Getting back on the triangle

I had to use some trigonometry at work today, for all you who say math isn’t important for code slingers.

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saw an article where (supposedly) a number of parents are complaining about their kids having to take algebra (and presumably anything beyond algebra). this was in the context of a story about how some immigrant families take education very seriously indeed. sounds like bunk to me, but crazier things have happened.

A while back, for reasons known only to my own subconscious, I got completely obsessed with trying to remember the proofs of the sum formulas: cos(a+b) = cosacosb - sinasinb , and so forth. Walked around for a couple of days muttering to myself and scribbling on bar napkins, then finally had to give in and look them up.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 01 June 2007 at 13:36 |

What, you didn’t just expand them out to the infinite series and work it through?

Jack Diederich Saturday, 02 June 2007 at 05:50 |

Pashaw. Just the other year I had to do some vector calculus to figure out how to do a 2D projection of a 3D graph. After some doodling on a napkin I decided that faking it looked pretty good too ;)

Fortunately, for scholarly work you just have to frame the problem correctly. The solution is trivial. Graduate students can do it.

I wax nostalgic about the time when my problems could be solved by going back to the triangle.

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