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Math Help - New guy willing to make a change

  1. #1
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    New guy willing to make a change

    Ok so basically, I am 18, currently studying computing at university, and hopeless at maths.

    I have always been a boss at quickly adding things together or solving logical problems (hence I own ass at programming algorithm solving). Sadly however, I am hopeless with algebra. I am completely useless when it comes to things such as the order of operations, learning all of the different rules (such as the exponent rules, logarithm rules, quadratic rules ect). I simply can't keep that much in my head. While I am completely hopeless, I always seem to get passing marks of 60% or more with little effort, however I am tired of completely re learning everything over and over after forgetting it.

    So I was thinking maybe I should learn maths the right way and start from scratch before it's too late (because I had a test just earlier and I know I failed that, which rarely happens).

    Bottom line, I suck at maths because I have no interest in it. I rape at electronic system design and algorithm design because they actually interest me (and I usually fluke the math in the process). So maybe I need to spark an interest. So feel free to post some of the awesome things you have been enabled to do since you became a maths master, maybe I will gain interest.


    Also can someone tell me how to solve this. I was looking at it for ages and I clearly failed to do it properly:

    Two numbers whos product is 15.78 and whos sum has a difference of 1.15
    Last edited by SplashDamage; May 1st 2012 at 02:35 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: New guy willing to make a change

    Welcome to the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by SplashDamage View Post
    Two numbers whose product is 15.78 and whose sum has a difference of 1.15
    This is an incomplete sentence. What do you need to do with it? Also, what does it mean for the sum of two numbers to have a difference of 1.15?
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  3. #3
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    Re: New guy willing to make a change

    I completely wrote that wrong. Let up on the grammar policing btw.

    Two numbers with a product of 15.78 and a difference of 1.15.
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  4. #4
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    Re: New guy willing to make a change

    xy = 15.78
    x - y = 1.15

    From the second equation, y = x + 1.15. Substituting y in the first equation, we get

    (y + 1.15)y = 15.78
    y^2 + 1.15y - 15.78 = 0

    You can solve this using the quadratic formula and then find x from the second equation above. I believe the two solutions are x = -3.4388, y = -4.5888; x = 4.5888, y = 3.4388.
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  5. #5
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    Re: New guy willing to make a change

    Concerning grammar, attention to such details has a long tradition in math and physics. Here is an anecdote about the physicist Paul Dirac.

    At the quesiton period after a Dirac lecture at the University of Toronto, somebody in the audience remarked: "Professor Dirac, I do not understand how you derived the formula on the top left side of the blackboard."

    "This is not a question," snapped Dirac, "it is a statement. Next question, please."
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  6. #6
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    Re: New guy willing to make a change

    Ok thanks for that. I did something kind of similar, however it was clearly wrong.

    Something like x = y + 1.15
    and then try substitute that into y = x - 1.15 ....... y = (y + 1.15) - 1.15

    I don't know what I was trying to do lol.
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