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Maths level indicator.

  1. Sep 19, 2008 #1

    madmike159

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    I have an idea to improve the help people give on this forum. By your name you could have some thing to show how good you are at maths. Some time (in the physics section alot) when you ask people for help they show you alot of maths and you can't always understand it.

    Something like 0 = No maths skill, 1 = basic, 2 = basic algebra and calculus skills, 3 = More advanced skills, 4 = very advanced maths level (degree level).

    Does any one think this is a good idea. The boundaries for the levels will need changing to make it easier to understand.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2008 #2

    cristo

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    I agree that one should specify their level of ability in a subject in order to enable someone to pitch their answer appropriately, but I don't believe that such a rating scale would work: mainly for the same reason that students post basic Newtonian mechanics problems in the advanced physics homework forums. It wouldn't be a standard judge of mathematical ability, and thus would prove useless.

    I do, however, encourage everyone to include in their specific questions what level of answer they are looking for. Sometimes it is obvious whether the member asking the question is a beginner or not, but other times it is not so obvious. Note also that is incredibly difficult to explain many things using no mathematics whatsoever, since this is the language that Physics is communicated in. It takes a certain skill to be able to talk about advanced topics to a beginner which several people here exhibit, but sometimes you just have to understand the mathematics to understand the physics.
     
  4. Sep 19, 2008 #3

    madmike159

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    Yes good point. I have the problem where i know some maths but not loads. I have the same problem every where (net, books etc) there is either no maths or loads of complex maths. I guess thats just how physics is.
     
  5. Sep 19, 2008 #4

    Moonbear

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    I'm also not sure that some members would want to have their math level advertised and following them all over the forum. And, of course, that might change over time (in my case, it's probably dropped down pretty low from years of disuse! :bugeye:).
     
  6. Sep 19, 2008 #5

    chroot

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    I don't think one's "math skill" really matters too much. What matters is that a reply is clear, unambiguous, and correct, not whether it was written by a "2" or a "4." Besides, we already have the "science advisor" ribbon, used to denote people who have shown extraordinary grace and skill when answering questions, including math questions.

    - Warren
     
  7. Sep 21, 2008 #6

    madmike159

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    It could easily be made so you can choose if you want it and what it was... but seems like a silly idea now I think about it.

    This is an example of what I mean though. https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=183192
    Some times when you ask a question people discuss it in way too much detail and it gets confusing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  8. Sep 21, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    That thread is a bit old now, but could readily serve as a prime example of how NOT to help with homework. :bugeye: It looks like that one slipped under the radar for belonging in HW Help, actually.
     
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