Of ellipses, hyperbolae and mugging

For as long as I can remember, I have had unnatural inertia in studying coordinate geometry. It seemed to be a pursuit of rote learning and regurgitating requisite formulae, which is something I detested. My refusal to “mug up” formulae cost me heavily in my engineering entrance exams, and I was rather proud of myselfContinue reading “Of ellipses, hyperbolae and mugging”

The utility of trigonometrical substitutions

Today we will discuss the power of trigonometrical substitutions. Let us take the expression This is a math competition problem. One solution proceeds this way: let . Then as , we can write and . This is an elementary fact. But what is the reason for doing so? Now we have . Similarly, . TheContinue reading “The utility of trigonometrical substitutions”

Axiom of Choice- a layman’s explanation.

Say you’re given the set , and asked to choose a number. Any number. You may choose , or anything that you feel like from the set. Now suppose you’re given a set , and you have absolutely no idea about what points contains. In this case, you can’t visualize the points in and pickContinue reading “Axiom of Choice- a layman’s explanation.”

My first attempt at solving the Lonely Runner Conjecture

Let us suppose there are runners running at speeds around a field of circumference . Take any runner from the runners- say , who runs with speed . Say we pair him up with another runner who runs with speed . Then for time , the distance between them is , and for , theContinue reading “My first attempt at solving the Lonely Runner Conjecture”

Proofs of Sylow’s Theorems in Group Theory- Part 1

I will try to give a breakdown of the proof of Sylow’s theorems in group theory. These theorems can be tricky to understand, and especially retain even if you’ve understood the basic line of argument. 1. Sylow’s First Theorem- If for a prime number , , and , then there is a subgroup such thatContinue reading “Proofs of Sylow’s Theorems in Group Theory- Part 1”