Daniel McLaury
  • Member for 7 years, 8 months
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11 answers
24 votes
1k views
Why do students like proof by contradiction?
16 votes

Suppose you're in an unfamiliar city without a map. You're trying to get to a particular address, which you know is within five blocks of you, but you have no idea how the streets are laid out, ...

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17 answers
35 votes
11k views
Why are triangles so prevalent in high school geometry?
5 votes

Nearly everything in Euclidean geometry comes down to a divide-and-conquer approach: Reduce the question to a question about triangles. Use our extensive knowledge of triangles to answer it. Several ...

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14 answers
52 votes
5k views
Should we say that fractions "are" or "represent" numbers?
5 votes

When I was in elementary school, we distinguished between numbers and numerals. A number is a number, and a numeral is the symbol we use to represent it. So we can represent the number five with the ...

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10 answers
20 votes
964 views
What makes cosets hard to understand?
3 votes

The problem I generally see with cosets is that people generally are shown the group axioms, then they're shown a couple simple examples of groups (cyclic groups, dihedral groups, symmetric/...

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11 answers
14 votes
10k views
How is education in mathematics relevant to law?
3 votes

The Coase theorem, in some sense, underlies nearly all of the law, and an explicit understanding of this sort of thing is becoming increasingly important for legal scholars. Judge Richard Posner is a ...

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15 answers
22 votes
6k views
Explaining why (or whether) zero and one are prime, composite or neither to younger children
1 votes

The problem here is defining primes in their own right rather than defining them in terms of factorization. Start with a number like 30. Writing 30 = 2 x 15 tells us something new; writing 30 = 1 × ...

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