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A Math Refresher

"From Stargazers to Starships" tries to be self-contained, even in the mathematics it uses. The sections below are meant to refresh your memory about some basic ideas in algebra and trigonometry.

--Even if this material is completely new to you, with enough motivation and persistence you should be able to understand it. Care was taken to remove any potential stumbling blocks.

--And if algebra and trig are old hat to you, rest assured that you will still find here some unexpected goodies.

Here is what is covered:

Elements of algebra

(M-1) Basic ideas
(M-1A) Algebra Proficiency Drill
(M-2) How it all started
(M-3) Formulas
(M-4) Identities
(M-5) Deriving Approximate Results

(M-6) The Theorem of Pythagoras
(M-6a) Beyond Pythagoras             (optional)

Elements of trigonometry

(M-7) What is it good for?
(M-8) How to tell sines from cosines
(M-9) Deriving sines and cosines
(M-10) Going past 90 degrees
(M-11) Deriving sin(a+b), cos(a+b)
(M-11A) Trigonometry Proficiency Drill
(M-12) The Tangent

Elements of logarithms

And for the adventurous:

To explore math further, you may look up "Understanding Mathematics" by Peter Alfeld.

"Math Squared is a math enrichment enrichment book at the middle school level. It should help students who would like to move ahead of the class but not necessarily ahead of the textbook.

We also recommend highly Plus, a free web magazine supported by Cambridge University, England. In its own words, "Plus is an internet magazine published five times a year which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics."


Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
     Mail to Dr.Stern:   stargaze("at" symbol)phy6.org .

Last updated 28 March 2014