Piecewise Functions: Algebra

Greetings, today’s post is for those in need of a piecewise functions review!  This will cover how to graph each part of that oh so intimidating piecewise functions.  There’s x’s, there are commas, there are inequalities, oh my! We’ll figure out what’s going on here and graph each part of the piecewise-function one step at a time.  Then check yourself with the practice questions at the end of this post. Happy calculating! 🙂

piecewise functions

What are Piece-Wise Functions?

Exactly what they sound like! A function that has multiple pieces or parts of a function.  Notice our function below has different pieces/parts to it.  There are different lines within, each with their own domain.

Now let’s look again at how to solve our example, solving step by step:

piecewise functions example
Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 10.02.41 AM
piecewise functions

Translation: We are going to graph the line f(x)=x+1 for the domain where x > 0

To make sure all our x-values are greater than or equal to zero, we create a table plugging in x-values greater than or equal to zero into the first part of our function, x+1.  Then plot the coordinate points x and y on our graph.

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Translation: We are going to graph the line  f(x)=x-3 for the domain where x < 0.

To make sure all our x-values are less than zero, let’s create a table plugging in negative x-values values leading up to zero into the second part of our function, x-3.  Then plot the coordinate points x and y on our graph.

piecewise functions
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Ready to try the practice problems below on your own!?

Practice Questions:

Graph each piecewise function:

piecewise functions examples

Solutions:

piecewise functions examples
piecewise functions examples

Still got questions?  No problem! Check out the video above or comment below for any questions. Happy calculating! 🙂

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***Bonus! Want to test yourself with a similar NYS Regents question on piecewise functions?  Click here.

Intersecting Secants Theorem: Geometry

Ahoy! Today we’re going to cover the Intersecting Secants Theorem!  If you forgot what a secant is in the first place, don’t worry because all it is a line that goes through a circle.  Not so scary right? I was never scared of lines that go through circles before, no reason to start now.

If you have any questions about anything here, don’t hesitate to comment below and check out my video for more of an explanation. Stay positive math peeps and happy calculating! 🙂

Wait, what are Secants?

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.07.54 PM

Intersecting Secants Theorem: When secants intersect an amazing thing happens! Their line segments are in proportion, meaning we can use something called the Intersecting Secants Theorem to find missing line segments.  Check it out below: 

Intersecting Secants Theorem

Let’s now see how we can apply the intersecting Secants Theorem to find missing length.

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Step 1: First, let’s write our formula for Intersecting Secants.

Intersecting Secants Theorem

Step 2: Now fill in our formulas with the given values and simplify.

Intersecting Secants Theorem

Step 3: All we have to do now is solve for x! I use the product.sum method here, but choose the factoring method that best works for you!

Intersecting Secants Theorem

Step 4: Since we have to reject one of our answers, that leaves us with our one and only solution x=2.

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.14.41 PM.png

Ready to try the practice problems below on your own!?

Practice Questions: Find the value of the missing line segments x.

Intersecting Secants Theorem
Intersecting Secants Theorem

Solutions:

Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 9.30.55 AM.png

Still got questions?  No problem! Check out the video above or comment below for any questions and follow for the latest MathSux posts. Happy calculating! 🙂

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To review a similar NYS Regents question check out this post here.

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials: Algebra

Greeting math peeps and welcome to MathSux! In this post, we are going to go over 4 ways to Factor Trinomials and get the same answer, including, (1) Quadratic Formula (2) Product/Sum, (3) Completing the Square, and (4) Graphing on a Calculator.  If you’re looking for more don’t forget to check out the video and practice questions below.  Happy Calculating! 🙂

Also, if need a review on Factor by Grouping or Difference of Two Squares (DOTS) check out the hyperlinks here!

*If you haven’t done so, check out the video that goes over this exact problem, and don’t forget to subscribe!

We will take this step by step, showing 4 ways to factor trinomials, getting the same answer each and every time! Let’s get to it!

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials

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(1) Quadratic Formula:

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials

____________________________________________________________________

(2) Product/Sum:

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials____________________________________________________________________

(3) Completing the Square:

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials____________________________________________________________________

(4) Graph:

4 Ways to Factor Trinomials

Choose the factoring method that works best for you and try the practice problems on your own below!

