First, some reminders and updates re the upcoming MathNotations (FREE) Online Math Contest:
- I am still accepting registration up to this Fri 5-15-09 and that may be extended. Just email me at "dmarain at gmail dot com" and I will email you the registration and information forms in short order!
- Because a few schools have expressed concern that some students are still taking AP's next week (makeups?) or their brains will be fried after this weeks AP's, I am willing to allow sponsors to administer the contest either the week of the 18th or the week of the 25th (after Memorial Day of course here in the US).
- Participating students should review their trig identities, infinite geometric series and probability. However, there are other questions or parts that do not involve these more advanced topics.
- Several questions are multi-part with later parts of increasing difficulty.
- At least one question requires a detailed explanation, i.e., showing one's method clearly.
- Have you been keeping up with Burt's insightful comments, clear explanations and advocacy for balancing concept and procedure in our classrooms, K-12? Read Burt's comments to this post...
- I've been remiss in keeping up with all the carnivals. I will get caught up in a few days.
- Been thinking about the AP issues I raised in a recent post (from the NYT article)? I will have more to say about this, particularly based on the reader comments to that article. Link to the Times article from my post and skim through the 60 or so reader comments. Fascinating stuff...
Here's a sample contest question that demonstrates showing all work. Some of you may recognize a similar question posted earlier on MathNotations.
(i) Consider the circle of radius 1 centered at (0,0). Let L be the line tangent to this circle at the point (a,b) in the first quadrant. If P and Q are the x- and y-intercepts of L, respectively, show that the length of segment PQ equals 1/(ab). All work must be shown clearly.
(ii) Same as part (i) except the radius of the circle is now r. Show that the length of segment PQ can be expressed as r3/(ab). All work must be shown clearly.