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Mathematics is the only language shared by all human beings regardless of culture, religion, or gender. Pi is still approximately 3.14159... regardless of what country you are in. Adding up the cost of a basket full of groceries involves the same math process regardless of whether the total is expressed in dollars, rubles, or yen. With this universal language, all of us, no matter what our unit of exchange, are likely to arrive at math results the same way. Very few people, if any, are literate in all the world's tongues—English, Chinese, Arabic, Bengali, and so on. But virtually all of us possess the ability to be "literate" in the shared language of math. This math literacy is called numeracy, and it is this shared language of numbers that connects us with people across continents and through time. With this language we can explain the mysteries of the universe or the secrets of DNA. We can understand the forces of planetary motion, discover cures for catastrophic... read more

1. Always read math problems completely before beginning any calculations. If you "glance" too quickly at a problem, you may misunderstand what really needs to be done to complete the problem. 2. Whenever possible, draw a diagram. Even though you may be able to visualize the situation mentally, a hand drawn diagram will allow you to label the picture, to add auxiliary lines, and to view the situation from different perspectives. 3. Know your calculator! These days upper math courses use a TI-83 or TI-89 so make sure you have a good grasp of how yours operates. If you must borrow a calculator from your teacher, be sure that you have used that "brand" of calculator on previous occasions. If you are not familiar with how a particular calculator works, your calculations may be incorrect. 4. If you know that your answer to a question is incorrect, and you cannot find your mistake, start over on a clean piece of paper. Oftentimes when you try to correct... read more

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