Practice Questions:

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 3.09.58 PM

Solutions:

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 3.10.30 PM

Want a review of all the different factoring methods out there?  Check out the ones left out here (DOTS and GCF) and happy calculating! 🙂

For even more ways to factor quadratic equations, check out How to factor by Grouping here! 🙂

Also, if you want more Mathsux?  Don’t forget to check out our Youtube channel and more below! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below. Happy Calculating! 🙂

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Median of a Trapezoid Theorem: Geometry

Hi everyone and welcome to Math Sux! In this post, we are going to look at how to use and applythe median of a trapezoid theorem. Thankfully, it is not a scary formula, and one we can easily master with a dose of algebra. The only hard part remaining, is remembering this thing! Take a look below to see a step by step tutorial on how to use the median of a trapezoid theorem and check out the practice questions at the end of this post to truly master the topic. Happy calculating! 🙂

*If you haven’t done so, check out the video that goes over this exact problem, also please don’t forget to subscribe!

Medians of a Trapezoid copy
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Step 1:  Let’s apply the Median of a Trapezoid Theorem to this question!  A little rusty?  No problem, check out the Theorem below.

Median of a Trapezoid Theorem

Median of a Trapezoid Theorem: The median of a trapezoid is equal to the sum of both bases.Step 2: Now that we found the value of x , we can plug it back into the equation for Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 7.33.44 AMmedian,  to find the value of median Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 7.34.25 AM

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Want more practice?  Your wish is my command! Check out the practice problems below:

Practice Questions:

Median of a Trapezoid Theorem
Median of a Trapezoid Theorem
Median of a Trapezoid Theorem

1.Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 7.35.29 AMis the median of trapezoid ABCDEF, find the value of the median, given the following:2. Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 9.01.08 AMis the median of trapezoid ACTIVE, find the value of the median, given the following:3.Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 9.17.01 AMis the median of  trapezoid DRAGON, find the value of the median, given the following:

Median of a Trapezoid Theorem

4. Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 9.23.08 AMis the median of trapezoid MATRIX, find the value of the median, given the following:

Solutions:

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 9.25.05 AM

Need more of an explanation?  Check out the detailed video and practice problems. Happy calculating! 🙂

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Solving Radical Equations: Algebra 2/Trig.

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Today we’re back with Algebra 2, this time solving for radical equations!  Did you say “Radical Equations?” As in wild and crazy equations? No, not exactly, radicals in math are used to take the square root, cubed root, or whatever root of a number.

Solving Radical Equations
Solving Radical Equations

Example #1:

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Radicals are actually pretty cool because we can write them a couple of different ways and they all mean the same thing! Check it out below:Still not sure of their coolness? Let’s see what they look like with actual numbers:
Example: Solve the following algebraic equation below for the missing variable (aka, solve for x).Explanation:

How do I answer this question?   

The question wants us to solve for x using our knowledge of radicals and algebra. You can also check out how to solve this question on Youtube here!

How do we do this? 

Step 1: We start solving this radical equation like any other algebraic problem: by getting x alone. We can do this easily by subtracting 7 and then dividing out 5.

Solving Radical Equations

Step 2: Now, to get rid of that pesky radical, we need to square the entire radical.  Remember, whatever we do to one side of the equation, we must also do to the other side of the equation, therefore, we also square 14 on the other side of the equal sign. *This gets rid of our radical and allows us to solve for x algebraically as normal!

Solving Radical Equations
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What happens when there is a cubed root though!?!?

When dividing polynomials with different value roots, raise the entire radical to that same power of root to cancel it out:Remember, we know radicals can also be written as fractions:

Solving Radical Equations

Therefore we also know that if we raise the entire radical expression to the same power of the root, the two exponents will cancel each other out:

Solving Radical Equations

Example #2:

Solving Radical Equations

Want more practice? Try solving radical equations in the next few examples on your own. 

Practice:

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Solutions:

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Looking to brush up on how to solve absolute value equations? Check out the post here! Did I miss anything?  Don’t let any questions go unchecked and let me know in the comments! Happy calculating! 🙂 

Don’t forget to check out the latest free videos and posts with MathSux and subscribe!

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Dividing Polynomials: Algebra 2/Trig.

Greeting math peeps! In this post we are going to go over dividing polynomials! At some point, you may need to know how to answer these types of questions. The cool thing about dividing polynomials is that it’s the same long division you did way back in grade school (except now with a lot of x). Ok, let’s get to it and check out the question below:

Also, if you haven’t done so, check out the video related that corresponds to this problem on Youtube below! 🙂

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Explanation:

How do I answer this question?

The question wants us to divide polynomials by using long division.

How do we do this?     

Step 1: First we set up a good ole’ division problem with the divisor, dividend, and quotient to solve.

Dividing Polynomials

Step 2: Now we use long division like we used to back in the day! If you have any confusion about this please check out the video in this post.

Dividing Polynomials
Dividing Polynomials

What if there’s a Remainder?

What happens when there is a remainder though!?!? When dividing polynomials with a remainder in the quotient, the answer is found and checked in a very similar way! Check it out in the example below:

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.23.44 PM
Dividing Polynomials

Notice we represented the remainder by adding Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.35.06 PM to our quotient! We just put the remainder over the divisor to represent this extra bit of solution.

Want more practice? Try solving these next few examples on your own. 

Practice Questions:

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Solutions:

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.45.37 PM

If you’re looking for more on dividing polynomials, check out this post on synthetic division and finding zeros here!

Still got questions? No problem! Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions or check out the video above. Happy calculating! 🙂

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Earth Day Fractals!

In honor of Earth Day last week, I thought we’d take a look at some math that appears magically in nature.  Math? In nature?  For those of you who think math is unnatural or just terrible in general, this is a great time to be proven otherwise!

The key that links math to nature is all about PATTERNS. All math is based on is patterns.  This includes all types of math, from sequences to finding x, each mathematical procedure follows some type of pattern. Meanwhile back in the nearest forest, patterns are occurring everywhere in nature.

The rock star of all patterns would have to be FRACTALS. A Fractal is a repeating pattern that is ongoing and has different sizes of the exact same thing!  And the amazing thing is that we can actually find fractals in our neighbor’s local garden.

Let’s look at some Fractal Examples:

(1) Romanesco Broccoli:  Check out those repeating shapes, that have the same repeating shapes on those shapes and the same repeating shapes on even smaller shapes and…. my brain hurts!

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(2) Fern Leaves:  The largest part of this fractal is the entire fern leaf itself.  The next smaller and identical part is each individual “leaf” along the stem.  If you look closely, the pattern continues!

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(3) Leaves:  If you’ve ever gotten up real close to any type of leaf, you may have noticed the forever repeating pattern that gets smaller and smaller. Behold the power and fractal pattern of this mighty leaf below!

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 3.45.36 PM.                                                        Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 10.16.55 PM

Just in case fractals are still a bit hard to grasp, check out the most famous Fractal below,  otherwise known as Sierpinski’s Triangle.  This example might not be found in your local back yard, but it’s the best way to see what a fractal truly is up close and infinite and stuff.

fractals
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Looking for more math in nature?  Check out this post on the Golden Ratio and happy calculating! 🙂

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Perpendicular Lines through a Given Point: Geometry

Ahoy math peeps! I’m writing this during the time of the coronavirus, and although, the NYS Regents tests may be canceled, online zooming is still on! From the good ole’ days of test-taking and sitting in a giant room together, I bring to you a Regent’s classic, a question about how to find perpendicular lines through a given point. We will go over the following Regents question, starting with a review of what perpendicular lines are. Stay curious and happy calculating! 🙂

Perpendicular Lines: When two lines going in opposite directions come together to form a perfect 90º angle! Sounds magical, am I right? Check it out for yourself below:

Perpendicular Lines through a Given Point
Perpendicular Lines through a Given Point

A super exciting feature of these so-called perpendicular lines is that their slopes are negative reciprocals of each other. Wait, what?

How do we do this? Now it is time to go back and answer our question!

First, our equation 2y+3x=1 looks kind of cray, so let’s get it back to normal in y=mx+b form:

Need more of an explanation? Check out the video that goes over these types of questions up on Youtube (video at top of post) and let me know if you have still any questions.

Happy Calculating! 🙂

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Looking for more on Perpendicular and Parallel lines? Check out the difference between the two in this post here!