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Math Help - Draw a triangle with two sides

  1. #1
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    Draw a triangle with two sides

    I know.....this is going to sound retarded....but stay with me.

    At the beginning of the year, my Alg II teacher told us that half way through the year, he would ask us a hard question worth bonus points. He told us the problem, and won't tell us what it is until we have to solve it (less then a week).
    I am having a hard time remembering it, but I think it was "draw a triangle with only two sides" or something along those lines. It had something to do with drawing a figure that one would think is impossible to draw with x number of sides. I just don't remember the figure or number of sides. "Draw a triangle with four sides" for example.
    I have asked students of his from last year, and they told me that he DID prove that the problem could be solved....but couldn't recall the details.

    If anybody has any clue what I am talking about, PLEASE help.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorade View Post
    I know.....this is going to sound retarded....but stay with me.

    At the beginning of the year, my Alg II teacher told us that half way through the year, he would ask us a hard question worth bonus points. He told us the problem, and won't tell us what it is until we have to solve it (less then a week).
    I am having a hard time remembering it, but I think it was "draw a triangle with only two sides" or something along those lines. It had something to do with drawing a figure that one would think is impossible to draw with x number of sides. I just don't remember the figure or number of sides. "Draw a triangle with four sides" for example.
    I have asked students of his from last year, and they told me that he DID prove that the problem could be solved....but couldn't recall the details.

    If anybody has any clue what I am talking about, PLEASE help.

    Thanks
    Easy.
    If you think it is a triangle that is not 3-sided, or a triangle not with 3 sides, then give your Teacher the answer, "Impossible!"
    If your Teacher ask why, then say, "By definition." A triangle is a closed polygon with 3 sides. So if the figure the Teacher wants you to draw is a triangle that is not 3-sided, then your Teacher's wish is retarded.
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  3. #3
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    Thats what I was thinking too.

    But it is a trick question of some sort....and there is a solution.

    It ay not be a triangle...it might be a circle or some other shape....I don't remember.

    This guy is far from retarded, and he isn't making it up.

    I was thinking that this was some popular trick or something that you learn is college.

    Anybody ever hear of anything like this?

    Thanks Again.
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  4. #4
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorade View Post
    Thats what I was thinking too.

    But it is a trick question of some sort....and there is a solution.

    It ay not be a triangle...it might be a circle or some other shape....I don't remember.

    This guy is far from retarded, and he isn't making it up.

    I was thinking that this was some popular trick or something that you learn is college.

    Anybody ever hear of anything like this?

    Thanks Again.
    The only possibility I can think of is he's cheating and not using plane geometry.

    One example would be to consider the surface of a sphere. Draw half a circumference (call this the "equator" for reference). On one end of the equator line, draw another half circumference at right angles that crosses one of the poles and meets the other side of the line on the equator. The resulting figure LOOKS something like a triangle, but only has two sides.

    It doesn't bear a great resemblence to a triangle, but perhaps your teacher was thinking of something else along similar lines. (Pardon the pun!)

    -Dan
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  5. #5
    MHF Contributor Quick's Avatar
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    I don't like this, but it might be what your teacher wanted.

    Code:
                /
               / 
              / 
           a / b
    --------------------
            c
    Notice it is a triangle because it has 3 angles, a, b, and c

    I still don't like it though
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