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EASIER THAN YOU THINK...

Sometimes other functions are embedded “inside” quadratic equations.

When this occurs, we normally solve the quadratic equation first, and then deal with each of the two resulting equations.  At first, we learn to do this using substitution so as to avoid confusion.  After a while, when the patterns become more clear, we can dispense with substitution and simply manipulate the equation as it is.

Using Squares of Binomials to Solve a Difficult Problem ... a² + b² + c² = ab + bc + ca

The real numbers a, b, and c, are such that a² + b² + c² = ab + bc + ca.  Prove that a = b = c.

This looks like an extremely difficult problem ... but I wish to share that it is not as intractable as it appears!

In this short video I explain the principles involved and how we can, indeed, conclude that the three values must all be the same. Even if you feel that you are not particularly good with mathematics, why not watch the video and see if you can follow the flow of the argument? I hope you will find it encouraging.

And here is a scan of the flier that I was given. It inspired me to enter the competition.

And if you would like to see the test that I sat for back then, here is a PDF copy of the 1970 IBM Mathematics Competition for NSW.

Our son Joshua is currently in year 11 preparing for the HSC. Josh was doing reasonably well in mathematics and yet we felt, and his teachers agreed, that if he really applied himself he could be achieving much better results. We asked around for a maths tutor and Graeme Henderson came highly recommended. Joshua began to see Mr Henderson one hour per week and from the very first week Joshua’s motivation escalated. His maths improved to the point where he is now often achieving 100% in his exams, he applies himself to do hours of homework, something he had rarely done in the past, but most of all Josh has found a love of mathematics. Maths is no longer a chore. I believe this all stems from Mr Henderson’s gifted ability not only as a teacher, also as an encourager and motivator. I get motivated just listening to them! Josh told us this week that he wishes he could be tutored every day after school. When the results come through from Joshua’s exams, he is delighted and this has inspired him to become motivated to spend much more time applying himself to his other subjects. Josh is working hard to gain a great result in his HSC. I can personally recommend Mr Henderson as a truly wonderful tutor.
Deborah B (Parent, 2012)

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