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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15
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6answers
3k views

No radical in the denominator — why?

Why do all school algebra texts define simplest form for expressions with radicals to not allow a radical in the denominator. For the classic example, $1/\sqrt{3}$ needs to be "simplified" to ...
15
votes
4answers
802 views

Factor $x^4 - 11x^2y^2 + y^4$

This is an exercise from Schaum's Outline of Precalculus. It doesn't give a worked solution, just the answer. The question is: Factor $x^4 - 11x^2y^2 + y^4$ The answer is: $(x^2 - 3xy -y^2)(x^2 + ...
15
votes
4answers
413 views

If $x$ and $y$ are rational numbers and $x^5+y^5=2x^2y^2,$ then $1-xy$ is a perfect square.

Prove that if $x, y$ are rational numbers and $$ x^5 +y^5 = 2x^2y^2$$ then $1-xy$ is a perfect square.
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How many solutions for this equation?

$$ \frac{x-4}{(x-1)} = \frac{1-4}{(x-1)} $$ Can someone tell me how many solutions are there for the above equation? MY APPROACH: I cross multiplied the equations and re-arranged to get a quadratic ...
15
votes
2answers
604 views

Intuitive ways to get formula of cubic sum

Is there an intuitive way to get cubic sum? From this post: combination of quadratic and cubic series and Wikipedia: Faulhaber formula, I get $$1^3 + 2^3 + \dots + n^3 = \frac{n^2(n+1)^2}{4}$$ I think ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Riddle with Pi = 3

This is a riddle someone posted on Google+, so please forgive it's triviality - I'm asking here because I just can't figure out what exactly is wrong, and it really bugs me ;) I think something is ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Significance of $\displaystyle\sqrt[n]{a^n} $?

There is a formula given in my module: $$ \sqrt[n]{a^n} = a \text{ if $n$ is odd } $$ $$ \sqrt[n]{a^n} = |a| \text{ if $n$ is even } $$ I don't really understand the differences between them, ...
15
votes
3answers
882 views

What skill do I lack to factor multivariate polynomials?

Ok so I can factor easily regular quadratic polynomials, i.e. $5x^2+7x+9$ (I'm not sure whether that's prime, just made it up), and I was working on solving $y^2+(x^2+2x−2)y+(x^3−x^2−2x)$ by ...
15
votes
3answers
285 views

How can I prove $\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}…}}}}=2$ [duplicate]

How can I prove $$\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}...}}}}=2$$ I don't know which method can be used for this?
15
votes
5answers
7k views

Good book for high school algebra

I'm gonna take a Calculus course next year, my professor suggest me to review high school algebra. I want to know, which book is good for refresh knowledge on high school algebra?
15
votes
2answers
9k views

How to prove a limit exists using the $\epsilon$-$\delta$ definition of a limit

I understand how to find a limit. I understand the concept of the $\epsilon$-$\delta$ definition of a limit. Can you walk me through what we're doing in this worked example? It is from my student ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Nested Square Roots

How would one go about computing the value of $X$, where $X=5^0+ \sqrt{5^1+\sqrt{5^2+\sqrt{5^4+\sqrt{5^8+\sqrt{5^{16}+\sqrt{5^{32}+\dots}}}}}}$ I have tried the standard way of squaring then trying ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the discriminant of a cubic polynomial being less than 0 indicate complex roots?

The discriminant $\Delta = 18abcd - 4b^3d + b^2 c^2 - 4ac^3 - 27a^2d^2$ of the cubic polynomial $ax^3 + bx^2 + cx+ d$ indicates not only if there are repeated roots when $\Delta$ vanishes, but also ...
15
votes
1answer
315 views

Solve $x^x=2x$ where $x\in\mathbb C$.

Solve $x^x=2x$ where $x\in\mathbb C$. Obviously, one solution is $x=2$. By WA, another solution is $x=0.346...$. How to solve it analytically, e.g. using Lambert W function? Thank you.
15
votes
2answers
264 views

How much math do we need to prove all simple numeric identities?

Consider real numeric expressions build only from integers, operators $+,-,\times,/$ and taking a positive expression to a power (no variables involved), e.g. $$\frac{2}{7},\ 2^{1/2},\ ...
14
votes
7answers
694 views

$n^5-n$ is divisible by $10$?

I was trying to prove this, and I realized that this is essentially a statement that $n^5$ has the same last digit as $n$, and to prove this it is sufficient to calculate $n^5$ for $0-9$ and see that ...
14
votes
3answers
393 views

$ \tan 1^\circ \cdot \tan 2^\circ \cdot \tan 3^\circ \cdots \tan 89^\circ$

How can I find the following product using elementary trigonometry? $$ \tan 1^\circ \cdot \tan 2^\circ \cdot \tan 3^\circ \cdots \tan 89^\circ.$$ I have tried using a substitution, but nothing ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Inequality: $(x + y + z)^3 \geq 27 xyz$

Edit: $a,b,c$ and $x,y,z$ are positive, real numbers. Since $(a-b)^2 \geq 0~$, $a^2 + b^2 - 2ab\geq0~$ and $a^2 + b^2 \geq 2ab~$. Similarly, $a^2 + c^2 \geq 2ac~$ and $b^2 + c^2 \geq 2bc~$. ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a finite sum of square roots be an integer?

