Saturday, 28 February 2009

Keep your maths neat

I will get slightly more complicated with this maths so try to stay with me. If you multiply a number by the same number e.g. the number two, you end up with four, or two squared. If you take the square route of four you end up with two. Now think of a chessboard. 8x8=64. You can see why it is called eight squared. The square root (or the number that you need to start with to make that number) of 64 is 8.

There may be a reason to simplify square roots. If you are asked to simplify the square root of 27 (√27) then it always pays to go back to basics and think about the maths that you know is correct. You know that 3x3 = 9 and you know that 3x9=27. So another way of writing √27 is √3x9. You know that the square root of 9 is 3. So √27 = 3√3

When you convert √27 to 3√3 you end up with a number that you can relate to. It may be that you are good enough to know about √27 but 3√3 is a logical simplification, and logical thinking is something we should be doing all the time. Think of simplifying as trying to make the maths look neater and more importantly more accessible. You have a better chance of having that rough idea of the number that you are talking about. Having a rough idea is so important in everyday life. How much wallpaper do you need for the living room? How much does it cost for a year at the local gym? Have a rough idea and you will roughly know whether you can afford it.

Logical thinking is a mathematical characteristic that can be applied to all walks of life.

That sums it up

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