Two students from Louisiana believe they have made a new discovery for a math problem that has intrigued mathematicians for 2,000 years. The pair recently presented their findings at the American Mathematical Society’s Annual Southeastern Conference, where they displayed proof for Pythagorean Theorem that uses trigonometry without resorting to circular logic.
The duo who are students from St. Mary’s Academy, Calcea Johnson, and Ne’Kiya Jackson, were the only high school students to present at the event, typically attended by university researchers.
The Pythagorean Theorem states that three sides of a right-angled triangle can be expressed by the formula a2+b2=c2. However, it has broadly been accepted that there is no way to define the theorem using trigonometry — which is what Jackson and Johnson claim they have now done.
In an abstract posted on the American Mathematical Society’s website, the whiz kids said they used the Law of Sines — which is used to find angles of a general triangle — in their findings.
Per The Guardian, the American Mathematical Society’s Executive Director Catherine Roberts is encouraging the two teens to submit their findings to a peer-reviewed journal to “determine whether their proof is a correct contribution to the mathematics literature.”
While speaking to WWL-TV in the video below, Johnson and Jackson narrated how their instructors helped inspire their presentation.
Tamara Glenn writes about diverse topics.