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Math Equations Delay Flight

May8

An Italian maths professor was recently escorted off an American Airlines flight after a fellow passenger Guidofeared his mysterious scribbling on a notepad was evidence that he was a terrorist. In fact Guido Menzio was working on an equation connected with a presentation on price-setting he was due to present. He was flying from Philadelphia to Syracuse to give a talk at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He was solving a differential equation, but said he was told the woman thought he might be a terrorist because of what he was writing. But the sight of a slightly scruffy, curly-haired man scrawling odd symbols on a notepad was enough to alarm the woman who was sitting next to him. Mr Menzio, a highly respected academic who has also had spells at Princeton and Stanford universities, succeeded in convincing the authorities that his doodles were an equation. (source: Daily Telegraph)

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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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