Linear, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, rational, and trigonometric functions, conic sections, binomial, surds, graphs and transformations of graphs, equation- and system-solving, and other symbolic-manipulation topics.

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12
votes
4answers
281 views

Should the domain of a function be inferred?

It is a common practice to have students of elementary algebra infer the domain of a function as an exercise. I believe this is contrary to the spirit of the definition of a function as a collection ...
12
votes
1answer
224 views

Why is integer approximation of a function interesting?

I have recently learnt the following result: Let $g \in \mathbb{R}[x]$ be a polynomial with $g(0) = 0$. Then, for any $\varepsilon > 0$, the set of positive integers $n$, such that $g(n)$ is ...
12
votes
1answer
317 views

Solving a formal power series equation

I want to find a function $f(x,y)$ which can satisfy the following equation, $$\prod _{n=1} ^{\infty} \frac{1+x^n}{(1-x^{n/2}y^{n/2})(1-x^{n/2}y^{-n/2})} = \exp \left[ \sum _{n=1} ^\infty ...
12
votes
2answers
754 views

Find all solutions of an exponential equation

Find the product of all the solutions of $\displaystyle\left(\frac{x^2-5x}{6}\right)^{x^2-2}=1$ times the number of solutions. I don't know how to solve an exponential equation, so I've done as ...
12
votes
1answer
262 views

If the product of $x$ positive integers is $n!$ What is the smallest possible value their sum can have?

If the product of $x$ positive integers is $n!$ What is the smallest possible value their sum can have? I was wondering what could be the most efficient strategy to solve this problem for ...
11
votes
11answers
2k views

Solve $4^{9x-4} = 3^{9x-4}$

I am having some trouble trying to solve $$4^{9x-4} = 3^{9x-4}$$ I tried to make each the same base but then I'm becoming confused as to what to do next. These are the steps I took: ...
11
votes
10answers
2k views

Find five consecutive odd integers such that their sum is $55$.

So my professor asked us to do an Olympiad exercise which says that the sum of five consecutive odd integers is $55$, find those integers. But I've never seen such an exercise so it is quite new and ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Simplifying $\sqrt{4+2\sqrt{3}}+\sqrt{4-2\sqrt{3}}$

How do I simplify $\sqrt{(4+2\sqrt{3})}+\sqrt{(4-2\sqrt{3})}$? I've tried to make it $x$ and square both sides but I got something extremely complicated and it didn't look right. I got $2\sqrt{3}$ ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the term for a factorial type operation, but with summation instead of products?

(Pardon if this seems a bit beginner, this is my first post in math - trying to improve my knowledge while tackling Project Euler problems) I'm aware of Sigma notation, but is there a function/name ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

7th class question my daughter asked and need answer if possible

My daughter has asked me to solve this question but I am unable to than I thought to post it here may be someone help. Q : The watchman works 4 days a week and has a rest on the fifth day. He had ...
11
votes
8answers
493 views

How to factor quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$?

How do I shorten this? How do I have to think? $$ x^2 + x - 2$$ The answer is $$(x+2)(x-1)$$ I don't know how to get to the answer systematically. Could someone explain? Does anyone have a link to ...
11
votes
7answers
510 views

Can someone show me why this factorization is true?

$$x^n - y^n = (x - y)(x^{n-1} + x^{n-2}y + \dots + xy^{n-2} + y^{n-1})$$ Can someone perhaps even use long division to show me how this factorization works? I honestly don't see anyway to "memorize ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Factorize the polynomial $x^3+y^3+z^3-3xyz$

I want to factorize the polynomial $x^3+y^3+z^3-3xyz$. Using Mathematica I find that it equals $(x+y+z)(x^2+y^2+z^2-xy-yz-zx)$. But how can I factorize it by hand?
11
votes
4answers
480 views

Simplifying $\sqrt{5+2\sqrt{5+2\sqrt{5+2\sqrt {5 +\cdots}}}}$

How to simplify the expression: $$\sqrt{5+2\sqrt{5+2\sqrt{5+2\sqrt{\cdots}}}}.$$ If I could at least know what kind of reference there is that would explain these type of expressions that would be ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any formula for the series $1 + \frac12 + \frac13 + \cdots + \frac 1 n = ?$

Is there any formula for this series? $$1 + \frac12 + \frac13 + \cdots + \frac 1 n .$$
11
votes
3answers
949 views

Simplification of expressions containing radicals

As an example, consider the polynomial $f(x) = x^3 + x - 2 = (x - 1)(x^2 + x + 2)$ which clearly has a root $x = 1$. But we can also find the roots using Cardano's method, which leads to $$x = ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Algebraic Proof that $\sum\limits_{i=0}^n \binom{n}{i}=2^n$

I'm well aware of the combinatorial variant of the proof, i.e. noting that each formula is a different representation for the number of subsets of a set of $n$ elements. I'm curious if there's a ...
11
votes
5answers
410 views

How to prove that $\sum\limits_{i=0}^p (-1)^{p-i} {p \choose i} i^j$ is $0$ for $j < p$ and $p!$ for $j = p$

