VCAA’s Mathematical Reasoning

OK, Dear Readers, turn off the footy and/or the cricket. You have work to do. We have written before of VCAA‘s manipulative “review” of Victoria’s senior mathematics curriculum, complete with scale-thumbing, push-polling and hidden, hand-picked “experts”. Now, according to their latest Bulletin, [t]he VCAA will undertake a second phase of Stage 1 consultation … Good. […]

WitCH 21: Just Following Orders

This WitCH come courtesy of a smart VCE student. It concerns the newly instituted VCE subject of Algorithmics, and comes from the 2017 exam: The Examiners’ Report indicates that half of students gave the intended answer of A, and notes It is important for students to understand that Big-O notation describes an upper bound, and […]

WitCH 19: A Powerful Solvent

The following WitCH is from VCE Mathematical Methods Exam 2, 2009. (Yeah, it’s a bit old, but the question was raised recently in a tutorial, so it’s obviously not too old.) It is a multiple choice question: The Examiners’ Report indicates that just over half of the students gave the correct answer of B. The […]

WitCH 17: Compounding Our Problems

The WitCHfest is coming to an end. Our final WitCH is, once again, from Cambridge’s Specialist Mathematics 3 & 4 (2019). The section establishes the compound angle formulas, the first proof of which is our WitCH. Update (25/08/19) Similar to our parallel WitCH, it is difficult to know whether to focus on specific clunkiness or intrinsic […]

WitCH 16: The Root of Our Problem

This WitCH comes from one of our favourites, the Complex Numbers chapter from Cambridge’s Specialist Mathematics 3 & 4 (2019). It is not as deep or as beWitCHing as other aspects of the chapter. But, it’s still an impressive WitCH. Update (11/08/19) I guess if you’re gonna suggest a painful, ass-backwards method to solve a problem, […]

WitCH 15: Principled Objection

OK, playtime is over. This one, like the still unresolved WitCH 8, will take some work. It comes from Cambridge’s Mathematical Methods 3 & 4 (2019). It is the introduction to “When is a function differentiable?”, the final section of the chapter “Differentiation”. Update (12/08/19) We wrote about this nonsense seven long years ago, and […]