Akasaka Sushi in Menlo Park – Math Tutor in Palo Alto and Menlo Park

Sushi is a type of Japanese cuisine that usually consists of rice, fish, seaweed, and vegetables. Typically, sushi looks like a roll. One of our students recommended us to write about his favorite restaurant, Akasaka, which is a delicious sushi restaurant in Menlo Park.

Sushi in Menlo Park

Sushi in Menlo Park

Akasaka has a wide range of options to eat. They have appetizers like eda mame and saashimi. Sashimi is a type of sushi that has raw fish in it. Akasaka’s dinner meal that either consists of a type of teriyake, sushi roll, or tempura (deep fried vegetables or fish). Their dinner meal also comes with salad, soup, and rice. Sushi is typically eaten with soy sauce, wasabi (a spicy paste), and pickled ginger (used to cleanse the mouth’s palette). Next time you are in Menlo Park and want to try something new, or have a craving for some delicious sushi, check out Akasaka. Other then having a delicious time, you can bring you child and do some fun math problems! Math Problems You go to Akasaka with your family of 4 people – mom, dad, sister, and you! You want chicken teriyake ($11.50), your sister wants an Oregon Roll ($9.95), and your parents want to split eda mame ($3.95) and Tempura ($11.95).

  1. How much do all of the meals cost together?
  2. How much will the tax cost (assume tax is 10%)?
  3. How much will the meal cost with tax?
  4. How much will the tip cost (15% of the meal with tax)?
  5. How much will dinner cost total (meal + tax + tip)?

For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at  http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!

American Girl Store in Palo Alto

The American Girl dolls in 1986. These dolls portray 9 to 11 year old girls of different ethnicity. Each doll comes with her book that is told from the doll’s perspective about her life during a critical time in American history. As the holidays are approaching, a great gift to get your Palo Alto daughter is an American Girl doll. There are 29 dolls total and each story ranges from the year 1764 to 2013.

The Grand Opening of the American Girl Store in Palo Alto

The American Girl store opened on November 11, 2013 in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. This store has a salon where a doll can get her hair styled, get her ears pierced, or even get a facial. The store also has a hospital, so if a doll’s arm breaks, you can get it fixed. There is also a cafe inside that has delicious American food, like chicken tenders, mac n cheese, and more.


  1. An American Girl doll accompanied with her book costs $110
  2. An American Girl doll, book, and accessories cost $129
  3. An American Girl doll and her book collection (6 books) costs $138
  4. Outfits range from $12 – $134
  5. Accessories start at $10

Math and American Girl Doll

A girl holding her brand new American Girl doll!

A girl holding her brand new American Girl doll!

Next time you are at Stanford Shopping Center, take your daughter to the American Girl Store. You can get your daughter a doll and then treat her to lunch. Now, comes the fun part – math! Before treating your daughter to a wonderful day, have her approximate the total cost of the doll and her lunch. For example, an American Girl costs $110 and your daughter’s lunch will cost $15 dollars. How much money will you spend total? To make it a bit trickier, add tax to the equation! Make sure you tell your daughter that tax will be calculated separately for the doll and for lunch! Also, if you get your daughter a doll that comes with a book, you can have her calculate how many years ago the doll lived! For example, the American Girl Doll Kaya was born in the 1760s. Her story takes place in 1764. How many years ago did Kaya live?



For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at  http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!

Mathin Thanksgivukkah in Palo Alto

Something very special happened this year and that hasn’t happened since the year 1888. What’s happening, you might ask. It’s Thanksgivukkah! A menorah to celebrate Hanukkah in Palo Alto

Thanksgivukkah is the name of the merge of two very important and fun holidays – Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. Usually, Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas, but this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will be on the same day. The reason the name Thanksgivukkah was created was so people wouldn’t have to choose between celebrating one or the other, they can celebrate both!


A turkey for celebrating Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

A turkey for celebrating Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

Some Ideas on How to Celebrate Thanksgivukkah in Palo Alto

  1. Both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving dinner feature a meat meal. This means you can either create a delicious turkey, or go with a different type of meat, like chicken.
  2. On Hanukkah, you usually eat potato latkes. On Thanksgiving, you usually eat sweet potato. Thus, you can merge the two together to make sweet potato latkes.
  3. For stuffing, instead of doing the traditional corn bread stuffing, try using Challah bread.
  4. Lastly, for dessert, since the traditional Thanksgiving dessert features some sort of pie and the traditional Hanukkah dinner features jelly filled donuts, you can just merge the two together. Make donuts filled with pumpkin or apple!

