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The best books make you think and imagine…

November12

Girl and books2It was quite an unusual event and I was only a newbie in high school. We had a guest speaker at our weekly assembly which was usually quite boring. So, why would I remember this particular morning? Easy – the guest speaker spoke for nearly two hours through to the first recess. The Principal was getting restless and kept re-crossing his legs and looking at his watch. Time marched on. There was a bell for the end of first period but still the guest speaker enthralled us all. Do you know what his subject was? BOOKS! Yes, dear mathematicians, I remember vividly that morning so long ago.

As young mathematicians, you too would be wise to get into your books – to read what they are saying; check over the worked examples and use the answers to regularly check that you are doing problems correctly. Even in our internet age, books are invaluable tools for learning Mathematics. Also, consider that a book takes time to write (I know from experience). Therefore, they are usually more carefully crafted than a website or blog like this. However, not all math books are accurate. I had a teacher in high school who had several mistakes in the answers. When confronted by his students he simply said, “Oh, that’s to avoid copyright.” LOL!

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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