# Minicourse #3 Search Activities

Searches for "logistic growth equation"
(logistic*)
JOMA
(logistic*)
Total hits
527
260
172
7
4
Bio Sci courses
55%
Math courses
14%
3%
Other courses
8%
Scholarly
8%
100%
79%
Reference
5%
3%
JOMA
2%
1%
4
4
DCR
3
BioQuest
2%
CCP
1%
2%
MathWorld
6%

CauseWeb

iLumina

MathForum
2%
Other
5%
4%

* Note: When the full phrase "logistic growth equation" is used in MathDL Search without quotes there are 80 responses, including items that have any of the three words in their text. In JOMA Advanced Search, the number is 46 (a subset of the 80 in MathDL). When the phrase is searched for with quotes, both MathDL and JOMA return a single response, indicating that this phrase is probably too specific, since it is only one of many ways to say the same thing.

## Search Strategies within MathDL

If you search from the top level of MathDL for "Riemann sum" (with or without quotes), you get the following numbers of results:

MathDL Search for Riemann sum materials
Search term: Riemann sum Search term: "Riemann sum"
Total
14
11
JOMA
7
6
DCR
1
1
Convergence
2
0
Classroom
Capsules
4
4

The difference between 14 results and 11 is that the first list includes some items with the phrases "Riemann zeta function" and "Riemann problem" -- so the second choice (using quotes) is better for the intended purpose.

But notice that the first search did not turn up materials in which the word "sum" appears, which would obviously produce many more responses. In fact, if you just enter sum (no quotes) in the search box, you get no responses at all. That's because the search engine drops words with three or fewer letters. On the other hand, if you search for "sum" (with quotes), you get 127 responses -- quoted words and phrases are taken literally, no matter how many letters they have. When we entered Riemann sum, the search engine was looking for Riemann. When the phrase was quoted, the search was for the exact phrase.

## Sample Searches

1. Find interactive materials for student exploration of the equiangular spiral. One strategy: Search for "equiangular spiral" in NSDL -- results will include resources from the Connected Curriculum Project, JOMA (in MathDL), Math Forum, MathWorld (all Math Gateway partners), and others. [Or, when it becomes available, search for equiangular in Math Gateway.]
2. Find interactive materials for student exploration of the Leslie Matrix for age-structured (or age-distributed) populations. Possible sources: Digital Classroom Resources (in MathDL), Connected Curriculum Project (both Math Gateway partners). One strategy: Search for leslie growth model age population matrix structured OR distributed in Google -- too many hits, but the early ones are relevant. [Or, when it becomes available, search for leslie in Math Gateway.]
3. Find a site with interactive illustrations of one of the classical curves, e.g., cycloid, limaçon, brachistochrone, folium of Descartes, cissoid of Diocles, witch of Agnesi, lemniscate of Bernoulli, conchoid of Nicomedes. One strategy: Enter any of the curve names into the search field in MathWorld or National Curve Bank, both Math Gateway partners. The former are not interactive except by way of downloadable Mathematica files. The latter generally are interactive.

## Search Exercises

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