Mathin’ Thanksgivukkah for Palo Alto Children

Thanksgivukkah isn’t just a fun holiday, it is also a great way to add some math to your Palo Alto child’s day.

  1. Your parents made a delicious turkey that will serve 8 people. If only 5 people are celebrating Thanksgivukkah with you, how many servings of turkey can each person get (assuming that you finish the turkey on Thanksgivukkah)
  2. You are playing the driedal game with your sister. Right now, your sister has 30 pieces of gelt and you have 26 pieces of gelt. How many more pieces of gelt do both of you guys need to get to 50 pieces of gelt each?
  3. Hanukkah lasts for 8 days. Each night, you and your family light the menorah. If it takes you 30 seconds to light each candle (there are 8 candles total), and each candle burns for 4 hours, how long until all the candles are burned out?
  4. Instead of merging the Hanukkah and Thanksgiving desserts together, your mom decided to make many separate desserts. She made apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, jelly filled donuts, and bought chocolate coins. If your mom said you can only have a slice from 2 of the three pies, and can only have either jelly filled donuts or chocolate coins, how many different combinations of dessert do you have?

For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at  http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!


Unique Parrot in Palo Alto

Most people don’t keep parrots as pets, because they tend to be obnoxious.However, one parrot in Palo Alto is one that almost every family wishes to have.

Palo Alto parrot eating KFC

Palo Alto parrot eating KFC

Usually, parrots eat vegetables, fruits and nuts. Instead, this unique parrot was trained to have a fondness for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Let’s imagine how many times the parrot was given KFC before its diet was only KFC. Lets do a simple math problem. If it takes the parrot two weeks to love KFC, and you have to feed it two pieces of fried chicken every day, how many pieces of chicken will the parrot eat until it will be addicted to KFC? The answer to this math problem is 14 days (two weeks) times 2 pieces of chicken every day.

That equals 28 pieces of chicken.

Lets take this math problem to the next level. If we assume each piece of fried chicken costs 3 dollars, how much money would it cost to feed the parrot until it becomes addicted to KFC over two weeks? The answer is 28 pieces of chicken times 3 dollars for every piece of chicken, and that equals 84 dollars.

To complicate this problem even more, lets assume KFC only sells fried chicken in packages of 5 pieces. Lets also assume that the parrot only eats fried chicken that was fried on the same day. How many pieces of chicken were wasted, assuming the leftover pieces were thrown out over 2 weeks? To solve this math problem, one would have to know how many pieces of chicken the parrot eats everyday, which is stated in the first paragraph: 2 pieces.

Therefore, we know that the parrot leaves 3 pieces of chicken every day, causing it to go to waste. By subtracting the total amount of chicken pieces in the tub, which is 5, minus the amount of chicken the parrot will eat, which is two, we can figure out how many pieces of chicken are wasted every day. Therefore, we get that the total amount of chicken wasted every day is three pieces. Then we can multiply the amount of wasted pieces of chicken with the amount of days in 2 weeks. Thus, we get three wasted pieces of chicken times 14 days and we get 42 pieces of chicken are wasted over a two week span.

As seen, this Palo Alto parrot is a one of kind. Its uniqueness is adored by its Palo Alto owner—giving it the right of being the most unique parrot in Palo Alto.


For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at  http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!


Math and Skating in Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, the ice skating rink “Winter Lodge” is a great place to spend the winter weekends ice skating with family and friends.  There are opportunities to take lessons, participate in competitions, and even just have fun skating freely around the rink with friends.  If you get cold and hungry, you can get some sweet hot chocolate and snacks in the lobby.  It’s a great way to get some exercise while having a good time with Bay Area friends.  Hey, you may even learn some new jumps and spins!

One of our students recently participated in an ice skating competition and did really well! She told us about some math problems she thought about while skating in the rink in Palo Alto.

Our Palo Alto Student Ice Skating!

For our Palo Alto elementary school students:

  1. If Suzie does 3 spins in 1 minute, at this rate, how many spins will she complete in her 3-minute program?
  2. If Mary has to practice 2 hours for every 1-hour skating lesson, how many hours will she practice per week if she has two lessons each week?

For our Palo Alto middle school students:

  1. A circle contains 360 degrees.  If a figure skating spin requires 10 full circles, how many degrees will Carla have spun upon completion of her spin?
  2. How many degrees will Suzie have spun at the end of her program? (see problem 1 in section above)

For our Palo Alto high school students:

  1. Infinity is a value that looks like the figure-eight that ice skaters draw on the ice sometimes.  Infinity is defined as “a number greater than any assignable quantity or countable number.”  Is Pi an infinitely long decimal? If needed, research about Pi on Google to learn more about this very interesting value!
  2. If you divide 1 by 0, you get infinity.  If you divide any number by infinity, you approach zero.  How is this so? Can you reason it out and find an explanation for this phenomenon?

