## Tuesday, April 17, 2018

### Algebra 2 Problems of the Day

Algebra 2 is not my usual subject, but I do get asked about the problems occasionally. So I've decided to run a couple of Regents problems daily for a while. If there's a positive reaction (or at least, a lack of negative reaction), I may continue it.

More Algebra 2 problems.

January 2018
15. The terminal side of θ, an angle in standard position, intersects the unit circle at P(-1/3, -sqrt(8)/3). What is the value of sec θ?

(1) -3
(2) -3*sqrt(8)/8
(3) -1/3
(4) -sqrt(8)/3

The coordinates of P are (cos θ, sin θ)
sec θ = 1 / cos θ
cos θ = -1/3
sec θ = 1 / (-1/3) = -3

16. What is the equation of the directrix for the parabola -8(y - 3) = (x + 4)2?

(1) y = 5
(2) y = 1
(3) y = -2
(4) y = -6

Answer: (1) y = 5
When the parabola is written in this form -- (x − p)2=±4a(y−q) -- then (p,q) will be the vertex and a is the focus length. In other words, the distance in one direction from the vertex will be the focus, and in the other direction will be the directrix.

The vertex is (-4, 3) and the focal length is 2. The negative tells us that the parabola is opening down, so the directrix is 2 units above the vertex, which is y = 5.

Comments and questions welcome.

More Algebra 2 problems.