# High school students' new proofs of Pythagorean Theorem

October 28, 2024 8:12 PM Subscribe

In a new peer-reviewed study, Ne'Kiya Jackson and Calcea Johnson outlined 10 ways to solve the Pythagorean theorem using trigonometry, including a proof they discovered in high school. As published in American Mathematical Monthly: "We present five trigonometric proofs of the Pythagorean theorem, and our method for finding proofs (Section 5) yields at least five more."

*Figure 1: The most harmful figure in mathematics?*

These two bosses seem delightful as well as brilliant. Thank you for sharing, ShooBoo!

posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 8:40 PM on October 28 [2 favorites]

These seem to this layperson to be incredibly elegant proofs?? And the method to find further proofs is so.. available! This paper is beautiful!

posted by panhopticon at 9:42 PM on October 28

posted by panhopticon at 9:42 PM on October 28

the conclusion is very sweet, too. kudos to mr. rich: "a math volunteer at our high school, believed our proofs were novel enough to be presented at a mathematical conference. Neither of us had such confidence in our work at that point, but we decided to go along with it anyway. This is when we began to work together."

posted by kliuless at 11:13 PM on October 28 [7 favorites]

posted by kliuless at 11:13 PM on October 28 [7 favorites]

This is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing here!

posted by rabia.elizabeth at 1:33 AM on October 29

posted by rabia.elizabeth at 1:33 AM on October 29

very cool. (also: everyone's papers should be this much fun. footnote 3! other mathematicians: at least pretend you're having as much fun as these two!)

posted by busted_crayons at 4:10 AM on October 29 [2 favorites]

posted by busted_crayons at 4:10 AM on October 29 [2 favorites]

This is so cool!

posted by hydropsyche at 4:32 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]

posted by hydropsyche at 4:32 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]

I only have time two read the first two sections right now.

That said, the writing has a lot of tell-tale signs of smart high-school/lower division writing (e.g. providing dictionary definitions).

AND

posted by oddman at 4:42 AM on October 29 [2 favorites]

That said, the writing has a lot of tell-tale signs of smart high-school/lower division writing (e.g. providing dictionary definitions).

AND

**It’s so much more clear and accessible that typical academic writing!**posted by oddman at 4:42 AM on October 29 [2 favorites]

I’m definitely using this when I’m teaching trig, thanks for posting!

posted by Ishbadiddle at 6:15 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]

posted by Ishbadiddle at 6:15 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]

This was big news a couple weeks ago here in New Orleans! And both girls have stayed in-state for college, Calcea at LSU and Ne'Kiya at Xavier. It's just so cool!

posted by CheeseLouise at 9:39 AM on October 29 [7 favorites]

posted by CheeseLouise at 9:39 AM on October 29 [7 favorites]

I find it interesting that neither of them are math majors. One is an environmental engineer and the other in pharmacology. Love that their initial motivation was the $500 prize.

posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:36 AM on October 29 [9 favorites]

posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:36 AM on October 29 [9 favorites]

That s Louisiana. It seems a luxury to study mathematics. I don't know that our universities are known for math either. Maybe they could have gone to UGA for that?

We.certainly need these genius ladies in environmental engineering, that s for sure

posted by eustatic at 12:55 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]

We.certainly need these genius ladies in environmental engineering, that s for sure

posted by eustatic at 12:55 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]

*Figure 1: The most harmful figure in mathematics?*

These two bosses seem delightful as well as brilliant. Thank you for sharing, ShooBoo!

posted by rrrrrrrrrt

These two bosses seem delightful as well as brilliant. Thank you for sharing, ShooBoo!

posted by rrrrrrrrrt

Everything about this story rocks (be sure to read the editor's note at the end of their published paper), more so than I realized from the headlines I saw about this on social media.

I only appreciated that because rrrrrrrrrt quoting this amazing caption they wrote convinced me to actually read the paper. Thanks rrrrrrrrrt!

posted by straight at 2:26 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]

*That s Louisiana. It seems a luxury to study mathematics. I don't know that our universities are known for math either.*

most math flies much further below the radar than this story but turns out math research in louisiana is alive and well. plenty of good stuff coming out of LSU :-)

posted by busted_crayons at 4:52 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]

happy to be wrong!

posted by eustatic at 9:09 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]

posted by eustatic at 9:09 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]

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posted by lore at 8:24 PM on October 28 [3 favorites]