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**MargaritaMc****Member**- Registered: 2013-02-11
- Posts: 9

Hello everybody, my name is Margarita and I suspect that I will be the oldest person on this forum - I am 64!

But I am extremely immature when it comes to Maths, which is why I have just begun to work my way through the Math is Fun site and have plucked up the courage to join this forum,

The reason that I am so ignorant in maths is not because I didn't pay attention when I was at school. It is simply that, mostly, I did not GO to school. I had severe polio as a baby and spent most of my childhood in hospital, where there was very little schooling. My mother taught me to read and to do simple arithmetic and I was able to teach myself a lot from reading. (I even went to university to study politics!) But I wasn't able to teach myself maths.

Now, I feel that I want to rectify that lack.

If I could ask some extremely basic questions sometimes, that would be wonderful.

With best wishes

Margarita

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 86,676

Hi MargaritaMc;

I suspect that I will be the oldest person on this forum - I am 64!

Oh my that is a very nice age to have. I am 92.

If I could ask some extremely basic questions sometimes, that would be wonderful.

Ask! Welcome to the forum.

and have plucked up the courage to join this forum

Hmmmm.

*Last edited by bobbym (2013-02-11 10:00:33)*

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,525

Hi Margarita

Welcome to the forum!

It is great that you are catching up on your maths! I don't think it's ever late to start as long as you have will power!

People here are always nice and willing to help, so, whenever you find yourself confused, just ask a question and someone will surely answer!

Best wishes to you as well!

Stefy

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 6,393

hi Margarita

**Welcome to the forum.**

Margarita wrote:

I suspect that I will be the oldest person on this forum - I am 64!

Have you learnt about the factorial function yet?

64! = 64 x 63 x 62 x 61 x 60 x .......x 3 x 2 x 1

Yes, that is quite a few years on this planet.

And certainly beats bobbym who is only 6.

Post your questions ... we'll be happy to help.

Bob

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,525

I thought he was 7.

By the way, I have a theory about his age. Do you remember what the longest running BBC's TV show is?

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 6,393

Yes, he is 7. But also 45. Strange ???

I think the longest running is The Sky at Night. Are you suggesting that bobbym is the same age as Patrick Moore?

Bob

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,525

Not the one.

It's sci-fi.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 6,393

Arrh. You mean Doctor Who.

Yes that would make a lot of sense. He keeps re-generating and re-sets his age accordingly. It would also explain why he gets confused about it. Must be hard remembering after all this time.

Bob

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: The Foundation
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 15,525

Exactly!

It's one of my favourite shows.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

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**MargaritaMc****Member**- Registered: 2013-02-11
- Posts: 9

bob bundy wrote:

hi Margarita

Welcome to the forum.

Have you learnt about the factorial function yet?64! = 64 x 63 x 62 x 61 x 60 x .......x 3 x 2 x 1

...

Post your questions ... we'll be happy to help.

Bob

Thank you for your welcomes!

Bob - not only have I not learnt factorial function yet, I have never even ** heard ** of it! Perhaps I should also explain that I don't have a teacher (I've retired to a Spanish speaking island and know enough Spanish to do the shipping, but NOT enough to learn maths in!)

No, really, that is why I am so nervous at being on this forum - I'm not at all sure that you will be able to BELIEVE how little I know.

An example is worth a thousand words, and this is what I am stuck on at present. It is a question at Mathopolis described as a Pre- algebra, Year Four (hard). I can work it out intuitively, but don't know how to work it out (evaluate? Derive? Solve?) using mathematical reasoning.

Which value of n makes the sentence 6+n=4*n true?

The options are given as 4, 3, 2, or 1.

The answer is obviously n=2

BUT I can't see how I could do that formally.

Nor how I would prove (should I be asked) that n=2 is the ONLY value for n that makes this sentence true.

I've gone through the notes that I've made from the pre- algebra sections on the Math is Fun website, and can't find anything to give me guidance.

I feel that there ought to be a way to get n on one side of the equals sign and the numbers on the other, but anything that I've tried has yielded rubbish. (e.g deducting n from both sides, which gave

6+n-n= (4*n )-n. Which l looks like garbage!