Let $p \in \mathbf{N}$. I don't know how to prove that $$\sum_{i=0}^p (-1)^{p-i} {p \choose i} i^j=0 \textrm{ for } j \in \{0,\ldots,p-1\},$$ and $$\sum_{i=0}^p (-1)^{p-i} {p \choose i} i^p=p!$$ ...
11
votes
3answers
749 views

Division by imaginary number

I ran into a problem dividing by imaginary numbers recently. I was trying to simplify: $2 \over i$ I came up with two methods, which produced different results: Method 1: ${2 \over i} = {2i \over ...
11
votes
3answers
399 views

$f(f(x))$ has no fixed points if $f(x)$ has no fixed points

Assume that $f(x)=x$ has no real roots where $$f(x) = ax^2+bx+c$$ Prove that $f(f(x))=x$ has no real roots as well. What I've done is, calculating $f(f(x))$: ...
11
votes
6answers
389 views

Elementary proof that $\pi < \sqrt{5} + 1$

I wanted to show that $$ \frac{\pi}{4\phi} < \frac{1}{2} $$ Where $\phi$ is the golden ratio. I have confirmed the results numerically, and by simple algebra the inequality simplifies down to $$ ...
11
votes
2answers
258 views

A polynomial determined by two values

From a St. Petersburg school olympiad, 11th grade. Prove or disprove: a non constant polynomial $P$ with non-negative integer coefficients is uniquely determined by its values $P(2)$ and $P(P(2))$.
11
votes
4answers
443 views

If $2^x=3^y=6^{-z}$ then prove that:$ \frac{1}{x}+\frac{1}{y}+\frac{1}{z}=0$

If $$2^x=3^y=6^{-z}$$ and $x,y,z \neq 0 $ then prove that:$$ \frac{1}{x}+\frac{1}{y}+\frac{1}{z}=0$$ I have tried starting with taking logartithms, but that gives just some more equations. Any ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I write an equation that matches any sequence?

One thing I have been wondering about lately is how to write an equation that describes a pattern of numbers. What I mean is: x 0 1 2 y 1 5 9 If ...
11
votes
2answers
400 views

Number of real positive roots of a polynomial?

Consider the polynomial $$f(x)=x((1+x^n)^n+a^n)-a(1+x^n)^n,$$ where $n\geq 2$ is a positive integer and $a$ is a positive real number. I'm interesting in deducing the number of positive real roots ...
11
votes
3answers
183 views

How do we solve $a \le b^{r}-r$ for $r$?

Given two values $a$ and $b$, how should one go about solving the following inequality for $r$: $$a \le b^r -r .$$ Applying $\log_b$ on both sides of the inequality doesn't help me much since that ...
11
votes
1answer
514 views

Interesting negative decimal number notation

I was studying logarithms, and had to solve the problem: If $\log 8 = 0.90$, find $\log 0.125$. I found out the answer to be $-0.90$. That was easy. But my text book has given the answer as: ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Why aren't the graphs of $\sin(\arcsin x)$ and $\arcsin(\sin x)$ the same?

(source for above graph) (source for above graph) Both functions simplify to x, but why aren't the graphs the same?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Using Vieta's theorem for cubic equations to derive the cubic discriminant

Background: Vieta's Theorem for cubic equations says that if a cubic equation $x^3 + px^2 + qx + r = 0$ has three different roots $x_1, x_2, x_3$, then $$\begin{eqnarray*} -p &=& x_1 + x_2 ...
11
votes
4answers
646 views

Proof that $n^3 + 3n^2 + 2n$ is a multiple of $3$.

I'm struggling with this problem: For any natural number $n$, prove that $n^3 + 3n^2 + 2n$ is a multiple of $3$. That $n^3 + 3n^2 + 2n$ is a multiple of $3$ means that: $n^3 + 3n^2 + 2n = 3 ...
11
votes
4answers
516 views

Prove maximum value of $(z-xy)(x-yz)(y-zx)$ is $\frac{1}{64}$ given $x,y,z \in (0,1)$

Prove maximum value of $(z-xy)(x-yz)(y-zx)$ is $\frac{1}{64}$ given $x,y,z \in (0,1)$ I can make it $\frac{1}{64}$ by setting $x,y,z = \frac{1}{2}$, but I have no idea how to show that's the maximum. ...
11
votes
5answers
406 views

How to calculate $2^{\sqrt{2}}$ by hand efficiently?

I've been trying to calculate $2^{\sqrt{2}}$ by hand efficiently, but whatever I've tried to do so far fails at some point because I need to use many decimals of $\sqrt{2}$ or $\log(2)$ to get a ...
11
votes
3answers
339 views

Collatz-ish Olympiad Problem

The following is an Olympiad Competition question, so I expect it to have a pretty solution: For a positive integer $d$, define the sequence: \begin{align} a_0 &= 1\\ a_n &= ...
11
votes
4answers
765 views

Solve $\cos^{n}x-\sin^{n}x=1$ with $n\in \mathbb{N}$.

