What kind of Math did they teach you?

Last week “Digg effect” had quite an impact on my hosting provider. So much so that they kindly (sic) pulled the site off the web after 10 minutes of Digg love, without even bothering to send me a warning or any notification. When I complained they told me, “let us know when you are off digg”. Yes, we all know that the Tera bytes of traffic that they promise you are fictitious, but I was naively expecting better customer care, especially after having referred about a hundred clients to them. By the way, my programming blog that’s hosted with them as well, has been previously on the frontpage of Reddit, Del.icio.us, and even Slashdot and I’ve never experienced any problems (caching does wonders). But the traffic load generated by Digg was too “fast and furious” for them to cope with.

It’s not all bad though; in fact I was already planning to switch to a more serious provider with VPS or dedicated server plans. After endless research I picked Liquid Web which is fully managed, provides root access and support 24/7 on the phone. So far so good, they worked quite a bit on tweaking my server and I’ve actually called them at 3 and 5 AM and got a person on the phone in less than 30 seconds. I don’t know how well they will be able to cope with the “Digg effect” though, only time will tell.

With my “Refresh your High School Math” article on the front page of several social websites, the amount of feedback received has been terrific. It also allowed me to confirm a theory that I’ve always thought about: there is little consistency and standardization in the teaching of mathematics. I say this because the reactions to my basic math test were very highly varied. Many people said they were not able to solve the problems. That’s sad given the admittedly basic nature of the questions, but it wasn’t a big surprise. You could consider it the FizzBuzz of mathematics. What strikes me the most though, is how many people considered the test to be rightfully “middle school” material and far too basic (except for some parts of it), while others argued that it was way too advanced and too difficult for high school mathematics. This variety of reactions shows that the topics and depth of coverage in math classes in high school are quite different throughout the world.

So I’d like to explicitly ask a question to my readers, what topics did you cover while studying mathematics in high school and in what state/country were you? Please use the comment section to answer, thank you. 😉


  1. neop May 26, 2007
  2. Antonio May 26, 2007
    • Alex January 5, 2012
  3. sundae1888 May 26, 2007
  4. prometheus May 28, 2007
  5. fearlessleader May 28, 2007
  6. SimonTeW May 28, 2007
  7. Sandy May 30, 2007
  8. Cade May 30, 2007
  9. Jeremy Boyd June 2, 2007
  10. Roberto Alamos June 2, 2007
  11. Roberto Alamos June 3, 2007
  12. Leo Petr June 4, 2007
  13. Jim Dodd June 5, 2007
  14. John D August 3, 2007
  15. Anna December 8, 2007
  16. Nathan August 30, 2009
  17. Joel Reyes Noche April 10, 2010

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