Secondly, I'm a First Class Mathematics graduate, with a Master's degree from St John's College, Oxford. It's been a major part of my life, so rather than simply shutting up about it as though it's something I should be ashamed of, I thought I should open up a place where I can discuss it.

They can be about a specific area of mathematics, or about the subject as a whole. They can be about basic maths you learned at school, all the way up to university level (though, I'm not really qualified to answer anything about PhD-level and beyond ). They don't even have to include any mathematics: they can be non-mathematical questions about the process of studying mathematics, or what makes mathematicians tick.

I'll be happy to answer a maths problem or two (especially 'fun' ones); however, I don't want this to turn into a place where I do people's homework for them. That's a waste of my time which doesn't help anybody to become a better mathematician. So, for example, I'm not going to answer questions like this:

However, if you can show that you've made a serious effort to solve the problem yourself, then I'll be more than happy to provide hints to help you progress. So, for example, if you ask me the following:wrote:What is the derivative of sin(x)?

Then, I'll gladly give you a hint . I'll point you to the trigonometric identity "sin(x + h) = sin(x)cos(h) + cos(x)sin(h)", and suggest substituting that in.wrote:I need to find out what the derivative of sin(x) is. I know from the definition of a 'derivative' that it's the limit (as h -> 0) of [sin(x+h) - sin(x)]/h, but now I'm stuck . Can you help me?

So, ask away . (Or, if you hate mathematics, then just move on to the next thread - but I'm guessing you've already long since done that by now )