Can a sum of a finite number of square roots of integers be an integer? If yes can a sum of two square roots of integers be an integer? The square roots need to be irrational.
14
votes
3answers
105k views

How to Determine if a Function is One-to-One

I am looking for the "best" way to determine whether a function is one-to-one, either algebraically or with calculus. I know a common, yet arguably unreliable method for determining this answer would ...
14
votes
4answers
557 views

How to prove $\sum\limits_{r=0}^n \frac{(-1)^r}{r+1}\binom{n}{r} = \frac1{n+1}$?

Other than the general inductive method,how could we show that $$\sum_{r=0}^n \frac{(-1)^r}{r+1}\binom{n}{r} = \frac1{n+1}$$ Apart from induction,I tried with Wolfram Alpha to check the validity,but ...
14
votes
3answers
554 views

An incorrect method to sum the first $n$ squares which nevertheless works

Start with the identity $\sum_{i=1}^n i^3 = \left( \sum_{i = 1}^n i \right)^2 = \left(\frac{n(n+1)}{2}\right)^2$. Differentiate the left-most term with respect to $i$ to get $\frac{d}{di} ...
14
votes
4answers
331 views

Show the identity $\frac{a-b}{a+b}+\frac{b-c}{b+c}+\frac{c-a}{c+a}=-\frac{a-b}{a+b}\cdot\frac{b-c}{b+c}\cdot\frac{c-a}{c+a}$

I was solving an exercise, so I realized that the one easiest way to do it is using a "weird", but nice identity below. I've tried to found out it on internet but I've founded nothingness, and I ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best way to solve an equation involving multiple absolute values?

An absolute value expression such as $|ax-b|$ can be rewritten in two cases as $|ax-b|=\begin{cases} ax-b & \text{ if } x\ge \frac{b}{a} \\ b-ax & \text{ if } x< \frac{b}{a} \end{cases}$, ...
14
votes
2answers
367 views

how to compare $\sin(19^{2013}) $ and $\cos(19^{2013})$

how to compare $ \sin(19^{2013})$ and $\cos (19^{2013})$ or even find their value range with normal calculator? I can take $2\pi k= 19^{2013} \to \ln(k)= 2013 \ln(19)- \ln(2 \pi)=5925.32 \to k= ...
14
votes
8answers
24k views

Calculus book recommendations (for complete beginner)

Well I have not started calculus yet but I am really keen to. I would love if you suggest some books. Points to be noted: I really don't like the way textbooks are written so please no "textbooks" ...
14
votes
3answers
178 views

Finding the real solutions to $16^{x^{2} + y } + 16^{y^{2}+ x} = 1$

We have , $16^{x^{2} + y } + 16^{y^{2}+ x} = 1$ , then we have to find all the real values of $x$ and $y$.I tried this question but i am not able to proceed because I am not able to simplify this ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Relearning from the basics to Calculus and beyond.

Assume someone has very limited knowledge of math. (low level high school, 5-6 years ago) How would they learn from the basics of algebra, geometry and trigonometry to a solid foundation for calculus ...
14
votes
4answers
170 views

Proving $\left(1+\dfrac{1}{1^3}\right)\left(1+\dfrac{1}{2^3}\right)\cdots\left(1+\dfrac{1}{n^3}\right)<3$ for all positive integers $n$

Prove that $\left(1+\dfrac{1}{1^3}\right)\left(1+\dfrac{1}{2^3}\right)\cdots\left(1+\dfrac{1}{n^3}\right)<3$ for all positive integers $n$ This problem is copied from Math Olympiad Treasures ...
14
votes
4answers
786 views

How find the value of the $x+y$

Question: let $x,y\in \Bbb R $, and such $$\begin{cases} 3x^3+4y^3=7\\ 4x^4+3y^4=16 \end{cases}$$ Find the $x+y$ This problem is from china some BBS My idea: since ...
14
votes
1answer
149 views

How to prove that the problem cannot be solved by the four Arithmetic Operations?

The original prolbem is as in the figure: Suppose the square has unit side length, find the area of blue region. The exact solution is: $$\begin{aligned}S=&\frac{\pi-\sqrt{7}}{4}+2 ...
14
votes
2answers
204 views

Prove $\log_5{30}<\log_8{81}$

It's easy to prove this by calculator or computer, and I wonder can we prove that $$\log_5{30}<\log_8{81}\tag 1$$ by pencil and paper ? Thanks in advance ! Edit: $(1)$ can be written as ...
14
votes
4answers
140 views

High School Advanced Functions: Clarifying log rules in a log equation - $\log(x^2) = 2$, Solve for x.

I got in an argument with my teacher for the possible solutions of x. From some sources i found that because x is squared, negative values should be possible; however, my teacher insists that: $$ ...
14
votes
1answer
683 views

Expressing the maximum of several variables using elementary functions [duplicate]

It's well-known that $$\max(a,b)=\frac{a+b+|a-b|}{2}.$$ Is there a (good) generalization to several variables? Of course $\max(a,b,c)=\max(a,\max(b,c))$ and so ...
14
votes
0answers
245 views

Can we find this infinite root in term of elementary function?