For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at  http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!

Math in the Sky: Word Problems with WWII Airplanes

One problem that plagues hard-working Palo Alto elementary and middle school students is that there are simply too many subjects to focus on. How can a student think about the periodic table when they’re busy reading To Kill a Mockingbird? And how they think about doing math when they’re studying World War II? Okay, we can’t help you with the first one, but right here we have a solution to the second quandary. When a student is able to associate different subjects in one learning session, the student retains more information about both. And let’s face it, word problems with big numbers and cool subjects like airplanes are a lot more fun. So without further ado, here are some word problems about World War II airplanes to help out your Palo Alto schoolchildren, all created by one of our Mathnasium 5th graders, Paulo Montenegro!

word problems with planes

A P51D Mustang, one of the most prominent American planes in WWII

1) A P51D mustang can travel at speeds up to 430 mph. if a lone mustang ready to carry out a strafing mission crosses  the English channel to Normandy [43 miles] and strafes for 20 minutes and comes back at the same speed [430 mph], how long will the operation take?

2) A Supermarine Spitfire can turn 90 degrees in 1 second. How long will it take for the Spitfire to do a 360 (assuming it maintains constant speed)?

3) A BF109 Messerschmitt stalls! It initially starts falling at 10 miles per hour and is currently 20,056 feet above the ground . How long will it take before it crashes? Use the position equation x = at^2 + vt + h, where a = 32 feet/second^2.

4) A Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero is flying at 200 feet above the ground when it it sees an American anti-aircraft gun array and begins to climb upward to escape.  At its maximum rate of climb (52 feet per second), how long until it is above the range of the anti-aircraft gun, which is 6,300 yards (assuming that the plane is directly above a gun)?

palo alto airplane world problems

A WWII-era Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

If you liked these word problems and want to learn more about airplanes, visit the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, just 15 minutes north of Palo Alto! And as always, if you want to learn more about our math tutoring programs at Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park, visit our website at www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!



Answers: 1) 32 minutes 2) 4 seconds 3) about 24.9 seconds 4) 359 seconds, almost 6 minutes! (That plane is toast)

Palo Alto Veterans’ Day math word problems for your student

All the Palo Alto kids are excited to have a 3-day weekend, but they can still do math during the break!  They all get an extra day to have fun in Palo Alto and also honor United States veterans. Some students will use this time to enjoy the company of their families, while others might take a trip to go

American flags to honor US veterans.

American flags to honor US veterans.

camping or hang around Palo Alto with their friends and enjoy their remaining Halloween candy.  At Mathnasium in Palo Alto, we will make sure to continue using math.  We encourage you to have your Palo Alto and Menlo Park students do the same with the following fun math word problems relating to their time off from school.

Elementary School:

1.  Jeremy has 42 pieces of leftover Halloween candy after his trick-or-treating adventures in Palo Alto. If he collected 79 pieces of candy from local houses, how many pieces has he eaten so far?

2.  Haley is allowed to watch just 7 hours of TV over the break.  She watched 3 hours of a show about math on Saturday and 2 hours of cartoons on Sunday.  How many hours of TV is Haley allowed to watch on Monday?

3. Timmy has a 3-day weekend.

, he also has 6 hours of chores to do over those three days.  How many hours does he have to work on chores each day, if he wants to work the same amount each day?

Middle School:

4.  Miranda is very excited for Christmas.  She knows there is a long time until she gets to open her presents on December 25.  If today is November 9th, how many days does Haley have to wait to open her presents under the tree in Palo Alto?

5.  Joey is very excited about all of his breaks in Palo Alto.  He wants to count up all of his days off for the rest of the year to practice his math skills.  He knows that there are 21 weekends, 2 days each.  Four of those weekends are 3-day weekends, giving him an additional day off.  He also has Winter Break, which gives him nine extra days off, and Spring Break, which gives him five more.  How many total days off does Joey have left in Palo Alto this year?

6.  Veterans’ Day was first celebrated in 1919.  How many years has it been honored?  How many decades?


7.  A group of Palo Alto student decided to host a fundraiser to honor veterans.  They spent 245 dollars to set everything up, and charged 12 dollars per person for entry.  If they received 134 dollars in addition to the entry price in donations, how many people had to pay for entry in order for the students to break even?  How many for them to raise their goal, 150 dollars, for veterans?