Solve $\cos^{n}x-\sin^{n}x=1$ with $n\in \mathbb{N}$ I have no idea how to deal with this crazy question. One idea came into my mine is factorization, but I can't go on... Can anyone help me please? ...
11
votes
1answer
303 views

Finding $x^4 + y^4 + z^4$ using geometric series

This is a problem from the 2001 Stanford Math Tournament Algebra section. $$$$Given that $$x+y+z=3$$ $$x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = 5$$$$x^3+y^3+z^3=7$$Find $x^4+y^4+z^4$. $$$$My friend claimed that he was able ...
11
votes
2answers
419 views

Given $n! = c$, how to find $n$?

I'm dealing with a time-complexity problem in which I know the running time of an algorithm: $$t = 1000 \mathrm{ms} .$$ I also know that the algorithm is upper bounded by $O(n!)$. I want to know ...
11
votes
1answer
141 views

Cyclic system of equations

Consider the system of equations $$ \begin{align*} x^2+(1-y)^2&=a\\ y^2+(1-z)^2&=b\\ z^2+(1-x)^2&=c\\ \end{align*} $$ Compute $x(1-x)$ in terms of $a,b,c$. Edit: The question should say ...
11
votes
3answers
198 views

Prove that x is rational

Let $x$ be a real number with the properties that $x^3+x$ and $x^5+x$ are rational. Prove that $x$ is rational. Denote $a=x^3+x$; $b=x^5+x$. We can multiply and add them together until we get the ...
11
votes
2answers
135 views

Prove $\sqrt[n]{m}\leq\sqrt[3]{3}\lor\sqrt[m]{n}\leq\sqrt[3]{3}$ for $n,m\in\mathbb{N}>1$.

Prove that for any integers $m$ and $n$ greater than $1$, at least one of the numbers $\sqrt[n]{m}$ or $\sqrt[m]{n}$ is not greater than $\sqrt[3]{3}$. My attempt goes something along the lines ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Is solving an equation the same as finding the roots?

For example, would solving for $x$ in $x^2=8x+7$ be the same as finding the roots of the equation? Also, would finding the roots of this be the same as finding the zeros?
11
votes
2answers
258 views

Prove this inequality $a^{\frac{a}{b}}b^{\frac{b}{c}}c\geq1$

Please help me to prove this inequality. Assume $a,b,c>0$ and $abc\geq1$ then $a^{\frac{a}{b}}b^{\frac{b}{c}}c\geq1$. Thanks.
11
votes
1answer
491 views

Find the sum $\frac{1}{\sqrt{1}+\sqrt{2}} + \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}} + …+ \frac{1}{\sqrt{99}+\sqrt{100}}$

I would like to check I have this correct Find the sum $$\frac{1}{\sqrt{1}+\sqrt{2}} + \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}} + ...+ \frac{1}{\sqrt{99}+\sqrt{100}}$$ Hint: rationalise the denominators ...
11
votes
0answers
164 views

How to solve the trigonometric equation. [closed]

Solve : $\sqrt{\sin\left(\cos^{2}x \right)+\sqrt{\sin\left(\cos^{2}x \right)+\cdots+\sqrt{\sin\left(\cos^{2}x \right)}}}=\sqrt[3]{\cos^{2}x+\sqrt[3]{\cos^{2}x+\cdots+\sqrt[3]{\cos^{2}x}}}$ In this ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Why is $\sqrt{8}/2$ equal to $\sqrt{2}$?

I am trying to help my daughter on her math homework and I am having some trouble on some equation solving steps. My current major concern relies on understanding why $\sqrt{8}/2$ equal to $\sqrt{2}$. ...
10
votes
11answers
3k views

Solving $5^n > 4,000,000$ without a calculator

If $n$ is an integer and $5^n > 4,000,000.$ What is the least possible value of $n$? (answer: $10$) How could I find the value of $n$ without using a calculator ?
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Proving that $\frac{1}{\sqrt{1}} + \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} + \cdots + \frac{1}{\sqrt{100}} < 20$

How am I suppose to prove that: $$\frac{1}{\sqrt{1}} + \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} + \cdots + \frac{1}{\sqrt{100}} < 20$$ Do I use the way like how we count $1+2+ \cdots+100$ to estimate? So $1/5050 \lt ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Can you prove this identity?

Show that $$(x-y)^3+(y-z)^3+(z-x)^3 = 3(x-y)(y-z)(z-x)$$ This can be shown through expansion but there is a more elegant solution I cannot discover anything I would consider elegant. Can anyone ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Solve trigonometric equation: $1 = m \; \text{cos}(\alpha) + \text{sin}(\alpha)$

Dealing with a physics Problem I get the following equation to solve for $\alpha$ $1 = m \; \text{cos}(\alpha) + \text{sin}(\alpha)$ Putting this in Mathematica gives the result: $a==2 ...
10
votes
7answers
929 views

what does $|x-2| < 1$ mean?

I am studying some inequality properties of absolute values and I bumped into some expressions like $|x-2| < 1$ that I just can't get the meaning of them. Lets say I have this expression $$ ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does two terms immediately adjacent “mean” multiply?

I am currently teaching a GED math class. While learning about the order of operations, the students asked why does a number next to a parentheses mean multiplication? I understand the rule that two ...