Help???

Margarita

*Last edited by MargaritaMc (2013-02-11 22:11:08)*

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 86,676

Hi;

Wunderbar! You did the right first step! Keep going. Try to get that n all by itself on one side.

This might help. If I had 4 apples and my brother ate one, I would have 3 apples. So 4 apples - 1 apple = 3 apples.

No, really, that is why I am so nervous at being on this forum - I'm not at all sure that you will be able to BELIEVE how little I know.

I do not care how little or how much you know. It is not important. It is clear that I know the most, at least that is what my dear sainted mother told me. So stop being nervous.

I like your instincts, the way you guessed at an answer.

*Last edited by bobbym (2013-02-11 22:36:35)*

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.Of course that result can be rigorously obtained, but who cares?Combinatorics is Algebra and Algebra is Combinatorics.**

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 6,393

hi Margarita

We are all learning new maths all the time. bobbym is right; you have the right attitude.

Don't be nervous about what you don't know. I'm a retired maths teacher but I got taught something by a 16 year old just the other day!

As for your problem

Which value of n makes the sentence 6+n=4*n true? The options are given as 4, 3, 2, or 1.

I think what you did is the right way to do this, because you are given choices. Trying them out to see which one fits is fine and it worked. The ultimate test for 'Have I got the right answer? is 'Does it work?' And n=2 does, so well done.

Analytic approach:

An equation remains 'equal' if you do the same thing to both sides.

step 1. take one of the 'n's off the right hand side and the only n off the left.

6 + n - n = 4n - n .................. 6 = 3n

(The sites below use x rather than n.)

step 2. Divide both sides by 3

6/3 = 3n/3 ........................... 2 = n

And there you have it.

Have a look at

http://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/add-s … lance.html

and a similar site that also allows you to create your own problems:

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_ … c_t_2.html

You can add and subtract as much as you like here to get the idea of balancing.

Bob

*Last edited by bob bundy (2013-03-05 09:00:08)*

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**MargaritaMc****Member**- Registered: 2013-02-11
- Posts: 9

THANK YOU * SO* much!

My husband wondered what on earth had made me so bubbly after I'd checked my email - the sense of glee when one ** understands ** something that had been frustrating and opaque is totally delightful!

I played with the balance at the maths is fun website for ages. It is a great help to be able to visualise it like that.

Although I had seen that there were some interactive parts to the site, I usually access the web via a tablet PC running Android, which can't handle Java or Flash. My laptop runs Ubuntu, so could run the flash application but, sadly, not the Java one on the other site.

I very much appreciate your help - and your moral support. I will not be so tentative in seeking help here in future!

Margarita

PS. I do like the quote from Galileo Galilei. A splendid maxim for a teacher.

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**bob bundy****Moderator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 6,393

**You're welcome.**

And thanks for a really enthusiastic reply. Sometimes my posts disappear into the internet void and I never hear again from the original poster. It will be a pleasure to help you whenever I can.

Bob

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**MargaritaMc****Member**- Registered: 2013-02-11
- Posts: 9

bob bundy wrote:

You're welcome.And thanks for a really enthusiastic reply. Sometimes my posts disappear into the internet void and I never hear again from the original poster. It will be a pleasure to help you whenever I can.

Bob

You don't know what you may be letting yourself in for!

Oh yes, and I know about what it is like carefully to answer a newcomer's post - only for them never to be heard of again... My only other forum is on astronomy, and that is a great attractor of casuals.

Margarita

*Last edited by MargaritaMc (2013-02-12 06:14:24)*

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**mathgogocart****Member**- Registered: 2012-04-29
- Posts: 1,426

bobbym wrote:

Hi MargaritaMc;

I suspect that I will be the oldest person on this forum - I am 64!

Oh my that is a very nice age to have. I am 92.

If I could ask some extremely basic questions sometimes, that would be wonderful.

Ask! Welcome to the forum.

and have plucked up the courage to join this forum

Hmmmm.

92?!?!!?!? Oh.hi Margarita

Hey.

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