Mathin’ Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

A Brief History

A painting of the original Thanksgiving Feast

A painting of the original Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday! It all started in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived at Plymouth Colony. There was a total of 101 people who came all the way from England. Once they arrived, the very friendly Native American leader helped the settlers by teaching them to grow corn, fertilize the land, and to fish. One day during the fall time, the settlers were preparing to have a harvest celebration. They hunted food and prepared a beautiful feast. Kindly, they invited the Native Americans to join them. After they ate, they played ball games, sang, and danced together. Two years later, in 1623, the settlers made the harvest celebration into a somewhat religious holiday that we call Thanksgiving. If you want more information, you can read it from National Geographic’s website about the First Thanksgiving.

Math and Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving dinner

A Thanksgiving dinner

Thanks giving is a perfect way to improve your Palo Alto child’s math skills. Here are some example problems.

Elementary School:

Mary baked 3 pumpkin pies on Monday. On Tuesday she baked 4 apples pies. On Wednesday she baked 3 pecan pies.

  1. How many pies did she bake in total?
  2. What fraction of the pies is pumpkin pie? What fraction is apple pie? What fraction is pecan pies?
  3. If Mary cut each pie into 6 slices. How many total slices are there?
  4. If you eat a slice of each pie? How many slices of pie is left?
  5. There are 10 pies and each pie serves 6 people. How many people will the pies feed?

Middle School:

  1. In 1623, the pilgrims made 30 pounds of food. Now, in 2013, your family made 20 kilograms of food. Who made more food?
  2. Your family of 5 loves pie. The day after Thanksgiving, only 1/4 of the pie is left. If everyone wants a slice, what fraction of the TOTAL pie will each person get?
  3. You started baking pies a week before Thanksgiving. You baked 3 pies everyday and until Thanksgiving day. Your friend started baking pies 4 days before Thanksgiving. Each day, your friend made 4 pies and stopped baking on Thanksgiving day. How much did each person make? Who made more pie?


  1. There will be 10 people at your Thanksgiving party (including you and your family). How many different ways can you seat each person?

For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at  http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark!


Hey Palo Alto, here’s a cool math trick: .999… equals 1

Math trick for Palo Alto math lovers: Why .999… equals 1

We’re all smart in Palo Alto. We’re probably smarter than most other people. But some things, we just haven’t thought of before. Or maybe, you thought about them back when you took Calculus in college, but it’s been a while. Well don’t you worry, those of us who still use math in our daily lives love sharing fun mathy facts to the rest of our intelligent Palo Alto friends!

You’ve probably heard before that the repeating decimal .999… equals 1. And with a little long division, we can see that this is so. Or if you like, we can split it up into 1/3 and 2/3, two things that add to 3/3, which we know is 1.

2/3 is equal to .666… and 1/3 equals .333…

If we add these, we can see that

2/3 = .666…

 + 1/3 = .333… 

3/3 = .999…

There we go! 1 = .999… – done! How easy was that? Most of us are satisfied with that as proof! So we must be correct.

What’s that? A select few sceptics are still in disbelief? How could .999… equal 1, you say? Isn’t it always .0…01 away from equalling 1?

Hmm… Well maybe we can try something else. Let’s break this up into what we really mean. How about a (geometric) series of numbers that add up to .999…, like this one:

.999… = .9 + .09 + .009 + .0009 + .00009  …

Okay, cool. Let’s rewrite these as fractions:

.999… = 9/10 + 9/100 + 9/1,000 + 9/10,000 …

Now, we’ll think about what defines a geometric series like this. These things take a sequence of numbers and add them all up. This sum that we have heads in some direction. Sometimes, it can lead toward infinity, like when adding a sequence like 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 … – we call this a diverging series. Other times, though, the sum of the numbers in a sequence head towards a particular number as you add each next term. For example, if we try to add the terms in the sequence 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 … Our first two terms add up to 3/4 (.75), the first three add to 7/8 (.875), the first four add to 15/16 (.9375), and the first five add to 32/33 (.9696…). Every term we add will bring us closer and closer to a fraction which equals one.
Because of this, we say that the series converges at 1, or that the sum of the infinite terms in the sequence is 1.

When we start adding the terms in our series here, we’ll get that our first two equal 99/100, our first three equal 999/1,000, our first four equal 9,999/10,000, and our first five equal 99,999/100,000. Here we can see that the more terms we add, the closer we get to equaling 1!

Though we may never reach one by adding the terms of this sequence, as we head toward infinite terms, we can show that the limit of the sum is 1.

So, call it crazy, or wizardry, or a flaw in the decimal system, but .999… and 1 are two different ways to represent the idea of the same real number!

For more math tricks in the Palo Alto area:

Check out Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park http://www.mathnasium.com/paloalto-menlopark/schedulespalo alto math trick