Month: August 2013

Math: Numbers in other bases

Tutoring math, you rarely hear of this now.  For computer science students, the math tutor gives a five-minute read on it. In everyday life, the number system we use is base ten. The number 4062 means 4×1000 + 0x100 +

Area: size of a pizza

As a math tutor, you notice these little surprises about everyday things. We all know that, with a circle, Area=Πr2. Years ago, I worked in a pizza place. A small was 10″ (diameter), while a large was 14″. Let’s compare

Math: interest vs inflation

Tutoring math, interest and inflation do come up, though not often enough.  To all my financial readers:  hang on to your hats! When I earlier talked about inflation and interest here, I mentioned the rule of thumb that, generally, interest hovers around

English: What is a homonym?

As an English tutor, I’ll share a definition I learned in elementary school.  I had no idea it was controversial. I remember my spelling text from grade three – yes, it was a textbook.  Each week had a new list

Math: Expected Value

Tutoring math, you might be asked about statistics, in which expected value is an early topic. In many everyday situations, the expected value is equal to the mean, aka the average.  The difference is more in definition than in practice.  Expected value involves probability, whereas mean

Exponential Growth: an interesting application

Tutoring math 12, exponential growth is “always on my mind.” Years ago, I used to read the Economist.  Eventually I became too busy to keep up with it, but I always enjoyed it when I could. One of the last

Math: inflation and interest

Recalling the 70s and 80s, the math tutor proposes a nostalgic premise for your coffee break. Inflation eats away at your money.  Right now, inflation is very low; it has been since the late 90s. However, in the 70s and 80s

Math: Factoring Easy Trinomials

As a math tutor, you teach and review this method constantly. Back in May, I began a series of posts about factoring polynomials.  To refresh the topic, you can check here, here, and here. Factoring polynomials is a make-or-break skill

French education: the challenge of exogamy

In BC, 75% of francophone families are exogamous. Exogamy refers to the marriage of someone from a certain culture, to a spouse from outside that culture.  From the francophone perspective, an exogamous family has one parent with French as the