Let $f(x)=\left(x+f(x+1)\right)^\frac{1}{x}$. What is the value of $f(2)$ ? More precisely, how to find the value of $$\sqrt{2+\sqrt[3]{3+\sqrt[4]{4+\cdots}}}~?$$ Thank you.
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics

Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics with a coefficient in front of the 'x' term. I just don't understand any explanation. My teacher gave up and said just ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

If $2^x=0$, find $x$.

If $2^x=0$, find $x$. Solution: I know range of $2^x$ function is $(0,\infty)$. So $2^x=0$ is not possible for any real value of $x$ Hence, equation is wrong. We can't find value of $x$. Am I ...
13
votes
3answers
516 views

Is there any “superlogarithm” or something to solve $x^x$? [duplicate]

Is there any "superlogarithm" or something to solve an equation like this: $$x^x = 10?$$
13
votes
4answers
808 views

Prove that $x = 2$ is the unique solution to $3^x + 4^x = 5^x$ where $x \in \mathbb{R}$ [duplicate]

Yesterday, my uncle asked me this question: Prove that $x = 2$ is the unique solution to $3^x + 4^x = 5^x$ where $x \in \mathbb{R}$. How can we do this? Note that this is not a diophantine ...
13
votes
4answers
603 views

Process to show that $\sqrt 2+\sqrt[3] 3$ is irrational

How can I prove that the sum $\sqrt 2+\sqrt[3] 3$ is an irrational number ??
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 = ...
13
votes
4answers
825 views

Solving for the implicit function $f\left(f(x)y+\frac{x}{y}\right)=xyf\left(x^2+y^2\right)$ and $f(1)=1$

How can I find all functions $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $f(1)=1$ and $$f\left(f(x)y+\frac{x}{y}\right)=xyf\left(x^2+y^2\right)$$ for all real numbers $x$ and $y$ with $y\neq0$? PS. This is ...
13
votes
3answers
627 views

Evaluate $ \displaystyle \lim_{x\to 0}\Bigg( \frac {(\cos(x))^{\sin(x)} - \sqrt{1 - x^3}}{x^6}\Bigg) $

Evaluate $$ \displaystyle \lim_{x\to 0}\Bigg( \frac {(\cos(x))^{\sin(x)} - \sqrt{1 - x^3}}{x^6}\Bigg) $$ I tried to use L'Hospital rule but it got very messy. Moreover I also tried to analyze ...
13
votes
3answers
611 views

FoxTrot Bill Amend Problems

So I found this on the Wolfram website today: So I was wondering about how one might be able to (if possible) solve those four problems by hand. Here are the problems, $\LaTeX$ed: $ \lim_{x \to ...
13
votes
1answer
343 views

Why does Group Theory not come in here?

Here is a list of questions that I find quite similar, for the one and only reason that they all show much "symmetry". Which is at the same time my problem, because I don't have a very precise notion ...
13
votes
2answers
151 views

How to prove $\large\sqrt[\pi]{e} < \sqrt[\pi]{\pi}<\sqrt[e]{e}< \sqrt[e]{\pi}$

I was given a challenge of sorting the following numbers. $\Large\sqrt[\pi]{e} < \sqrt[\pi]{\pi}<\sqrt[e]{e}< \sqrt[e]{\pi}$. After some work I was able to figure out the order. How can one ...
13
votes
1answer
701 views

Conditions for two straight lines to intersect: is this exam question wrong?

I am pretty sure this question (from a university admission test exam) is wrong. Two lines: $a_1x+b_1y+c_1=0$, $a_2x+b_2y+c_2=0$, intersect only if (a) $a_1a_2-b_1b_2=0\;\;\;$ (b) ...
13
votes
2answers
130 views

Finding all solutions to the equation $|||||x|-1|-1|-1|-1|=0$

I was presented this question by a student I was tutoring: Suppose $x \in \mathbb{R}$. Find all solutions of the equation $$|||||x|-1|-1|-1|-1|=0.$$ What I explained to the student: Given ...
13
votes
1answer
270 views

How to prove $\frac{1}{x}=\frac{1}{a}+\frac{1}{b}+\frac{1}{c}+2\sqrt{\frac{1}{ab}+\frac{1}{ac}+\frac{1}{bc}}$

Question: Let $a,b,c>0$ are give numbers and $x>0$, such that $$ \sqrt{\dfrac{a+b+c}{x}}=\sqrt{\dfrac{b+c+x}{a}}+\sqrt{\dfrac{c+a+x}{b}}+\sqrt{\dfrac{a+b+x}{c}} $$ show that $$ ...
13
votes
6answers
134 views

Why does $n$-time differentiation of product have the same structure as raising sum to $n$th power?

A formula for differentiating a product is well known: $$(ab)'=a'b+ab'.$$ At first sight it doesn't resemble anything interesting. But what if we differentiate twice? We'll get ...