pstone

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In March of 2023, two high school students, Calcea Johnson, and Ne’Kiya Jackson, presented a new proof of the Pythagorean Theorem at the American Mathematical Society’s Annual Spring Southeastern Sectional Meeting. These two young women are challenging the conventions of math as we know it.
The Pythagorean Theorem states that in a right angle triangle, the sum of the squares of the legs is equal to the square of the hypotenuse: 


The theorem has been around for over two thousand years and has been proven hundreds of times with many different methods. So what makes the Johnson-Jackson proof special? The proof is one of the first to use trigonometry.
For years, mathematicians have been convinced that a trigonometric proof of the Pythagorean Theorem is impossible because much of trigonometry is based upon the Pythagorean Theorem itself (an example of circular reasoning).
That said, some results in trigonometry are independent of the Pythagorean Theorem, namely the law of sines, and the sine and cosine ratios; the latter is a result that 12-year-old Einstein used in his trigonometric proof of the theorem.
Though all the details of the Johnson-Jackson proof have not been made public, there was enough information for me to recreate the proof in Maple Learn. The idea of the proof is to construct a right angle triangle with an infinite series of congruent right angle triangles (the first of which has side lengths a, b, and c). Then, using the sine ratio, solve for the hypotenuse lengths of each small congruent triangle. To explore this construction see Johnson and Jackson’s Triangle Construction on Maple Learn. 


 

Next, find the side lengths of the large triangle (A and B) by evaluating an infinite sum (composed of the hypotenuse lengths of the small congruent triangles). Finally, apply the law of sines to the isosceles triangle made from the first 2 congruent triangles. After simplifying this expression, the Pythagorean relationship (c2 = a2 + b2) emerges.
 

 

To see more details of the proof, check out Johnson and Jackson’s Proof of Pythagorean Theorem on Maple Learn.
This new proof of the Pythagorean Theorem shows that discoveries in math are still happening and that young people can play a big role in these discoveries!

A geometric transformation is a way of manipulating the size, position, or orientation of a geometric object. For example, a triangle can be transformed by a 180o rotation: 

Learning about geometric transformations is a great way for students, teachers and anyone interested in math to get comfortable using x-y coordinates in the cartesian plane, and mapping functions from R2 to R2. Understanding geometric transformations is also an essential step to understanding higher-level concepts like the Transformations of Functions and Transformation Matrices.
Check out the Geometric Transformations collection on Maple Learn to learn about this topic. Start out by playing with the Geometric Transformations Exploration document to build intuition about how objects are affected by each of the four transformation types: Dilation, Reflection, Rotation, and Translation. Once you are confident in your skills, try using the Single Geometric Transformation Quiz to test your knowledge.
For those looking to expand their understanding of geometric transformations, the Combined Transformations Exploration document will let you explore how multiple transformations and the order of said transformations affect the final form of an object. For example, the blue polygon can be transformed into 2 different pink polygons depending on whether the reflection or rotation is performed first:

 


Once you have the hang of combined transformations, try answering questions on the Combined Geometric Transformations Quiz

 

Happy Springtime to all in the MaplePrimes Community! Though some in our community may not live in the northern hemisphere where flowers are beginning to bloom, many will be celebrating April holidays like Ramadan, Passover, and Easter.

One of my favorite springtime activities is decorating eggs. Today, the practice is typically associated with the Christian holiday of Easter. However, painted eggs have roots in many cultures.

For over 3,000 years, painting eggs has been a custom associated with the holiday of Nowruz, or Persian New Year, during the spring equinox. Furthermore, in the Bronze Age, decorated ostrich eggs were traded as luxury items across the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. Dipped eggs have also played an important role in the Jewish holiday of Passover since the 16th century.

To celebrate this tradition, I would like to invite all of the Maplesoft community to create a decorated egg of their own with the Easter Egg Art Maple Learn document. In this document, an ovoid egg equation is used to define the shape of an egg. 



The ovoid egg equation mimics the shape of a typical hen’s egg. Each bird species lays differently shaped eggs. For example, an ostrich’s egg is more oblong than an owl’s, and an owl’s egg is rounder than a goose’s. Surprisingly, every egg can be described by a single equation with four parameters:



Learn more about this equation and others like it with John May’s Egg Formulas Maple Learn document.

The Easter Egg Art document includes 9 different decorative elements; users can change the color, position, and size of each in order to create their own personal egg! The egg starts out looking like this:



In just a couple of minutes, you can create a unique egg. Have fun exploring this document and share a screenshot of your egg in the comments below!  Here’s one I made:


In an age where our lives are increasingly integrated online, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting online information, systems, and networks from malicious parties. Whenever you access your email, check your online banking, or make a post on Facebook, you are relying on cybersecurity systems to keep your personal information safe. 

Requiring that users enter their password is a common security practice, but it is nowhere near hacker-proof. A common password-hacking strategy is the brute-force attack. This is when a hacker uses an automated program to guess random passwords until the right one is found. The dictionary attack is a similar hacking strategy, where guesses come from a list like the 10,000 Most Common Passwords.

The easiest way to prevent this kind of breach is to use strong passwords. First, to protect against dictionary attacks, never use a common password like “1234” or “password”. Second, to protect against brute-force attacks, consider how the length and characters used affect the guessability. Hackers often start by guessing short passwords using limited types of characters, so the longer and more special characters used, the better.

Using the Strong Password Exploration Maple Learn document, you can explore how susceptible your passwords may be to a brute-force attack. For example, a 6-character password using only lowercase letters and numbers could take as little as 2 seconds to hack.

Whereas an 8-character password using uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and 10 possible special characters could take more than 60 hours to crack.

These hacking times are only estimations, but they do provide insight into the relative strength of different passwords. To learn more about password possibilities, check out the Passwords Collection on Maple Learn

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone in the MaplePrimes community. Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all things love and romance. To celebrate, we at Maplesoft wanted to share our hearts with you.

 


 

Today the heart shape represents love, affection, and a major organ. Though the heart’s full meaning today is unique to the modern era, the shape itself is much older.

 In ancient Greece, the Cyrenese people used the heart-shaped seed of a plant called silphium as a form of contraception. The seed became so widely used that it is featured on Cyrenese currency. This is the first case of the heart shape being connected to love and passion, but the form did not yet have an association with the human heart.

French poet Thibault de Blaison was the first to use a pear-shaped human heart to symbolize love in his thirteenth-century romance “Roman de la Poire”. Later, during the renaissance period, artists began to paint the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a spade-like shape. Depictions of the heart continued to develop and by the Victorian Era, the heart we know and love today had taken shape and started to appear on Valentine’s Day cards.

The simplicity and symmetry of the heart shape, which likely led to its widespread popularity, also makes the form convenient to define mathematically.

To find the equation for your heart, use the Valentine Hearts Maple Learn document. Choose one of four ways to define your heart, then move the sliders and change the color to make a unique equation for your heart. 

Once you’re done, take a screenshot and share it with your Valentine. Who says math isn’t romantic?

 

 

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