January, 2015

How to ask for help

This post is a slight departure from the usual fare from Flying Colours HQ - more about personal development than about maths. But it's still useful for your maths: today, children, we'll be looking at effective ways of asking people to help you. In particular, if you're asking for my

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A student asks: How do I simplify horrible product and quotient rule expressions? The example they gave was differentiating: $f(x) = (2x - 3)^4 (x^2 + x + 1)^5$ First up, a careful bit of product rule: $u = (2x - 3)^4$, so $\diff{u}{x} = 8(2x- 3)^3$ $v = (x^2

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Prim vs Kruskal

A student asks: How do you remember the difference between Prim’s algorithm and Kruskal’s algorithm? In honesty, I don’t. This is one of the things that REALLY FRUSTRATES me about D1: it puts so much emphasis on remembering whose algorithm was whose1 ahead of figuring out how to program computers

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The Mathematical Ninja and The $n$th Term

Note: this post is only about arithmetic and quadratic sequences for GCSE. Geometric and other series, you're on your own. Quite how the Mathematical Ninja had set up his classroom so that a boulder would roll through it at precisely that moment, the student didn't have time to ponder. He

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A Gardner-esque puzzle

One of my favourite sources of puzzles at the moment is @WWMGT - What Would Martin Gardner Tweet? (Martin Gardner, in case you’re not up on the greats of popular maths writing, was one of the greats of popular maths writing - and is indirectly responsible for Big MathsJam.) Recently,

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Wrong, But Useful – Episode 22

A very short episode of WBU, as @reflectivemaths is moving house.

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The Curse of the Mathematician

Another guest NME cartoon from Dominika.

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How would you work out $3^{0.7}$?

So, there you are, stuck on a desert island, you've played your eight pieces of music, burnt the Bible and Shakespeare, and now you're kicking yourself for not bringing a calculator as your luxury item. An emergency has broken out and it's vital for your to work out $3^{0.7}$ as

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I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.

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