# Welcome to Seminar Two

### Percentages (MTH109)

## Weekly Content - Linear Equations

Those of you who have a more visual outlook will enjoy this seminar's material. Linear equations are a powerful tool for describing real world situations. In this seminar, we'll be looking at those equations from both an analytic and geometric perspective, i.e. in terms of both the equations and their graphs.

## Weekly Motivation

*In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.*[1]

-- John von Neumann

von Neumann's comment will be one of our topics in the discussion board this week. I think his approach sums up the way many people feel toward mathematics but it also points us toward an approach that you can use to improve your performance. They key to "getting used to" something is experience with it. The best thing you can do for yourself in a technical course like this one is working lots of problems. You should also be sure to ask questions when you come across problems you don't understand. I added the "What's Puzzling Me Thread" in the discussion board to give everyone a place to post those questions.

[1] Reply to Felix T. Smith who had said "I'm afraid I don't understand the method of characteristics." —as quoted in

*The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics*(1984) by Gary Zukav footnote in page 208.

## Private Discussion Areas If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the discussion board in our private discussion area. Doing so will tell Blackboard to send you an email every time I post something there. Every week I'll post a summary of your previous week's grades there and you'll be responsible for following up on any comments that I make. You can access our private discussion area by clicking on the Feedback/Groups button on the left side of this page then clicking on your name, then Group Discussion Board then your name again. | ## Discussion Board Posts As you work on this week's discussion, remember that I'm looking for specifics, not generalities. For example, if you're asked for an example of how a technique or concept is used in the real world, you should give a specific example not just a single general statement. For example, "I use fractions when cooking." isn't the kind of post that I'm looking for. This is the kind of college level response that I'm expecting: "I use fractions when changing the yield of recipes. For example, if a recipe provides food for four, I would need to cut that down to two to feed myself and my son. To do that I would take every ingredient and divide it by two (or multiply it by one half). That would make, for example, 3 cups of flour into (1/2) * 3 = 3/2 or 1 1/2 cups." | ## Getting Help The University offers a live tutoring service to all students. If you feel you need to actually speak to someone about your questions, you can set up an appointment with the Online Math Center by clicking on the "GET MATH HELP" button on the left side of this page. That will take you to a form that you can fill out to be contacted by one of the math center's tutors. |

## Private Discussion Areas

If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the discussion board in our private discussion area. Doing so will tell Blackboard to send you an email every time I post something there. Every week I'll post a summary of your previous week's grades there and you'll be responsible for following up on any comments that I make. You can access our private discussion area by clicking on the Feedback/Groups button on the left side of this page then clicking on your name, then Group Discussion Board then your name again.

## Discussion Board Posts

As you work on this week's discussion, remember that I'm looking for specifics, not generalities. For example, if you're asked for an example of how a technique or concept is used in the real world, you should give a specific example not just a single general statement. For example,

"I use fractions when cooking."

isn't the kind of post that I'm looking for. This is the kind of college level response that I'm expecting:

"I use fractions when changing the yield of recipes. For example, if a recipe provides food for four, I would need to cut that down to two to feed myself and my son. To do that I would take every ingredient and divide it by two (or multiply it by one half). That would make, for example, 3 cups of flour into (1/2) * 3 = 3/2 or 1 1/2 cups."

"I use fractions when cooking."

isn't the kind of post that I'm looking for. This is the kind of college level response that I'm expecting:

"I use fractions when changing the yield of recipes. For example, if a recipe provides food for four, I would need to cut that down to two to feed myself and my son. To do that I would take every ingredient and divide it by two (or multiply it by one half). That would make, for example, 3 cups of flour into (1/2) * 3 = 3/2 or 1 1/2 cups."

## Getting Help

The University offers a live tutoring service to all students. If you feel you need to actually speak to someone about your questions, you can set up an appointment with the Online Math Center by clicking on the "GET MATH HELP" button on the left side of this page. That will take you to a form that you can fill out to be contacted by one of the math center's tutors.