Saturday, October 2, 2010

Great Math Homework Help Website

 Math Help Forum

Hey guys, this website is an AWESOME homework tool that has been pretty much invaluable to me throughout some of my advanced math classes.  Just ask these guys anything and they'll usually tell you exactly what you need to know in order for you to grasp a concept that you've been struggling to wrap your mind around.

There's one thing you should know about this website in that, since it sucks deciphering stuff like "a^3 / square root of 21 + 7sin(theta)", they use a thing called LaTex (pronounced: lay-tech).  This is just a very simple, code-oriented way of clearly displaying Math symbols and equations exactly as you would write them down on paper.

Here's the basics of the LaTex you'll need to know for the forum:

To start off, just know that you'll have to wrap your LaTex code in tags like so: [math]"your code here"[/math].  The "post message" form on the forum even has a shortcut button where you just highlight all your code, then click the button, and it will automatically wrap everything in these tags.

Here's a nice, basic reference sheet to familiarize yourself with:

Alright, so it's basically telling you all the stuff you'll need to know for most basic arithmetic and trig.

Stuff like a^2 will give you a to the 2nd power.. \sqrt{4} will give you the square root of four.. \sin will give you the symbol for sin.. \frac{2}{3} to give 2 over 3.. etc.  Pretty basic stuff.

So using our example from earlier...  "(a^3 / square root of 21) + 7sin(theta)" would be coded as \frac{a^3}{\sqrt{21}} + \sin\theta"  I also just learned you could do other roots like 3 to the 4th root: \sqrt[4]{3}.  You learn something new everyday.

While this might look intimidating at first, it's seriously not.  Just learn by trial and error, click on other people's LaTex to see how they coded it, and you'll be using LaTex without even thinking about it soon.  (And honestly, you don't NEED to use LaTex to ask a question.  I just find it so much clearer and easier.  Ask a few questions just the normal way, then after you see how useful this site is, maybe start picking up LaTex.)

So now that you're well on your way to mastering the nuances of LaTex, you're ready to start getting some free, comprehensive math help.  Actually, even if you don't help, I suggest you to lurk the forum every once in a while anyway.  I might need you to explain some Calc to me!


  1. By the way, I wanted to point out that I was typing "\" (back-slash) not "/" (forward-slash). You type the back-slash with that button right above the enter key, right below backspace. (At least on my laptop..)

    Just wanted to avoid any confusion.

  2. This is great! This would have been really helpful when I took calculus in college!