## Thursday, June 21, 2018

### (x, why?) School Life #2

(Click on the comic if you can't see the full image.)

The "funny" thing is that I wanted to use "Tell me something I don't know" for something totally different, as a setup for another punchline, later in the series.
I'll get there.

Come back often for more funny math and geeky comics.

CJongsma said...

Actually, "square" does refer to a geometric square. Quadratic equations were initially solved by manipulating squares, completing an L-shaped diagram to make a full square. The term "quadratic" for second-degree equations also hints at this: such an equation is worked using four-sided figures.

(x, why?) said...

Yes, but when you make a perfect square of a polynomial, you aren't drawing a square any more than when you square, say, 4. And if there's an equation for a circle, not in standard form, and the directions say to complete the square, there is some confusion about the hypothetical polynomial algebra-tile square that could be constructed and the expression in front of you that you simply need to reduce to a power of 2.

No actually squares need be drawn.

Also, students are talking in this strip, so this is their understanding of the matter.

(btw, this is the best discussion on this blog in a long time! Thanks for stopping by. Please come again!)