11 replies on “Math Tidbit – Proving the Pythagorean Theorem”

    • Thanks, Chad. I’m really surprised by their success, actually. We’ve got an add-in for Word Press that measures the popularity of different articles and categories, using both comments and pageviews (filtering out those that come from authors.) “Bureau 42 Teaches” has spent the last month bouncing between the #1 and #2 spots on the “most popular category” list, despite low numbers of comments. I almost didn’t start them until September, either, as I felt the Quantum Mechanics Summer School that starts on Monday was a much stronger series than anything I’ve posted so far, and was tempted to open with that instead.

      • Looking forwards to the Quantum Mechanics series here, but the previous posts have been a useful warmup to thinking about mathematical proofs in the correct manner. All good stuff, and I think it’s a promising sign that there are still people interested in math around if they are as successful as they appear to be. Definitely a good section worth of updates!

        PS. Talking of updates, what’s going on with the Bureau 42 Calendar? That doesn’t seem to be getting quite as many updates as it should…

        • I plan to update for my next convention appearance (Polaris, Toronto, July 16-18), when they confirm exactly what panels I’m on. Right now it’s four, but two are at the same time, and I may get two more on the finalized schedule.

          On another note– yeah, if one of us reviews some movie, casual surfers will have hundreds and thousands of other reviews of the same film from which to choose. Even our regular readers have a pretty good idea of which films they’re considering seeing, and they won’t necessarily read a review of, say, Splice, if they have no interest in horror movies.

          I don’t know they have quite so many options if they’re searching the ‘Net for mathematical proofs.

          • Of course, nothing draws more attention at a site than discussion, so all you shy non-flame-warring, non-trolling lurker types….

        • I’m the one who assumed the bulk of the responsibility for the Bureau 42 calendar. My day job gets insanely busy between June 1 and July 15 or so (which is why I wrote the entire Summer School series in April and May). I’ll try to make time to get it caught up this weekend, but I don’t know which day that will be.

      • Seconded that the Tidbits are a nice warmup to the main feature. They get the mathematical juices flowing properly. (And they’re interesting!)

  1. The proof, while simple, assumes more than Euclid’s proof, which only uses the (earlier proved) result that the area of a triangle is half the area of a rectangle with the same base and altitude. Also, Euclid’s proof works directly with the areas, and involves no algebra at all.

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