Memorable Math Mnemonics

November 26, 2011 at 7:53 am Leave a comment

I recently read a conference proposal in which the potential presenter declared, “PEMDAS must die!” Upon reading this, I thought, “Hear, hear!” But then the potential presenter claimed, “We should use GEMDAS instead!” Really? Does this presenter honestly believe that changing P (parentheses) to G (grouping) is sufficient to eliminate all the problems students have with order of operations?

I have heard that some teachers use GEMS, where M stands for both multiplication and division and S stands for both subtraction and addition. That eliminates the problem some students have, thinking that multiplication has to happen before division or that addition has to happen before subtraction.

Whatever. From my experience, most of the trouble students have with PEMDAS, GEMDAS, or GEMS typically results from a failure to consider it at all when working with a complex expression. It isn’t the mnemonic.

Here’s a mnemonic for remembering what a mnemonic is: Think about a person with a terrible memory who previously suffered an inflammatory lung condition. Imagine that he often makes up catchy little phrases to help him remember things. Then you can make the association of pneumonic with mnemonic, and you won’t have any more trouble. There, now… isn’t that simple?

The following are some of my favorite mnemonics.

Feet in a Mile
Five Tomatoes → 5 2 M8 0′s → 5,280 feet per mile

Tough Multiplication Fact
5, 6, 7, 8 → 56 = 7 × 8

Arithmetic
A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream

Multiplying Signed Numbers
My friend’s friend is my friend (pos × pos = pos)
My friend’s enemy is my enemy (pos × neg = neg)
My enemy’s friend is my enemy (neg × pos = neg)
My enemy’s enemy is my friend (neg× neg = pos)

Interest Formula
I am pretty → I = prt

Distance Formula
DiRT → d = rt

Metric System
King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk
Kilo, Hecto, Deca, Base, Deci, Centi, Milli

Trig Formulas
(sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle)
Oscar had a heap of apples, sine and cosine tangent

Angle Sum Formulas
Sine Cosine, Cosine Sine;
Cosine Cosine, Sign Sine Sine!
sin (a + b) = sin a cos b + cos a sin b
cos (a + b) = cos a cos b – sin a sin b

e (6 digits)
By omnibus I traveled to Brooklyn.

π (7 digits)
May I have a large container of coffee?

π (3,835 digits)
In 1995, Mike Keith wrote a poem called Poe, E., Near A Raven, which gave the first 740 digits of π (the number of letters in each word indicates the value for that digit of π). It was based on Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven.  But some people are never satisfied, so he later wrote the Cadaeic Cadenza, which gives the first 3,835 digits of π.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

A Math Geek Gives Thanks My Favorite Game, Social Media Style

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

Ratings

Past Posts

November 2011
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Enter your email address to subscribe to the MJ4MF blog and receive new posts via email.

Join 85 other followers

Visitor Locations

free counters

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers

%d bloggers like this: