How to Construct the Altitudes of a Triangle ⊿

Hi everyone and welcome back to another week of MathSux! For this week’s math lesson, I bring to you four constructions in one in How to Construct the Altitudes of a Triangle. In the video below, we will:

  • Define what an altitude is
  • Find the altitude of an acute, obtuse, and right triangles
  • Discover and define the orthocenter

I hope you find the below video helpful and interesting! Let me know in the comments below and happy calculating!

How to Construct the Altitudes of a Triangle :

An Altitude is a perpendicular line drawn from the vertex of a triangle to the opposite side, creating a 90º angle.

How to Construct the Altitudes of a Triangle

In the video above, we will look at how to find the altitude of an acute obtuse, and right triangle.

How to Find the Orthocenter of Triangle with a Compass:

The Orthocenter is a point where all three altitudes meet within a triangle.

How to Construct the Altitudes of a Triangle

In order to find the orthocenter using a compass, all we need to do is find the altitude of each vertex. The point at which they meet is the orthocenter. Check out the video above to see how this works step by step.

More Constructions?

If you’re looking for more constructions out there, be sure to check out the MathSux Constructions Playlist on YouTube for even more tutorials! I hope you find this video helpful and hope it motivates you to learn even more about constructions (or you know get through your homework/pass that test). Whatever reason you have to learn about constructions I hope this helps! Stay positive and happy calculating!

Best Geometry Tools!

Looking to get the best construction tools? Any compass and straight-edge will do the trick, but personally, I prefer to use my favorite mini math toolbox from Staedler. Stadler has a geometry math set that comes with a mini ruler, compass, protractor, and eraser in a nice travel-sized pack that is perfect for students on the go and for keeping everything organized….did I mention it’s only $7.99 on Amazon?! This is the same set I use for every construction video in this post. Check out the link below and let me know what you think!

Still got questions? No problem! Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions below.

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And if you’re looking for even more geometry constructions, check out the link here!

And if you’re looking for more lessons on triangles, check out these related posts below:

Congruent Triangles

Similar Triangles

45 45 90 special triangles

30 60 90 special triangles

Similar Triangles

Legs of a Right Triangle (when an altitude is drawn)

Combining Like Terms and Distributive Property: Algebra

Greetings math peeps! In today’s post, we are going to review some of the basics: combining like terms and distributive property. It’s so important to master the basics such as these, so you’re prepared and ready to handle the harder stuff that’s just around the corner, trust me they’re coming! And for those who already feel comfortable with these topics, great! Skip ahead and try the practice questions at the bottom of this post and happy calculating! 🙂

When do we combine “like terms?”

Combining like terms allows us to simplify and calculate our answer with terms that have the same variable and same exponent values only. For example, we can combine the following expression:

distributive property and combining like terms

How do we combine like terms?

We add or subtract the whole number coefficients and keep the variable they have in common.

distributive property and combining like terms
distributive property and combining like terms

Why? We could not add these two terms together because their variables do not match! 2 is multiplied by x, while 3 is multiplied by the variable xy.

distributive property and combining like terms

Why? We could not add these two terms together because their variables and exponents do not match! 2 is multiplied by x, while 3 is multiplied by the variable x^2 . Exponents for each variable must match to be considered like terms.

Distributive Property:

Combining like terms and the distributive property go hand in hand.  The distributive property rule states the following:

distributive property and combining like terms

There are no like terms to combine in the example above, but let’s see what it would like to use the distributive property and combine like terms at the same time with the following examples:

Example #1:

distributive property and combining like terms

Example #2:

In some cases, we also have to distribute the -1 that can sometimes “hide” behind a parenthesis.

distributive property and combining like terms

Try the following questions on your own on combining like terms and the distributive property and check out the video above for more!

Practice Questions:

Solutions:

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

Looking to review more of the basics? Check out this post on graphing equations of a line y=mx+b here.

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Imaginary and Complex Numbers: Algebra 2/Trig.

Happy Wednesday and back to school season math friends! This post introduces imaginary and complex numbers when raised to any power exponent and when multiplied together as a binomial. When it comes to all types of learners, we got you between the video, blog post, and practice problems below. Happy calculating! 🙂

What are Imaginary Numbers?

Imaginary numbers happen when there is a negative under a radical and looks something like this:

Imaginary and Complex Numbers

Why does this work?

In math, we cannot have a negative under a radical because the number under the square root represents a number times itself, which will always give us a positive number.

Example:

Imaginary and Complex Numbers
complex numbers algebra 2

But wait, there’s more:

When raised to a power, imaginary numbers can have the following different values:

Imaginary and Complex Numbers

Knowing these rules, we can evaluate imaginary numbers, that are raised to any value exponent! Take a look below:

complex numbers algebra 2

-> We use long division, and divide our exponent value 54, by 4.

Imaginary and Complex Numbers

-> Now take the value of the remainder, which is 2, and replace our original exponent. Then evaluate the new value of the exponent based on our rules.

Imaginary and Complex Numbers

What are Complex Numbers?

Complex numbers combine imaginary numbers and real numbers within one expression in a+bi form. For example, (3+2i) is a complex number. Let’s evaluate a binomial multiplying two complex numbers together and see what happens:

-> There are several ways to multiply these complex numbers together. To make it easy, I’m going to show the Box method below:

Try mastering imaginary and complex numbers on your own with the questions below!

Practice:

complex numbers algebra 2

Solutions:

complex numbers algebra 2

Still got questions? No problem! Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions or check out the video above. Don’t forget to sign up for FREE weekly MathSux videos, lessons, and practice questions. Thanks for stopping by and happy calculating! 🙂

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Also, if you’re looking to learn more about dividing polynomials, check out this post here!

Looking for more on Quadratic Equations and functions? Check out the following Related posts!

Factoring Review

Factor by Grouping

Completing the Square

The Discriminant

Is it a Function?

Focus and Directrix of a Parabola

Quadratic Equations with 2 Imaginary Solutions

How to Construct an Equilateral Triangle?: Geometry

Happy Wednesday math peeps! This post introduces constructions by showing us how to construct an equilateral triangle by using a compass and a ruler. For anyone new to constructions, this is the perfect topic for art aficionados since there is more drawing than there is actual math. 

What is an Equilateral Triangle?

Equilateral Triangle: A triangle with three equal sides.  Not an easy one to forget, the equilateral triangle is super easy to construct given the right tools (compass+ ruler). Take a look below:

how to construct an equilateral triangle

Now, for our Example:

how to construct an equilateral triangle

Solution:

How to Construct an Equilateral Triangle

What’s Happening in this GIF? 

1. Using a compass, measure out the distance of line segment  Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 4.19.02 PM.

 2. With the compass on point A, draw an arc that has the same distance as Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 4.19.02 PM.

 3. With the compass on point B, draw an arc that has the same distance as Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 4.19.02 PM.

4. Notice where the arcs intersect? Using a ruler, connect points A and B to the new point of intersection. This will create two new equal sides of our triangle!

Best Geometry Tools!

Looking to get the best construction tools? Any compass and straight-edge will do the trick, but personally, I prefer to use my favorite mini math toolbox from Staedler. Stadler has a geometry math set that comes with a mini ruler, compass, protractor, and eraser in a nice travel-sized pack that is perfect for students on the go and for keeping everything organized….did I mention it’s only $7.99 on Amazon?! This is the same set I use for every construction video in this post. Check out the link below and let me know what you think!

Still got questions? No problem! Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions. Happy calculating! 🙂

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Looking to learn more about triangles? Check out this post on right triangle trigonometry here! And if you’re looking for even more geometry constructions, check out the link here!

Expanding Cubed Binomials: Algebra 2/Trig.

Greetings math friends! This post will go over expanding cubed binomials using two different methods to get the same answer. We’re so used to seeing squared binomials such as, Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 11.29.14 AM.png, and expanding them without a second thought.  But what happens when our reliable squared binomials are now raised to the third power, such as,Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 11.29.48 AM?  Luckily for us, there is a Rule we can use:

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.12.33 PM

But where did this rule come from?  And how can we so blindly trust it? In this post we will prove why the above rule works for expanding cubed binomials using 2 different methods:

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 11.31.13 AM

Why bother? Proving this rule will allow us to expand and simplify any cubic binomial given to us in the future! And since we are proving it 2 different ways, you can choose the method that best works for you.

Method #1: The Box Method

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.14.37 PM

Step 1: First, focus on the left side of the equation by expanding (a+b)3:

Expanding Cubed Binomials

Step 2: Now we are going to create our first box, multiplying (a+b)(a+b). Notice we put each term of (a+b) on either side of the box. Then multiplied each term where they meet.

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.15.50 PM

Step 3: Combine like terms ab and ab, then add each term together to get a2+2ab+b2.

Expanding Cubed Binomials

Step 4: Multiply (a2+2ab+b2)(a+b) making a bigger box to include each term.

Expanding Cubed Binomials

Step 5: Now combine like terms (2a2b and a2b) and (2ab2 and ab2), then add each term together and get our answer: a3+3a2b+3ab2+b3.

Expanding Cubed Binomials
Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.21.05 PM.png

Method #2: The Distribution Method

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.17.54 PM.png

Let’s expand the cubed binomial using the distribution method step by step below:

Expanding Cubed Binomials
Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.21.05 PM.png

Now that we’ve gone over 2 different methods of cubic binomial expansion, try the following practice questions on your own using your favorite method!

Practice Questions: Expand and simplify the following.

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.21.56 PM

Solutions:

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.22.19 PM.png

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

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**Bonus: Test your skills with this Regents question on Binomial Cubic Expansion!

How to use Recursive Formulas?: Algebra

Welcome to Mathsux! This post is going to show you everything you need to know about Recursive Formulas by looking at three different examples. Check out the video below for more of an explanation and test your skills with the practice questions at the bottom of this page.  Happy calculating! 🙂

What is a Recursive Formula?

A Recursive Formula is a type of formula that forms a sequence based on the previous term value.  What does that mean?  Check out the example below for a clearer picture:

Example #1:

recursive formula

-> First, let’s decode what these formulas are saying.

recursive formulas
algebra 2 recursive formula
recursive formula examples

-> We found the sequence 2, 6, 10, 14, 18. Since we only needed the fifth term to answer our question, we know our solution is 18.

Example #2:

-> First, let’s decode what these formulas are saying.

algebra 2 recursive formula
algebra 2 recursive formula
algebra 2 recursive formula

***Note this was written in a different notation but is solved in the exact same way!

-> We found the sequence 1,3,9. Since we only needed to find the third term to answer our questions, we know our solution is 9.

-> First, let’s decode what these formulas are saying.

-> We found the sequence 4,10, 28. Since we only needed to find the third term to answer our question, we know the solution is 28.

algebra 2 recursive formula

Practice Questions:

Solutions:

algebra 2 recursive formula

Still got questions? No problem! Check out the video above for more or try the NYS Regents question below, and please don’t hesitate to comment with any questions. Happy calculating! 🙂

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***Bonus! Want to test yourself with a similar NYS Regents question on Recursive Formulas?  Click here! And if you want to learn about even more sequences, check out the link here!

Reflections: Geometry

Greetings and welcome to Mathsux! Today we are going to go over reflections geometry, one of the many types of transformations that come up in geometry. And thankfully, reflection transformation is one of the easiest types to master, especially if you’re more of a visual learner/artistic type person. In this post, we will go over a reflection across the line x=-2, but if you want to see a reflection across the x axis, the y axis, and the line y=x, please check out the math video below! So let’s get to it! And if you’re new to transformations, check out translations here.

What are Reflections?

A Reflection on a coordinate plane is exactly what you think! A reflection is a type of transformation in geometry where we reflect a point, a line segment, or a shape over a line to create a mirror image of itself.  Think of the wings of a butterfly, a page being folded in half, or anywhere else where there is perfect symmetry, each of these are great examples of a reflection!

Reflection Rules:

reflections geometry

If you are completely new to reflections, you may want to check out the video above that goes into deriving reflection rules over the different axis. But for those of you more comfortable with reflection, check out the example below where we reflect the image of a triangle onto itself over the line x=-2.

Example:

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 5.19.40 PM

Step 1: First, let’s draw in line x=-2. Note that whenever we have x equal to a number, we end up drawing a vertical line at that point on the x axis, in this case at x=-2.

reflections

Step 2: Find the distance each point is from the line x=-2 and reflect it on the other side, measuring the same distance.

First, let’s look at point C, notice it’s 1 unit away from the line x=-2 on the right. To reflect point c, we are going to count 1 unit but this time to the left of the line x=-2 and label our new point, C|.

reflections

Step 3: Now we are going to reflect coordinate point A in much the same way! Notice that point A is 2 units away on the left of line x=-2, we then want to measure 2 units to the right of our line x=-2 and mark our new coordinate point, A|.

reflections

Step 4: Lastly, we want to reflect coordinate point B. This time, point B is 1 unit away on the right side of the line x=-2, we then measure 1 unit to the opposite direction of our line, x=-2, and mark our new point, B|.

reflections

Step 5: Now that we have all the newly reflected coordinate points of our triangle, finally, we can now connect them all, for our fully reflected image of right triangle A|B|C|.

Notice our newly reflected triangle is not just a mirror image of itself, but when the original figure is reflected it actually ends up overlapping onto itself!? How did this happen? That is because this our reflection line came right down the middle of our original image, triangle ABC. Shapes that reflect onto themselves are a bit tricky but not impossible, just remember to measure out the distance of each coordinate point and reflections should be a breeze!

Rigid Motion:

Reflections are a special type of transformation in geometry that maintains rigid motion, meaning when a point, line, or shape is reflected the angles, and line segments retain their value. For example, if we were to measure the area of both right triangles, before and after reflection, we would find the areas to remain unchanged. Meaning the area of triangle ABC is equal to the area of triangle A|B|C| . Another rigid transformation includes rotations and translations.

Looking to practice your new reflection skills? Try the reflection practice problems below, with solutions to each question, to truly master the topic! Happy calculating!

Practice Questions:

reflections

Solutions:

Still got questions?  No problem! Check out the video above or comment below! There is also a bonus video if you scroll all the way down at the end of this post for anyone who wants to see how to reflect a line over the line x=2. See how it differs and how it is similar to the example shown here. Happy calculating! 🙂

Don’t forget to follow MathSux on social media for the latest tips and tricks to ace math!

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And if you are looking for more Transformations Check out the related posts below and let me know if you have any questions? Or maybe you just want to share your favorite type of transformation? Either way, happy calculating!

Translations

Dilations

Rotation

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.

Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 10.04.33 AM
Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 10.05.00 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 10.06.46 AM

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
Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 10.07.57 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.45.29 PM.png

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.

Circle Theorems & Formulas

Central Angle Theorem

Inscribed Angles & Intercepted Arcs

Area of a Sector

Circle Theorems

Absolute Value Equations: Algebra

Happy Wednesday math friends! Today, we’re going to go over how to solve absolute value equations.  Solving for absolute value equations supplies us with the magic of two potential answers since absolute value is measured by the distance from zero.  And if this sounds confusing, fear not, because everything is explained below!

Also, if you have any questions about anything here, don’t hesitate to comment. Happy calculating! 🙂

Absolute Value measures the “absolute value” or absolute distance from zero.  For example, the absolute value of 4 is 4 and the absolute value of -4 is also 4.  Take a look at the number line below for a clearer picture:

Absolute Value

Now let’s see how we can apply our knowledge of absolute value equations when there is a missing variable!Absolute Value Equations exampleScreen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.03.46 PM.pngAbsolute Value EquationsScreen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.04.26 PM.pngAbsolute Value Equations

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.05.17 PM.png

Absolute Value EquationsNow let’s look at a slightly different example:

Absolute Value Equations exampleScreen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.07.59 PM

Absolute Value Equations

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.08.26 PM.png

Absolute Value Equations

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.09.33 PMAbsolute Value Equations Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 2.10.39 PM.pngAbsolute Value Equations

Practice Questions: Given the following right triangles, find the missing lengths and side angles rounding to the nearest whole number.

Absolute Value Equations examples

Solutions:

Absolute Value Equations solutions

Still got questions?  No problem! Check out the video the same examples outlined above. Happy calculating! 🙂

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Also, if you’re looking for a review on combining like terms and the distributive property, check out this post here.