PoSWW 37: Squaring the Circles

This one comes courtesy of Mystery Fred. The diagram above is for a Circle Gaps Brainteaser, and appeared online last week as part of Double Helix, CSIRO‘s science magazine for kids. The text for the brainteaser (as if it matters) is as follows:

What is the area of the orange star in the centre? The blue circles each have an area of 3 square centimetres, and the big square has sides that are 4 centimetres long.

A comment on the post makes it clear that the choices of sidelength and area were purposefully made.

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PoSWW 34: Not Working in Parallel

This PoSWW is a group effort, on one of the sub-topics in VCAA’s current curriculum:

parallel and perpendicular vectors

There is minimal guidance in the Study Design on what the sub-topic is intended to cover and, in particular, no definitions of “parallel vector” and “perpendicular vector” are provided. Our specific concern is the role of the zero vector.*

Below are definitions and implied definitions from three current Year 12 VCE Specialist Mathematics textbooks. We have attempted to be as fair as possible, for each text selecting the clearest definitions/descriptions we could locate.

*) One might be inclined to argue that this is a minor concern. For those thus inclined, we’ll address the argument soon with a new WitCH.

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PoSWW 31: Really?

Honestly, we cannot believe it. We’ve checked it ten times and we still cannot believe. It’s from the 2022 Specialist Mathematics Exam 2 (08/11/23. The exam is here.), and nothing beyond the discussion on the exam post needs to be added. But, after last year’s screw up, and anyway, it has to be posted.

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New Cur 1 + PoSWW 29: Cut Down in One’s Prime

As part of writing our WWW article, we forced ourselves, finally, to look at ACARA’s new Mathematics Curriculum. Jesus, it’s bad. Like village idiot bad.

We’ll start a post in the near future,* compiling the various nonsenses, new and old, and including aspects readers have already pointed out on this post. One new piece of stupidity, however, seems worthy of special mention.

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