Carnival of Mathematics

Mark Chu-Carroll hosts the latest Carnival of Mathematics with a theme dear to my heart, the way cholesterol is: spam!

Among the notable posts are My Tiny Kingdom’s report on helping with long-division homework. This reminds me: can any of the other science-types out there who do math for a living tell me when was the last time you used the grade-school division symbol, or obelus, [tex]\div[/tex]? Like writing in cursive, it seems to be a part of my symbolic heritage which adult life has discarded.

Also, Maths for Mortals has a challenge:

Does anyone know how to get the latex \quad and \begin{tabular} commands to work in WordPress?

Darn good question. I’m not hosted on, so I use the LatexRender plugin which I installed manually. The \quad command works for me, but only within expressions, and I suspect the issue with the tabular environment is that it’s not designed to be used within math mode.

5 thoughts on “Carnival of Mathematics”

  1. That’s a good question…

    even my students (college freshmen, for the most part) don’t use the ÷ symbol. So apparently it gets abandoned sometime before then.

    I actually have started using cursive in the last couple years; I go back and forth between cursive and printing fairly freely in handwritten documents that are meant for my eyes only. (Those are most of the handwritten things I produce these days; I type pretty much anything that’s meant for other people’s consumption.) I don’t really know why. It’s especially strange because my cursive is not all that readable. I suspect writing cursive is marginally faster than printing, though.

  2. Thanks for the shout out. In addition (ha!) to being unable to do simple math, I find it easier to scan and upload drawings of symbols than to find a plugin or something to make everything look all professional.

  3. I too stopped using the division sign, I would estimate, in middle school. I am not an accountant, so I don’t know if accountants really “use” it (I don’t think they really write equations that much anyway), but it does appear in many accounting standards (though not uniformly).

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