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Other Sites of Interest - Reviews

Note: Purplemath is no longer reviewing websites, products, or services; and will soon be removing this "legacy" page.

Careers in math: The Funworks site describes many career fields, and includes a category of careers that use math, useful for when you have to write a "how people use math in real life" sort of paper.

Common Errors in College Math: Professor Eric Schechter has compiled an extensive list of the errors most commonly seen in college math courses. While some of his illustrations are specific to calculus, any high-school or college algebra student would benefit from reviewing his warnings and recommendations.

Culturally Situated Design Tools: If you need to do a "math in other cultures" report, this site might be helpful. Their connections between "culture" and math seem fairly strained (do you really think ancient Africans were "engaging" in transformational geometry when they were braiding their kids hair?), but their articles should give you what your teacher is wanting to hear.

Curious and Useful Math: Clay Ford has developed a "curious" site which covers taking square roots by hand, doing mental math, and playing math tricks, among other things.

Cut-the-Knot: A fascinating site, you will find topics that go right over your head (mine, too) right next to topics that usefully answer annoying take-home-project homework questions. Many topics have Javascript illustrations.

Earliest Uses of Math Terms and Symbols: These pages are great for finding the first known use of the division symbol, the fraction bar, the term "x-intercept", or other mathematical terms or symbols.

Finding your Way Around: has an extensive listing of instructions for using your Texas Instruments TI-83 or TI-84 calculator for various tasks.

Graphing Calculator Help: The Prentice-Hall publishing company has extensive examples for some Texas Instruments graphing calculator models, along with the Casio FX2, the Sharp EL9600C, the CFX-9850, and HP48G. Use "TI-83" if you have a TI-84.

MailWasher Pro: Okay, this isn't math-related, but I love this e-mail utility. The MailWasher (MW) program isn't really for catching or preventing spam, though it does have tools that can help in that regard. The great thing about MW is that it allows you to delete the garbage e-mails straight off your ISP's mail server; the junk never touches your computer. You can try the program before buying; it took me about twenty minutes of using MW to decide that it was worth the price.

Mathematical Fiction: This categorized and searchable index of fictional works relating to mathematics is categorized according to medium (comic books, movies, etc), genre (horror, sci-fi, etc), motif (aliens, music, insanity, etc), and topic (logic, chaos, etc). You can also search by title or author, or in chronological order. If you're having to do a report or presentation on "something mathematical", this could be a great place to start.

Mathematical Moments: This American Mathematical Society page lists various disciplines in which math is used "in real life". The first two links for each topic take you to a descriptive flyer; the third link takes you to the actual information.

Math With Bad Drawings: This blog, composed by a math teacher, is a delightful collection of sometimes thoughtful, often amusing articles, all illustrated with, you guessed it, bad drawings. In addition, the author provides links to other sites which could provide useful starting points for math essays.

Mathwords: If you're looking for a definition, try this site. There is an alphabetic index available along the left-hand side of the page, or you can enter your term into the search box in the top right corner.

Meracl FontMap: Did you know that the degree symbol " ", the empty-set symbol "", the division symbol "", and the plus-minus symbol "" are all standard characters, and that you can type them into e-mails and such without having to resort to special fonts that your recipient might not be able to read? This free program lets you "see" all these characters in your preferred font, and lets you paste them into your document. A "must" for those of us who can't read the tiny little "Character Map" that comes with Windows.

The Nine Digits Page: If you have one of those "impossible" puzzle problems that you have to solve using the digits "1" through "9", this site might contain the archived solution.

Practical Uses of Math and Science: Need to write one of those "how math is used in real life" papers? Check out the PUMAS listing created by NASA. Topics include how to calculate square roots with a carpenter's square, the mathematical implications of lying, and why clouds don't fall out of the sky. Click on the title, and then click on "View this Example".

Print Free Graph Paper: The site provides free graph paper that you can view and print with the Acrobat Reader browser plug-in.

ScienceMakers Video Archive: Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, this archive contains lengthy video interviews (broken down into bite-size time-chunks) of African-American scientists. To locate mathematicians specifically, try Googling.

Stan Brown's Math and Calculator articles: Professor Brown has created a nice collection of tutorials covering many common tasks, and some not-so-common ones, for classes from algebra through calculus and statistics. Includes programs you can download and install, step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and a conversational tone.

Women in Mathematics: Need to write a paper on minorities, or specifically on women, in mathematics? This might be a good place to start.

xkcd: This online comic strip skewers topics in math, science, computers, and other aspects of geekiness. Together with its associated science column, "What If?", xkcd is a joyful place. Are you unsure of why some people really, truly like the sciences? Surf by and see!



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