# Textbook errors

## Adjoints and Inconsistency: A Questionable Test

(A new question of the week) Last week we looked at how the adjugate matrix can be used to find an inverse. (This was formerly called the [classical] adjoint, a term that is avoided because it conflicts with another use of the word, but is still used in many sources.) I posted that as background …

## Proving Two Groups are Isomorphic

(A new question of the week) Two weeks ago, in Proving Certain Polynomials Form a Group, we joined a beginner in learning about groups. Here we will pick up where that left off, learning how to prove that the group we saw there, a subset of polynomials, is isomorphic to a group of matrices. As …

## A Finite Series Workout

(A new question of the week) A question from the end of August led a student and a Math Doctor to an extra challenge, by way of an apparent typo in the problem. We particularly enjoy working with students who are willing to take on extra work in order to learn more than they need …

## A Bad Geometry Proof Problem: SSA

(A new question of the week) It’s surprising how many questions we get that end up being about problems that are poorly worded or simply wrong. But these can be as illuminating as good problems, by showing ways to catch the error. This is one simple in itself, but will lead us into a common …

## A Bad System of Nonlinear Equations

(A new question of the week) Sometimes a problem that looks complicated turns out to have a simple answer. And sometimes that simple answer turns out to be too simple for its own good. Today’s problem is an example of this. A nonlinear system Here is the question, which came in last month: Sir, What …

## A Sample of Ask Dr. Math, Part 1: Questions from School

In its more than 20 years, we answered hundreds of thousands of questions on Ask Dr. Math, only a small fraction of which were archived for public access. Those that did not make it into the archive were not bad answers, just not deemed to be of broad enough interest, or unique enough, to be …