Strategies

Advanced Logarithm Problems

(A new question of the week) Here is an interesting collection of problems involving logarithms with different bases, which require some unique thinking. And after we’d worked out a good strategy, another problem arose at a whole new level.

A Composite Quartic Equation

A question just after we recently discussed quartic equations, has special features that lead to a unique solution method. We’ll be showing how to use synthetic division, and seeing some interesting graphs.

Factoring a Quartic Polynomial

Factoring a quadratic polynomial (degree 2) is a standard topic in algebra; but for higher degrees, things get a lot harder. Here we’ll look at some old questions from the Ask Dr. Math site about factoring quartic (degree 4) polynomials. There is no standard method, but several interesting tricks you might want to know about.

Two Tricky Questions on Tangent Lines

(A new question of the week) Sometimes we have lots of quick questions and a number of long discussions, neither of which seems suitable for a post. This time I’ve chosen to combine two distantly related questions, one recent and one from several months ago, both involving tangent lines to functions.

Trig Identities: Where’d That Come From?

(A new question of the week) Proving a trigonometric identity can be a challenge; sometimes even when we read someone else’s proof, we can fail to see how they came up with a seemingly magical step. We’ll look at two such identities here, and consider how to bridge a gap when we are stuck.