## Why do mathematicians always confuse Halloween and Christmas?

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Mathematics
Tags: , ,

Why, why, why?

Since Halloween is coming soon, I will answer the question.

Proof of Halloween = Christmas

Halloween = 31 Oct = 3×8+1 = 25 Dec = Christmas ðŸ™‚

## special technique on definite integral

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Mathematics
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As we all know integration doesn’t always have a closed form solution therefore it is harder than differentiation in general.Â  So, solving an integration problem sometimes require a bit of creativity and luck.Â  Last week I saw a post on a forum.Â  The question is to evaluate the following definite integral,

$\displaystyle\int_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}\frac{dx}{(x^3+1)(x^2+1)}$

What grabs my attention is the guy who posts this said his teacher can’t do it, then not long after someone replies the poster a solution with closed form answer for the indefinite integral with partial fraction.Â  But he didn’t bother to plug the upper and lower limits back in.Â  I guess it’s too tedious to do.

$\displaystyle\int\frac{dx}{(x^3+1)(x^2+1)}$

Partial fractions yields,

$\displaystyle=\int-\frac{2x-1}{3(x^2-x+1)}+\frac{x+1}{2(x^2+1)}+\frac{1}{6(x+1)}\;dx$

$\displaystyle=-\int\frac{d(x^2-x+1)}{3(x^2-x+1)}+\int\frac{d(x^2+1)}{4(x^2+1)}+\int\frac{dx}{2(x^2+1)}+\int\frac{d(x+1)}{6(x+1)}$

$\displaystyle=-\frac{\log(x^2-x+1)}{3}+\frac{\log(x^2+1)}{4}+\frac{\tan^{-1}x}{2}+\frac{\log|x+1|}{6}+C$

Then plug in the upper limit and lower limit and after 5 minutes of boring calculation, the answer would be $\displaystyle\frac{\pi}{12}$

This whole process can take up 15 minutes to an hour to do depending on a person’s math skill.Â  If you don’t believe me, you can try it on a piece of paper.

But there is a good news, you can solve this in a minute!Â  This technique isn’t often taught in many schools.Â  Maybe because not many people have known it or seen it before.Â  Anyway here it is,

Let $\displaystyle x=\frac{1}{w}$, hence $\displaystyle dx=-\frac{1}{w^2}dw$

Then we have,

$\displaystyle I=\int_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}\frac{dx}{(x^3+1)(x^2+1)}=\int_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}\frac{w^3\;dw}{(w^3+1)(w^2+1)}$

Since $w$ is just a dummy variable in the definite integral.Â  We have,

$\displaystyle I=\int_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}\frac{dx}{(x^3+1)(x^2+1)}=\int_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}\frac{x^3\;dx}{(x^3+1)(x^2+1)}$

Now we can add them together as following,

$\displaystyle 2I=\int_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}\frac{dx}{(x^2+1)}=\tan^{-1}x\Bigg|_{1/\sqrt{3}}^{\sqrt{3}}=\frac{\pi}{3}-\frac{\pi}{6}=\frac{\pi}{6}$

Therefore,

$\displaystyle I=\frac{\pi}{12}$

## more than a calculator for iPhone, iPad

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Mathematics

I have always wanted to have a powerful math software like Matlab or Maple on my iPhone.Â  I did have wolframalpha installed in my iPhone, but wolframalpha can’t handle basic programming like maple does.Â  In maple, you can write a for loop to generate a sequence and while loop to do iterative calculation.Â  Three weeks ago when I was casually browsing on youtube, I accidently bump into a video showing an iOS app called “MathStudio”.Â  It looks promising, it has a functionality similar to Maple.Â  you can do symbolic manipulation like factoring polynomials, solving equations (even ODE), integration, summation, graphing, and more.Â  I really like the interface.Â  To check out the demo of the app, you can click the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XebH_p7reTk.Â  The app isn’t free.Â  It costs \$19.99 USD.Â  It is a nice investment if you need to do more than a highschool arithmetic on the road quickly with an iPad or an iPhone.

## what’s new from Maplesoft?

Posted: October 1, 2012 in Mathematics

Similar to Matlab, Mathematica, etc.Â  Maple is a math software that can do more than just spitting out numeric results, it can manipulate symbolic calculation!Â  The newest version up-to-date is Maple 16.01.Â  You can see almost an hour long “what’s new” video here http://www.maplesoft.com/demo/streaming/m16WhatsNew.aspx.Â  I recommend you to take a look at it if you are a student or a teacher and decide whether to install it in your machine to play around with it.