on December 25, that's only 88 days until it's out of date, or \$5.67 a day.… Read more

## Are math skills genetic?

For those who can count very well, there is something vaguely infuriating about doing business with (or even living with) people who can't count past three.

Math, to some, seems so simple, so obvious, that looking at those who struggle with it turns the mathophile into a cruel beast.

Yet new research from Johns Hopkins University suggests that one's abilities at math might entirely be handed down by one's forefathers.

Time Magazine assisted in directing me to this research, which was published in a wonderful magazine called Developmental Science (Sample article: "Preschoolers joke with jokers, but … Read more

## Formulas Lite, an invaluable math and science study guide

Formulas Lite is a collection of important information and tools to help students get through some of the tougher subjects in school.

The meat of the Formulas Lite app is in the Subjects tab, where you'll find a huge database of must-know formulas for mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Within each of these top-level subjects, formulas are further organized by topic. For instance, under mathematics you'll see formulas organized in branches from algebra to statistics. Under physics, you'll see formulas organized in branches from relativity to torque. Within the chemistry section, you'll also find a functional periodic … Read more

## RealCalc works just like the real thing

RealCalc gives your Android mobile device all the mathematical prowess of a traditional, physical scientific calculator. When you first use the app, you'll notice that it looks just like the real thing. The button layout and functions feel familiar, and the act of punching out calculations just seems natural. The bottom half of the screen is dedicated to number keys and common arithmetic operations (multiplication, addition, and so on), while the top half of the screen is dedicated to more complex operations like logarithms, radicals, roots, and trigonometric values. And similar to the scientific calculators we all know and … Read more