Math Error

What does “MATH ERROR” mean? 

SHORT ANSWER: this means you have just asked the calculator to do a sum it doesn’t like. The three most common reasons for getting this error message are: 1) you have tried to divide by zero: forbidden in maths! If you type in $3\div 0$ you are asking the calculator “zero times by what equals

Type Maths Symbols

5 WAYS TO TYPE SYMBOLS π λ √∫≤∑≈ 

not to mention $\frac{e^{-t}}{y^3+1}$ To type Mathematical Symbols on your PC: 1) USE WINDOWS EMOJIS: To type ⅷ∀√∛∞∑²³ⁿ∃∞∫≈≡≥ and many more. Simply press windows key together with .  to bring up the emoji keyboard, then select Ω or ∞to bring up the maths palette. VERDICT: works with any app on PC including Facebook, Twitter, MS

Gradient of world's steepest road

HOW DO GRADIENTS WORK? 

Here I am at the World’s Steepest Road in Harlech, North Wales. The road sign indicates an almighty 40% – but how is this measured? ON ROADS: The 40% means that however far you travel horizontally, you travel 40% of that vertically. So if you go 100m across, you go 40m up. SO A ROAD

angles in a triangle equal 180 degrees

WHY THE ANGLES IN A TRIANGLE ADD TO 180° 

Given any triangle: Rotate so that the longest side lies horizontally along the base. Extend the base, and draw a parallel line going through the uppermost corner (these two lines are shown in light blue). The two red angles are the same size (using the well-known “parallel lines” angle result alternate angles, sometimes called “Z-angles“).

Zero

What’s special about ZERO? 

(or: Much ado about Nothing) Zero doesn’t actually exist. Think about it: by definition it isn’t anything, it’s nothing!! Even so, here are 5 facts every mathematician should know about Zero:

Venn Shapes Puzzle

PUZZLE OF THE WEEK 

What shape goes in the intersection of this Venn Diagram? Read on for the answer:

Which are better Fractions or Decimals?

WHICH ARE BETTER: FRACTIONS OR DECIMALS? 

DECIMALS ARE WAAAY BETTER THAN FRACTIONS: most GCSE students prefer decimals because they allow you to compare the sizes of two numbers at a glance! For instance, which is bigger out of $\frac{2}{5}$ and $\frac{3}{7}$? Um…? But in decimal form we can easily see that $\frac{3}{7}=0.428571…>0.4=\frac{2}{5}$. FRACTIONS RULE SUPREME: fractions allow for easy multiplication, and

Powers, Indices and Exponents

WORD OF THE WEEK: INDEX 

INDEX (plural indices): you can see these in expressions like $5^2 = 25$. The 5 is called the BASE, the 2 is called the EXPONENT or INDEX, and the 25 is called a power (in this case it’s a power of 5).

Rhombus shaped tiles placed together to make a regular hexagon

GEOMETRY PUZZLE: WHAT SHAPE DO YOU SEE? 

TRICKY TILINGS: Tiling stores are like treasure troves of geometrical amusement. Here’s a photo I took yesterday. The puzzle is simply: what shape(s) do you see? ANSWER: ….