Mathematics Seminar looks at trigonometry

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, October 21, 3:00 – 4:30 PM in 102 Cook. Our speaker, Dr. Radu Teodorescu, will discuss topics from Trigonometry. The title and abstract of his talk are below.

Radu’s talk will focus on topics from Trigonometry that go beyond what is usually encountered in introductory trig courses. Some background in Trigonometry would be helpful, but of course everyone is welcome to attend!

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.


A Topic Full of Surprises

At the conclusion of my February talk, I was asked to speak about Trigonometry at a future seminar. This is a challenging subject! Why? Because Trigonometry, with its trigonometric functions, is a topic full of surprises.

In this talk I will start with some less common theorems about triangles (!!) and go through several nontrivial examples of conditional identities. Finally, with the help of trig functions, I will introduce some special polynomials, including the Tchebycheff Polynomials. Using them we will end with two results: one about the values {cos(rp), sin(rp) : r ϵ Q} , and the other, a minimax property of Tchebycheff Polynomials, which will take us into advanced mathematics territory.

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