Why you can add equations using the Addition Method to solve a system of equations

For the longest time, I never understood how the Addition Method solved a system of simultaneous equations. What I mean to say is that I could carry out the method's steps, but I didn't understand why adding two equations was legal. It seemed unintuitive to me. For example, take this system of two linear equations: … Continue reading Why you can add equations using the Addition Method to solve a system of equations

Cubic Polynomial Word Problem: Jenny and the Magic Bean

Here is a PDF version of a math problem I recently created. You'll have to know how to factor cubic polynomials, so you may want to brush up on that first, or use this problem as a refresher. Just click on the link below to open it up. If you get stuck, a full solution … Continue reading Cubic Polynomial Word Problem: Jenny and the Magic Bean

Play Bad Banana online at trinket.io!

For curious readers who want to try Bad Banana, but who, understandably, would prefer not to have to download the code and run it on their systems, the game can now be safely played online at https://trinket.io/python/6a564db039?toggleCode=true&runOption=run. Toggle to Code View to see how the game works! Many thanks to the people behind trinket.io, a great … Continue reading Play Bad Banana online at trinket.io!

Bad Banana – A Python Math Game

It's been awhile since my last entry, but here is my latest creation, so to speak. Bad Banana is a text-based math game written in Python 3. My original intention was to use the game as a way to teach basic programming concepts, but I've put that idea on hold--I feel it right that I … Continue reading Bad Banana – A Python Math Game

Search Quest VII: The Search for Search (A Python Story)

https://youtu.be/uxQeqE3v8U0 Wanting a programming problem to work on but reluctant to tackle a big project, I returned to an old college textbook to look for something challenging but within my pay-grade, so to speak: Implement sequential search and binary search algorithms on your computer. Run timings for each algorithm on arrays of size n = … Continue reading Search Quest VII: The Search for Search (A Python Story)

Kinky Adventures in LaTeX Land: The Sum and Product of Roots of a Quadratic Equation

?????????🐒🐶🐱🐳🐿🐥????????? \equiv \newline \pi r^2  $latex \equiv \newline \pi r^2 &s=4 $ ?????????🙈😬🙄😮????????? One of the things I don't like about blogging is how long it can take to put together a blog post, even after it has been written, edited and polished. Aside from all the formatting required to make an entry look the way I … Continue reading Kinky Adventures in LaTeX Land: The Sum and Product of Roots of a Quadratic Equation

Netflix: A Mathematical Force Majeure?

Getting a slow start to the new year here, but thought I would begin with commenting on the graph above. It's a slide from a website which I'll leave unnamed, but which I suspect news junkies out there could easily figure out. If you take a look at the graph, its intent is clear: the … Continue reading Netflix: A Mathematical Force Majeure?

A Short Python Script About The Distance Between Two Points

For this blog entry I wanted to do something different. During the past few weeks I've been working on a program that allows you to enter two points on an XY plane and find the distance between them. The formula to do this is pretty straightforward and can be calculated as follows: So here is … Continue reading A Short Python Script About The Distance Between Two Points

Determining whether a number is prime (or “The Benefits of Square-Rooting a Number, Part I”)

Something that comes up now and again in various contexts during lessons is how to tell whether a number is prime. My usual advice has been to use divisibility rules*, and if none work, then it's likely that the tested number is prime. Likely is not the same thing as certain, however, and, as the … Continue reading Determining whether a number is prime (or “The Benefits of Square-Rooting a Number, Part I”)

Solving tracing problems using graph theory

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at a standardized test and came across the following “tracing” problem: Which of the drawings below can you completely trace without lifting your pencil or retracing a previously traced part?  When I was a teenager, I had seen similar questions to this one, but was always frustrated … Continue reading Solving tracing problems using graph theory

Donkeys, Logs, Snakes, Oh My!

For the last several years in the United States and the UK, there has been a strong push to teach primary and secondary-school students how to code. Whether this is a good idea or not, I personally have enjoyed learning about programming. One of my current hopes is to do more programming using the Python … Continue reading Donkeys, Logs, Snakes, Oh My!