## A few education ramblings

**2002-01-24 15:27:30+00 by
Dan Lyke
3 comments **

David Chess talks about his daughter's science class, asking:

is there any respectable linguistic community for whom "battery"
is a subset of "generator"?

Several things come up: I was leafing through some materials from my childhood, and came across notes from a session on fractions. There, carefully laid out and obviously memorized, were terms that I have never heard as an adult.

And in related news, Alec learned the lesson: He talked to the right people and got a different math teacher, and hasn't called me for tutoring help even when I've offered.

**[ related topics:
Children and growing up Current Events Mathematics
]**

**comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):**

#**Comment** **made:** 2002-02-21 05:34:44+00 **by:**
concept14

So what are those terms you've never used as an adult?

Numerator, denominator, reciprocal?

#**Comment** **made:** 2002-02-21 05:34:44+00 **by:**
Dan Lyke

The ones I found again easily this morning were "proper fractions" and "improper fractions".

#**Comment** **made:** 2002-02-21 05:34:45+00 **by:**
Dan Lyke

Thought about "reciprocal" a bit: I've heard and read and used "one over" a lot. I've never heard someone talk about, say, in real-time rendering, the difficulties of calculating "the reciprocal of `z`

". This may be an anomaly just because the equations I'm usually working with are either something simple like `1/z`

or have enough divisions that terms like "reciprocal" aren't precise enough to describe the operation.

But unlike "proper" and "improper" fractions (<1 and >=1, respectively), numerator and denominator get used in my life a lot.