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A Math Refresher

"From Stargazers to Starships" tries to be self-contained, even in the mathematics it uses. The sections below are meant to refresh your memory about some basic ideas in algebra and trigonometry.

--Even if this material is completely new to you, with enough motivation and persistence you should be able to understand it. Care was taken to remove any potential stumbling blocks.

--And if algebra and trig are old hat to you, rest assured that you will still find here some unexpected goodies.

Here is what is covered:

Elements of algebra

(M-1) Basic ideas
(M-1A) Algebra Proficiency Drill
(M-2) How it all started
(M-3) Formulas
(M-4) Identities
(M-5) Deriving Approximate Results

(M-6) The Theorem of Pythagoras

Elements of trigonometry

(M-7) What is it good for?
(M-8) How to tell sines from cosines
(M-9) Deriving sines and cosines
(M-10) Going past 90 degrees
(M-11) Deriving sin(a+b), cos(a+b)
(M-11A) Trigonometry Proficiency Drill
(M-12) The Tangent

To explore math further, you may look up "Understanding Mathematics" by Peter Alfeld.

We also recommend highly Plus, a free web magazine supported by Cambridge University, England. In its own words, "Plus is an internet magazine published five times a year which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics."

Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
     Mail to Dr.Stern:   stargaze("at" symbol)phy6.org .

Last updated 1 December 2003