Phil Meyer of "Precision Journalism" fame used to joke with his students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that there are three kinds of journalists when it comes to math: those who understand it and those who don't. This exercise is for those who don't - and for those who don't get the joke.

DOWNLOADS: Math Lab Math Lab answers Math Lab PowerPoint slides as PDF Math Lab PowerPoint

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This site takes a nontraditional approach to analytical journalism, trying to go beyond number crunching to explore new tools for critical thinking and analysis. One of its offerings is a tool of the week, such as how to use Excel to "scrape" data from a Web site.

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Phil Meyer at UNC-Chapel Hill, Steve Doig at Arizona State University and Barbara Hansen at USA Today created this Web site to help journalists handle the math concepts behind computer-assisted reporting. Phil even shares his math competency test for journalists. Go ahead, give it a whirl - the answers are explained.

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Despite the disparaging title, this Web site from thinkquest.org has some very useful features, including a formula database, lessons in algebra, geometry and calculus, and quizzes.

List All Study Tools of the Trade Tagged with: Math, Quizzes

Created by the same company that gave us Allwords, Allmath.com has glossaries, converters, more math links - even math jokes: How do we know that the following fractions are in Europe? A/C, X/C and W/C ? Because their numerators are all over C's

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QuickMath promises to solve your math problems with an online calculator that handles algebra and calculus. It probably will give you the right answer - if you ask the right question.

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Most of the material on this site is free, including a forum to get math help, though it is a dotcom. It was created by Gisele Glosser, a former math teacher turned Webmaster.

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No, that's not an opinion (although we happen to agree with it). That's the name of this site from Rod Pierce, who was an engineer before becoming a university professor. He now develops software for private clients and run this site.

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The forum, operating under the umbrella of Drexel University's School of Education, is creating a digital community library with the goal of helping teachers use technology in the math classroom. Its features include:

Ask Dr. Math, where more than 300 volunteers answer questions. Answers to the most common questions are stored in the archive, and the FAQ explains basic concepts and formulas. Information is also divided by grade level; here's the college category. Math Tools is a gallery of online help.

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science uses this site to publicize research by universities, medical centers, government agencies and other organizations. Categories are agriculture, archeology, atmospheric science, biology, business/economics, chemistry/physics/material sciences, Earth science, education, mathematics/statistics, medicine/health, policy/ethics, social/behavioral science, space/planetary science and technology/engineering/computer science

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Yes, some of these quizzes from Sheppard Software use license plate games to test your math logic. Alll of the quizzes assume you already know some math - but if you get the answer wrong, you'll be told how to get the correct answer.

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Mega Math Tournament, from ChannelOne, may help you remember what you've forgotten since high school.

List All Study Tools of the Trade Tagged with: Math, Quizzes

Get a grip on percentages - and not just the basic "what fraction of a whole is this" percentage. Dr. Susan Keith, a Rutgers journalism professor, explains percentage increases, percentage decreases and more. Then practice doing the math with journalistically realistic scenarios provided by John Oudens, a professional copy editor.

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NewsU.org offers more than 25 courses - most of them free - in several areas, including design, diversity, editing, management and multimedia reporting. NewsU is housed at Poynter and is funded by the Knight Foundation.

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The American Copy Editors Society knows you're in a hurry, so even though you can * easily *figure percentages by yourself, it shares this online calculator. Just plug in the numbers. This site also has a word count calculator and a Fahrenheit/Celsius/Kelvin converter.

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The mean is not the median, but you knew that, right? And you know why journalists must understand the difference, right? Well, even if you're a beginner, this site explains statistical terms, how to use them and what to watch out for lest you unintentionally lie to the reader.

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If Friedrich von Hardenberg was right when he said that "mathematics is the life of the gods," numbers can make or break us mere journalists - and worse, mislead or misinform our audience. So journalists who say they just don't * get* math are shortchanging themselves and their professionalism. Fortunately, the Journalist's Toolbox at API has hundreds of links to help you get right with numbers.

Oh, almost forgot: von Hardenberg was a German poet and philosopher who died in 1801.

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Courtesy of the Understanding Science web site at the University College Cork, you can use this game to show students how the mind can be tricked - or at least teased.

While you're on this page, you'll find not only science and math puzzles, but also a nifty word puzzle and another one.

The page also links to the Color Test, which is a good demonstration of the difficulty of ignoring words, even when directed to.

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In addition to links to math dictionaries, you'll find links to more than 22,000 online calculators.

List All Study Tools of the Trade Tagged with: Math