Worksheet:
Introduction to Dr. Fisher's Web Site

Want to give your students an introduction to Dr. Fisher's web site?
This worksheet gives them a hands-on ‘guided tour’ (with some fun math along the way).
There's randomly-generated online practice at the end, and teachers can generate a quiz with a click of a button.
This makes a great activity for a ‘Substitute Teacher Folder’—it can easily keep students engaged for a (say) 50-minute class period.

Teachers:   Print this page; customize it to your needs; make copies; give to substitute teacher to distribute to students.

  1. Your teacher may choose to give you a short quiz over this worksheet.
    There's online practice for this quiz, which you'll learn about at the end of this worksheet.
  2. If you don't finish this worksheet in class, then it becomes homework.
  3. Feel free to talk (quietly, please) and help each other on this worksheet.
  4. Each person should fill out their own sheet, even if you're sharing the same computer.
  5. Go to Dr. Carol J.V. Fisher's homepage:   http://www.onemathematicalcat.org
  6. Click the ‘re-arrange the puzzle pieces’ button a few times.
    How many pieces are there in the puzzle?   ________
    When you ‘re-arrange the pieces’, each piece is equally likely to fall in any position.
    On any given click of the ‘re-arrange’ button, what is the probability that the correct piece will fall in the upper-left corner?
    Express this probability both as a fraction, and as a decimal (rounding to three decimal places, if needed).
    Click the ‘re-arrange‘ button $\,48\,$ times.
    How many times did the correct piece fall in the upper-left corner?
    Comment.
    (At the end of class, get everyone together and return to this question.)
    Gather together the data from the previous question for every student in the class, as follows:
    Let $\,s\,$ denote the number of students contributing data. Fill in the blank: $\,s = \,$ ________

    Each student made $\,48\,$ clicks, so the total number of clicks is $\,48s\,$. Fill in the blank: $\,48s = \,$ ________

    For all contributing students combined, how many times did the correct piece fall in the upper-left corner?
    Call this number $\,n\,$, and write it here: $\,n = \,$ ________

    Compute $\displaystyle\,\frac{n}{48s}\,$, and compare with your answer to question #6. Comment.
  7. From Dr. Fisher's homepage, click on Video #1: Welcome! and watch this short introductory movie.

    Which web exercise did Dr. Fisher use to illustrate the basic use of her online exercises?
    What name did Dr. Fisher use for the number $\,12\,$ in the pdf (Portable Document Format) version of her online book?
    Give two different names for the number $\,12\,$. Be creative!
    Can you get printable worksheets for Dr. Fisher's web exercises?
    If so, how many different worksheets can you get?
  8. From Dr. Fisher's homepage, click on the ‘my credentials’ link.

    Guess what the ‘J.V.’ stands for in Dr. Fisher's name.

    What is Dr. Fisher's undergraduate degree, and from where?
    What is Dr. Fisher's doctoral degree, and from where?
    Based on the dates in Dr. Fisher's vita, guess how old she is:
    Does Dr. Fisher have any children? If so, what are their name(s)?
  9. Dr. Fisher thinks that students learn best from ‘someone they know’, so she has lots of ‘Fun Facts’ about herself online.
    Go to http://www.onemathematicalcat.org/linkUnderMainTitle.htm, scroll down,
    and click the ‘get a random fact about Dr. Fisher’ button until you get the answers to these two prior questions:
    What does the ‘J.V.’ stand for? (Compare with your guess!)
    How old is Dr. Fisher? (Compare with your guess!)
  10. From Dr. Fisher's homepage, click on the ‘ALGEBRA PINBALL’ link.
    What is the fastest time posted for Section 2, Basic Addition Practice?
    What is the fastest time posted for Section 21, Multi-Step Exponent Law Practice?
  11. From Dr. Fisher's homepage, click on the ‘ONE MATHEMATICAL CAT, PLEASE!’ link.
    Scroll down the page, and click on the ‘basic addition practice’ exercise in Section 2.
    Did this web exercise open in a new window?
    Scroll down the page to the first ‘new problem’ button.
    Do a few problems, typing in your answers and checking.
    What happens if you key in a wrong answer?
    What happens if you key in two successive wrong answers?
    Scroll further down the page to the next ‘new problem’ button.
    Click... click... click... to see a few problems.
    Copy down a short problem, and its answer, in the space below:

    In the ‘Concept Questions’ exercise, click the ‘CLICK HERE FOR A RANDOMLY-GENERATED WORKSHEET AND ANSWERS’ button.
    In the space below, put the (first few words of) the first problem on this worksheet:

    Click the ‘CLICK HERE FOR A RANDOMLY-GENERATED WORKSHEET AND ANSWERS’ button again.
    In the space below, put the (first few words of) the first problem on this worksheet:

    Is the worksheet the same every time you click the button?
  12. Return to Dr. Fisher's homepage, and click on the ‘interactive slide show’ link.
    Go through enough of it until you can answer the questions below.
    If you have time, finish going through the slide show.

    Where does the name ‘One Mathematical Cat, Please!’ come from?
    What does ‘HTML’ stand for?
    What is ‘TeX’ and how is it pronounced?
    What does ‘MathML’ stand for?
  13. You can practice the ideas from this worksheet online:
    http://www.onemathematicalcat.org/Math/intro_Fisher_site_wksht.htm
    Go to the bottom of the page.
    Click, click, click, to see a variety of questions.
    For each problem, you might want to click the ‘click here for the same type of problem’ button several times to see all the possible flavors.
    (Your teacher might use the worksheet button to create a quiz for you.)


On this exercise, you will not key in your answer.
However, you can check to see if your answer is correct.
(MAX is 7; there are 7 different problem types.)