Mathematical Monday 11-1-10

I always liked interesting mnemonic devices. Back when I took trigonometry, I learned one of my favorite ones related to right triangles and sines, cosines, and tangents.

xkcd remembers too!

The mnemonic is SOHCAHTOA. It stands for sine: opposite over hypotenuse, cosine: adjacent over hypotenuse, and tangent: opposite over adjacent.

It sounds like a native American word or something, doesn’t it? Anyway, I always liked it. I like sine curves too. When I went to Kent State, their math building had a since curve built into the roof.

Well, actually, after staring at the curve every day for a while (my building was where the camera is), I realized that it isn’t a sine curve, it was a cosine curve. Why is that? Because it starts at the high point not the central point.

Have I mentioned I’m a math nerd. Anyway, trigonometry is fun. Sometimes.

I would also like to point out this morning that if you are ever trying to determine whether or not you are normal, remember that the only thing normal is the line perpendicular to the tangent of a circle.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sophie Brown
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 14:31:00

    Not that I wish to pick holes, my maths skill is pretty scant to say the least, but shouldn’t that be hypotenuse, not hypothesis?


  2. GN
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 12:00:47

    Hee – that was painted on the wall of my high school algebra room. We were also told we could remember the order because it sounded like “suck a toe”.

    The other one we learned was PEMDAS for order of operations in 7th grade. Those were the best math problems. She’d give us huge long strings of arithmetic to sort out based on it.


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