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EDUCATION REPORT - The Math Forum at Drexel - 2004-01-14

Broadcast: January 15, 2004

This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Many students and teachers of mathematics visit a Web site provided by Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The site is called the Math Forum at Drexel. The address is The site says it receives about four-million visits a month from people around the world. Some services require membership. But other materials are free of charge.

The Math Forum at Drexel includes an Internet Mathematics Library. This is a library that collects and organizes thousands of other Web sites related to math. Another area is called Ask Doctor Math. Visitors can ask an expert a question at any level.

A number of experts give their time to choose and answer interesting problems. More than five-thousand questions-and-answers are organized by subject and level. Visitors can also search by terms.

Ask Doctor Math contains a page of almost fifty commonly asked questions. For example, it explains how to make a Pascal’s Triangle. Mathematician, scientist and thinker Blaise Pascal developed this triangle made of numbers in the seventeenth century. It is used in algebra and to find combinations in probability.

Another page at the Math Forum at Drexel is called Classic Problems. For example: In a family with two children, if one child is a boy, what are the chances that the other child is a girl? Ready for the answer? The answer is ... two-thirds. Why two-thirds? The example shows what is called a conditional probability tree to explain the answer.

Another part of the site is called Teacher2Teacher. This area permits math educators to share opinions, suggestions and issues. They trade ideas for classroom activities and teaching methods. Master teachers answer questions and offer suggestions. These teachers have won top awards for their teaching of mathematics.

And there is a Teacher Exchange area. Math teachers around the world can share their own materials. For example, there are materials by Suzanne Alejandre, a well-known middle school math teacher in the United States. She has prepared lessons and activities designed mainly for students between the ages of eleven and fifteen.

Again, the address of the Math Forum at Drexel is

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Jerilyn Watson. I’m Steve Ember.